WO-S grad Paige transfers to LU from Indiana State

Published 10:42 am Thursday, September 28, 2017

BEAUMONT, Texas – The start of the 2017-18 regular season is more than a month away but the Lamar University coaching staff is already making plans for the following year with the addition of four NCAA Division I transfers. V.J. Holmes (James Madison), Jordan Hunter (New Mexico), Mike Kolawole (UIC) and Laquarious Paige (Indiana State) have transferred to LU announced head coach Tic Price Wednesday morning.

All four players are enrolled with the university and will have two years of eligibility with the program but will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

“I think these guys give us a certain advantage because they’ve been battled tested,” said Price. “All of these guys bring experience from their previous schools. They add maturity to our lineup both mentally and physically, and these are high-character guys. Although they will be sitting out this season, they will help our team now because our practices will become very competitive.”

In addition to adding four new players at guard, two of the four are from the Golden Triangle. A native of Beaumont, Hunter was a standout for Ozen High School guiding the Panthers to the 2015 Texas 5A State tournament. In similar fashion, Paige guided West Orange-Stark to a 28-9 record during his senior season.

“It’s always good to have that Southeast Texas connection,” said Price. “These guys decided to come back and be a part of Lamar University. They’re both very talented players who I believe fit what we’re trying to do here. In addition to that, they’re both high character guys. The fans in Southeast Texas will be very excited to see them play.”

Holmes (6-4, 185) took a circuitous route to Beaumont. After a standout career at the IMG Academy in Jupiter, Fla., Holmes signed with Otero Junior College where he was a starter during his freshman season. A point guard, Holmes averaged better than 10 points, six assists and five rebounds before transferring to James Madison for his sophomore season. He played in 25 games during his lone year at JMU.

“V.J. Holmes is very creative on the court. He sees the court real well,” said Price. “He is a pass first guard. Even though both he and Jordan are point guards, I believe we can have both of them on the court at the same time.”

Hunter (5-11, 180) signed with New Mexico after a senior season that saw him earn district MVP honors. He played in 29 games last season earning 12 starts for the Lobos. He averaged 5.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists for UNM. Hunter played in 28 games during his rookie season and came off the bench to average 2.3 points per game while shooting better than 41 percent from three-point range.

“I’ve watched Jordan since early in his high school career and the first thing everyone notices about this young man is he’s a winner,” said Price. “He had games in high school where he put his team on his back and carried them to victory. I’ve seen him completely take over games. When he gets it going, he can become a real threat.”

Kolawole spent the first two years of his collegiate career at Illinois-Chicago (UIC). During that time he played in 65 games making 27 starts for the Flames. He averaged better than five points per game as a freshman and upped his production during conference contests scoring nearly eight points per game (7.7). He followed that up by scoring 5.2 points per game as a sophomore while shooting nearly 46 percent from the field.

“We like our wings to be athletic, and Mike really fits that mold,” said Price. “He has the ability to be one of our better defenders. He can be a lockdown guy defensively. He is what some folks call a gym rat. He will stay in the gym trying to get better. He really works on his three-point shooting, and that continues to improve. The thing I like about him most is his approach to the game.”


Paige signed with Indiana State after a standout prep career at West Orange-Stark High School. A former district MVP in high school, Paige averaged better than 22 minutes per game primarily in a reserve role this past season. He made an impact while on the court, averaging nearly seven points per game for the Sycamores. He shot nearly 47 percent from the field, including a 36-percent clip from beyond the arc.

“I really like Laquarious’ athleticism,” said Price. “He is more of a driver and slasher, but he is also a young man who you know is going to compete every night. I think the more people watch him play, he will really bring our fans to their feet.”

The four additions at the guard spot fill an immediate for the Cardinals, as LU will graduate three guards at the end of the season including two point guards. Zjori Bosha, Joey Frenchwood and Torey Noel are all entering their final seasons with the Red and White.