Bobcat men get perimeter help

BOZEMAN — Brian Fish scratched two items off his off-season to-do list Wednesday, when his Montana State men’s basketball program added a pair of dynamic perimeter players. Devonte Klines, a 6-2 guard, and 6-6 forward Joe Mvuezolo, Jr., each signed National Letters-of-Intent to join the Bobcats.

Klines, a combo guard, brings versatility and toughness to the Bobcat backcourt, Fish said, while Mvuezolo adds athleticism and scoring punch on the wing. The two joined the program on the first day of the NCAA’s spring signing period. “This is a good start to the spring recruiting,” Fish said, “but we have more work to do.”

Klines is a 6-2 guard who comes to MSU with three seasons of eligibility. As a freshman at Saddleback College in California, the Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., native averaged 7.2 points in his 33 games, shooting 43.9% from the floor and 39.2% from three-point range. A second team all-conference selection as a freshman last season, he averaged 1.7 boards and 1.2 assists a game. Klines earned All-CIF honors as the point guard on Santa Margarita’s championship club during his senior season, and his 17 assists in one game broke Klay Thompson’s school record.

Fish likes Klines’ production, but loves his intangibles as the Bobcats work to replace senior point guard Marcus Colbert. “Devonte is a combo guard with some toughness,” Fish said, “and he has three years of eligibility. That balances our classes out. He’s won championships at every level he’s played at, and I certainly like that about him. I think he can be an impactful guy for us. I was always worried about losing Marcus’ toughness, so hopefully Devonte can bring that to our program.”

Originally from London, England, Mvuezolo averaged 10.3 points and 3.5 rebounds a game at Miami Dade College this season. The 6-6 forward shot 41% from the floor, and his 39% three-point shooting was 69th in the National Junior College Athletic Association. Mvuezolo who prepped at Barking Abbey in London, a school that produced at least four Division I players a year ago. He earned First Team All-Southern Conference honors as a freshman at Miami Dade, averaging 10 points and three rebounds a game, and second team honors this season.

Mvuezolo brings a diverse skill set to the Bobcat program, Fish said. “Joe is a 6-6 wing that could be our best athlete,” Fish said. “His length and ability to shoot the basketball are very enticing, but his athleticism combined with his ability to shoot the ball give us something we sorely need.”

Fish said the Bobcats’ work during the spring signing period isn’t finished, and that MSU’s staff continues to work on improving the squad. “Every time there’s a recruiting period it’s important for your program. You can’t let one miss, you can’t let one pass. We talk about it all the time as a staff, you have to be ready for every signing day so you can be out in front of it and ready to improve your program.”

–MSU Sports Information

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