Nathan Bilyeu
Nathan Bilyeu


Ozark, Mo.

High School:
Ozark High

Height / Weight:
6-6 / 215


At Missouri State

Nathan Bilyeu enters the senior season of a career which has seen increasing productivity all accomplished by a work ethic second to none from the product of nearby Ozark High School. Bilyeu's numbers have gone up steadily since the start of his Missouri State playing days, and he has a chance to reach 1,000 career points and 700 rebounds if he stays healthy. His tremendous effort in every game and every day in practice has had him in the Bears' starting lineup about two thirds of the time since the start of his playing career at MSU back in 2003. Bilyeu is often at a size disadvantage but remains an effective scorer and rebounder in the lane and his overall athletic skills enable him to function in any role on the floor. Bilyeu will be one of the Bears' co-captains this year.


Bilyeu led the Bears in rebounding last year, was fourth in foul line accuracy on an excellent free-throw shooting team, was within two of the team lead in assists and led the ballclub in steals. His final 9.0 scoring average reflects the balance he brought to the attack with 13 double-figure point performances with a season high of 19 in the Bears' upset of 25th ranked UNI in Cedar Falls. Bilyeu led the Bears in scoring in four games, paced the team in rebounding 14 times and was the MSU assist leader in 10 games. He was an all-tournament choice at the Price Cutter Classic in December in Hammons after he had a point-rebound double-double against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the championship game.


Bilyeu wasn't a big scorer for as a sophomore but he was a steady producer in all phases of the game, including providing reliable defense. He had just two double figures efforts on the boards with 12 in the Bears' big home win over Southern Illinois and 11 against UNI in the Valley tournament, but he averaged a steady 4.8 a game. That figure was second on the ballclub only to Tamarr Maclin, who led the league in rebounding. Bilyeu had eight double-figure scoring outings, and they came in bunches, including back-to-back 12-point games at home at the beginning of December, three in a row at the end of January and three in a row at the end of February. His top scoring effort was a 15-point game at home vs. Illinois State (2/26). Bilyeu was a steady producer from the foul line all season as his .765 accuracy mark from the stripe was fourth best on the team while Bilyeu had the second highest total of free throws attempted of anyone on the team. Bilyeu moved into the lineup in early January and started the last 22 games of the season. Bilyeu's numbers made big gains in the State Farm MVC tourney as he averaged 8.7 points and 7.3 boards.


Bilyeu's numbers climbed all year, with his six double-figure scoring efforts coming after he joined the starting lineup at Drake (1/25). His top scoring game was 13 points at Indiana State and he had 12 each vs. SIU and Creighton. Bilyeu's rebound average nearly doubled from the time he joined the starting lineup. He grabbed nine vs. SIU, eight in road games at Indiana State and SIU and seven twice.


Bilyeu led the Ozark Tigers of coach Steve Hunter to an 80-16 record in three years, with three Central Ozark titles, two district titles, and a Class 4 state title. Bilyeu was an all-state first teamer as a senior with all-Ozarks, all-conference and all-district honors. He got 18 points and nine rebounds a game as a senior with all-tourney honors in the Bass Pro Tourney of Champs at Hammons. He was also a standout football quarterback at OHS and won all-state honors there as well as basketball. His prep jersey in basketball has been retired by Ozark High School.


Nathaniel Lesley Bilyeu was born Feb. 4, 1985, in Springfield, Mo., the son of Donnie and Laurie Bilyeu. Sister Goldie played volleyball at Middle Tennessee and Megan played volleyball at State Fair College. Nathan is majoring in outdoor recreation.

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