STARKVILLE, Miss. - Jalen Steele put together quite the impressive resume during his prep career, one that caught the attention of collegiate coaches nationwide. Now, he looks to build an even more impressive resume on the college level at Mississippi State.
On Wednesday, Bulldogs coach Rick Stansbury announced the signing of Steele, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound guard out of Fulton High School in Knoxville, Tenn.
As Tennessee's Mr. Basketball in Class AA, he led the Falcons to two state championships and was a four-year starter for Fulton coach Jody Wright.
As a senior, he averaged 24.1 points. 6.4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals and became the first player in school history to reach 2,000 points for a career. During his illustrious career, he scored 30-plus points seven times, including a career-high of 46 in the Region 2AA playoffs earlier this year en route to earning the Knoxville News' player of the year honors for the second time.
Stansbury, who'll be entering his 13th year on the MSU sidelines next season, compares Steele, who drained 122 3-pointers this past year after connecting on 219 as a junior, to Barry Stewart, a former Tennessee prep standout who just completed his collegiate eligibility at Mississippi State as the all-time leader in minutes played and 3-pointers made.
And it should be noted those comparisons come on both ends of the floor.
"He's got a great defensive mind," Stansbury acknowledged. "He's got great strength. And he's got one thing you can't teach, and that's the ability to shoot that basketball. But the thing that really stands out is his family. They are very supportive of him, and they are great people."
As a junior, Steele averaged 20.9 points after totaling 16.1 as a sophomore. As a freshman, he averaged 11.9. And during his four years with the Falcons, he averaged 4.5 rebounds, collected 199 steals and dished out 153 assists while shooting 49 percent from the floor.