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Colorado State inks former Navy standout J.J. Avila

Apr 22, 2013, 4:20 PM EDT

Larry Eustachy

Colorado State scored another commitment for its 2013 class this weekend from former Navy standout J.J. Avila.

Avila, the 2011 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, spent last season taking classes at a South Texas College in his hometown of McAllen, Texas, but did not play basketball.

In his two seasons at the Naval Academy, the 6-7, 246-pound Avila averaged 13.3 points and 6.1 rebounds for the Midshipmen. He also shot 80.4 percent from the free throw line. He was reportedly set to transfer to Richmond after leaving Navy, but academic issues forced him to head home for a year.

As a sophomore in 2011-12, Avila poured in 15.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 48.6 percent from the field. He’ll have two years of eligibility remaining and can play immediately. Avila is the second forward to transfer into the Rams program for 2013, joining Paris (Texas) Junior College big man Marcus Holt.

Signing Avila will help ease the loss of six seniors, including center Colton Iverson and forward Pierce Hornung. Avila seems to fit the mold of Hornung, who at 6-6 averaged 8.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and shot 54.5 percent from the field.

Larry Eustachy seems to be getting a solid combo-guy in Avila, a guy who can play both forward spots and is a wide-body who can bang despite being a bit undersized. Avila has been working out and playing in men’s leagues back home, the story says.

It’ll be interesting to see how the year away from the game affects him, especially moving up in competition from the Patriot League to the Mountain West Conference, which looks like it could stay somewhat as brutal as it was last season.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

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