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UJ's Cooper Olson and John Argue come to the Jimmies from the NCAA level

They are the eighth and ninth players since 2009 to transfer into the Jimmies program from the NCAA level.

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For the first time since the 2017-18 season, the University of Jamestown men’s basketball team has NCAA transfers on the roster. The Jimmies have John Argue from NCAA Division III school, LeTourneau University, and Cooper Olson from NCAA Division II school, the University of Mary.

Argue spent his first two seasons as a member of the Yellow Jackets, playing in 39 games. In his last season, the Texas native averaged 15 points and 7.6 rebounds per game on 49% shooting. Olson played in two games for the Marauders in the 2020-21 season, grabbing two rebounds.

Argue decided to leave the Yellow Jackets program when the head coach who recruited him, Dan Miller, left for a new job.

“My two years at Letourneau were really good. The main thing was just I needed a new environment that fit my play style a little more and Letourneau just got a new head coach,” Argue said. “So, that went with it a little bit, but I just felt like I needed a new place where I fit in with the team’s play style a little more.”

Olson decided to leave the Marauders program after a similar coaching change.


“It all happened after the old coach, Joe Kittell, left,” Olson said. “He wasn’t the head coach there anymore and then a new guy came in and there was just some personal stuff with that.”

The work ethic that the Jimmies have in practice is one of things that Argue said drew him to come play at UJ.

“I saw how close they were with each other. I played an open gym with them and the intensity level was there. They were playing almost like it was a playoff game and it was just an open gym,” Argue said. “That’s when I knew, this is where I want to be, where I know the team plays this hard and is this passionate.”

This season, Argue is averaging 4.4 points per game and five rebounds per game in five games. While Olson, despite playing sparingly as a result of being redshirted, has appeared in one game averaging five points per game.

“Both of them have good size and really compete with our starters in practices,” Jimmies head coach Danny Neville said.

Neville and his staff did their research through the transfer portal and in different areas when learning of Argue and Olson’s desire to come to the Jimmies.

“The transfer portal, that’s the recruiting for transfers now, it’s just seeing them in the portal,” Neville said. “Obviously, doing our research and taking a good look at them and asking people that we trust and know about them.”

Argue and Olson are not the first players in program history to transfer from the NCAA level to the NAIA level. There have been seven players before them since the 2009-10 season, including Vlad Stoicoviciu who transferred to the Jimmies from NCAA Division I school, the University of South Dakota. The most recent player to come into the program was Ben Weisbeck in the 2017-18 season, who transferred from DIII school Augustana University.


The differences between the level of play at the division II level and the NAIA level are not that stark, Olson said.

“I think the NCAA DII level and the NAIA ball here are very similar. In some cases, I would say the NAIA level are more competitive and there are some guys that are more skilled than the Division II guys,” Olson said. “Even when I came in for open gym at Jamestown on my visit, it was definitely noticeable that our guys are really good here.”

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