Duquesne came across Jordan Stevens by accident, really. Dukes assistant coach Brian Nash was in West Burlington, Iowa, Feb. 26 to scout guard Dinjiyl Walker in Iowa Western C.C.'s semifinal matchup against Southeastern C.C. Walker scored 20 points that night, but Stevens scored 34 on 13-of-21 shooting to lift Southeastern to an 88-71 victory.
Nash quickly penciled Stevens, a 6-foot-1 combo guard, at the top of Duquesne's junior-college watch list. Stevens was on the Dukes' radar, and now they were on his, too. The very next night, Duquesne shocked the college basketball world by knocking off No. 10 Saint Louis on the road to snap the Billikens' win streak at 19 games.
Assistant coach Rich Glesmann was in Ottumwa, Iowa, March 1 for a second look at Stevens. Southeastern lost, 93-89, against Indian Hills, but Stevens scored a season-high 38 points on 14-of-24 shooting.
Stevens visited the Bluff last week and officially committed to Duquesne and head coach Jim Ferry Monday night to close the books on the Dukes' 2014 recruiting class, joining forward TySean Powell and guards Eric James and Rene Castro, who will sit out the 2014-15 season after transferring from Butler.
Until recently, Stevens held only mid-major offers, the likes of St. Mary's, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Quinnipiac, but he was also offered by Oklahoma last week.
Stevens, a Columbia, Mo., native, averaged 19.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game as a sophomore and was named to an NJCAA first-team All-American — he shot 46.2 percent from the floor, 33.3 percent from 3-point range and 78.3 percent on free throws. He will have two years of eligibility at Duquesne.
Stevens is, first and foremost, a scorer. The lefty averaged 16 shots per game this season and scored 24.1 points per game in conference play. He scored more than 30 points seven times in two seasons at Southeastern, including a 41-point performance against Indian Hills as a freshman.
Tra'Vaughn White's departure earlier this month left an opening for Stevens as a backup to junior guard Micah Mason and an occasional fill-in at point guard for junior Derrick Colter. The coaching staff expects Stevens and Mason will mesh well if used together — Stevens as the slasher, Mason as the sharp-shooter from distance.
White, too, was a prolific scorer at the junior-college level, but he couldn't replicate his success in the Atlantic 10 and struggled mightily to defend with his diminutive 5-10 frame. At 6-1, Stevens appears to be a better fit as a plug-and-play transfer and can match the quickness of Ferry's up-tempo transition offense. He and the other members of the recruiting class will be on campus to join the team in June.