DePaul SG Jalen Coleman-Lands on Past, Present and Basketball Future (Exclusive)


In a tight road loss to Georgetown on February 8, DePaul senior shooting guard Jalen Coleman-Lands eclipsed the 1,000 point plateau in his college career. Prior to tip-off of the Blue Demons’ blowout loss to #12 Villanova on Wednesday night, Coleman-Lands was honored with a brief ceremony commemorating the achievement.

DePaul Athletic Director Jean Lenti-Ponsetto and Head Coach Dave Leitao took part. “When you achieve a goal like that, you leave an indelible mark on this game that you’ve played for a long, long time,” Leitao said after the game.

“And when you go back and think as a 6-year-old, 8-year-old, 10-year-old, 12-year-old that you’re going to go to college and play at a high level and be able to score that amount of points, it’s a tremendous accomplishment and it means a lot to him and his family right now, but it will mean a tremendous amount more later on in his life.”

JCL led DPU in scoring that night with 17, a rare bright spot in what was just a brutal night for the Demons.

“Coming into this game, the guy that you fear getting open from three is Lands,” said Villanova coach Jay Wright after the game.

“He did a good job tonight and he’s someone that we’re always concerned about, because he can really get it going from three.”

He most certainly can, as during his freshman year, then at Illinois, Coleman-Lands broke the Illini record for three point field goals made by a freshman.

jalen coleman-lands

In a very down season, Jalen Coleman-Lands was a bright spot for Illinois in 2015-16.

It was his most efficient season, offensively, of his college career, but this season has been overall more productive as he’s established new career highs in scoring, rebounding and assists.

“He’s a dangerous offensive player,” Wright added.

His #5 was the same jersey numeral he wore at Illinois, with the official blessing of Deron Williams.

When it comes to favorite NBA players and teams, Coleman-Lands likes Steph Curry and Damian Lillard, pointing out that both guys played the two in college. He’s also a fan of the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers.

“I like how they (the Blazers) play, their style of play,” Lands said in our exclusive interview.

“And the Warriors they have been down a little bit, they got a lot of people hurt,” he told The Sports Bank after a resounding win over Georgetown Saturday night.

J. Cole also mentioned C.J. McCollum and Bradley Beal as some other favorite ballers of his.

The senior is hoping to get one more season out of his college career, as he applied for a NCAA medical waiver, due to all the missed injury time last season.

“Hopefully, I’ll get my year back that I got hurt in, I have a waiver pending, but we’ll see,” he said.

“Right now I’m trying to finish off as strong as possible. Win some games and hopefully we can play some games after that.”

He still keeps in touch with his former Illini teammates, including Miami Heat star Kendrick Nunn (we’ll cover in that our upcoming piece on Nunn), and of course, current teammate D.J. Williams, who was not just his teammate, but also his roommate at Illinois.

jalen coleman lands

“Kipper (Nichols) a little bit, but not as much, occasionally, but I’m still close with the guys,” the Indianapolis native said of keeping touch with Illini past and present.

“There are a lot of guys who graduated that live in Chicago, Tracy Abrams, Alex Austin, Maverick Morgan, we’re all interconnected.”

The former four star recruit and selection to the Jordan Brand Classic game is happy for the guys on his former team and all the success they have had. Illinois has been in and out of the national rankings this season, and have pretty much locked up a NCAA Tournament bid at this point.

“Some of the teammates I played with, I’m glad their hard work is starting to be seen in winning some games, I’m happy for ’em,” the La Lumiere high graduate added.

Reflecting on Wednesday night’s milestone, Jalen Coleman-Lands said:

“It was big time, I didn’t even realize I had a thousand points, so it was kind of heat of the moment, and it’s one of those (articles of) memorabilia that you can put down for your or kids or your family and something that you have to show for your hard work.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.


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