Colorado men’s basketball signs NAIA Player of the Year Elijah Malone

It’s not often that players make the jump from NAIA to Division I hoops. Yet Colorado men’s basketball head coach Tad Boyle is making that leap happen for Elijah Malone, a 6-foot-10 center who signed with the Buffs on Monday.

Malone spent the last four years playing at Grace College, helping the Lancers to a 34-2 record and the NAIA Fab Four last season. Malone averaged 17.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game en route to winning the 2023-24 NAIA National Player of the Year. As a junior, he was a first-team All-American.

While his size helped him dominate, Malone’s athleticism and coordination showcased his well-rounded offensive game. He shot 65.3% from the field, 39.4% from deep and 72.2% at the stripe over four years with the Lancers.

Malone was active on the defensive end as well, averaging 2.5 blocks as a junior while earning Crossroads League All-Defensive honors.

Malone joins a Colorado transfer class that includes Division II standout Trevor Baskin and former Washington State forward Andrej Jakimovski. All three players have one year of eligibility left.

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Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire