CSUN Men’s Basketball head coach Reggie Theus has announced the signings of transfers Jordan Bell, Josh Jefferson and Amel Kuljuhovic to national letters of intent. Bell, a sophomore, played his freshman season at Northwestern State University in 2016-17 while Jefferson and Kuljuhovic are currently playing their sophomore seasons at Lake Land College in Matoon, IL. All three are eligible to suit up for the Matadors beginning in the 2018-19 season.
The signings mark the first time in over a decade the Matadors have added three recruits during the early signing period.
“I’m ultra proud that we have added three high character student-athletes that can shoot the ball well and possess experience. They are also great students who perform very well in the classroom,” said Theus. “I think our staff has done a great job in putting together a strong recruiting class this early in the signing period. As a staff, we have accomplished something that has not been done in a long time. From adding three staff members and to the signings of multiple players over the last six months, it’s a great accomplishment to have a three-member recruiting class this early.”
A 6-foot-8 forward, Bell averaged 11.6 minutes on the floor for the Demons last season and registered 4.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in 26 games. Bell shot 44.2 percent from the field and showed the ability to knock down the 3-point shot with nine treys on the year. He posted a pair of double-digit scoring performances including a double-double (18 points and 12 rebounds) in a victory over Southeastern Louisiana.
Originally from Inglewood, Bell attended Theus’ alma mater Inglewood High School and averaged 20 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks as a senior. Bell was named team most valuable player and racked up first team all-league, first team all-area, second-team All-CIF and second team all-state honors during his prep career.
“I’m proud to add another Inglewood alum to the team,” said Theus. “He can stretch the floor, he’s a good shooter and he has the ability to put the ball on the floor and score around the basket. Jordan is somebody I would’ve loved to have added to the team last year when we recruited Terrell [Gomez] but I’m happy to finally have him join the Matador family.”
A sharpshooting 6-foot-3 guard from New Albany, IN, Jefferson enjoyed a stellar freshman season with the Lakers as he received first team all-conference and first team all-region nods. Jefferson averaged 18.7 points per game, and shot an impressive 47.6 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, breaking the school’s single season 3-point percentage record. He also finished third in the nation in free throw percentage (91.5 percent)
Through three games this season, Jefferson is averaging 21.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.7 steals for the Lakers. He is also shooting a robust 58.8 percent from downtown.
Prior to Lake Land, Jefferson helped New Albany High School win its first state championship in 43 years in 2016 along with three sectional championships in his high school career. Jefferson received first team all-conference and all-state honors as well as an Indiana All-Star Game selection.
“Josh is an extremely good shooter who can play the point and shooting guard positions,” said Theus. “Although he’s a tremendous shooter, he can get into the lane and find other people. I’m a real fan of his game and what he brings to the team. He’s also a winner and knows what it takes to lead his team to a championship.”
Kuljuhovic, a 6-foot-10 center, began his collegiate career at Ellsworth Community College and scored 8.5 points per game to go along with 5.4 rebounds. Shooting 56.0 percent from the floor, Kuljuhovic was named a Iowa Community College Athletic Association All-Region Honorable Mention. He was also selected as an academic all-region honoree while at Ellsworth.
Making the move to Lake Land this season, Kuljuhovic is nearly averaging a double-double in the early going in 2017-18. Kuljuhovic is scoring 16.0 points per game and grabbing 9.3 rebounds. He is also collecting 2.3 blocks per game and shooting 51.7 percent from the field.
Originally from Waterloo, IA, Kuljuhovic prepped at Waterloo West High School and averaged over 13 points and nine rebounds per game as he earned all-area honors his senior season.
“Amel is 6-foot-10 and 250 pounds, and he’s a skilled big man with great hands around the basket,” said Theus. “He can also step out and hit a 17-foot jumpshot. He’s a teammate of Josh, they’re great friends, so there’s instant synergy between the two of them. It’s rare that you can go to a junior college and come away with their two best players.”