The coaching carousel hit the Salukis and Illinois State when both men’s basketball head coaches left under different circumstances: Chris Lowery was fired March 28 and Tim Jankovich left April 26 to become the associate head coach at Southern Methodist University.
The two moves eventually led Anthony Beane Sr., an assistant for Jankovich at Illinois State, to SIU as an assistant coach and the last of three coaches named to coach Barry Hinson’s staff. Beane Sr. was formally introduced as an assistant coach Monday alongside associate head coach Tom Hankins, assistant coach Terrance McGee and director of basketball operations Nate Mast.
“It’s the nature of our business; things change,” Beane Sr. said of Jankovich’s departure from Illinois State. “But (my family and I) are really glad that (God) led us here.”
Hinson said Hankins, who was officially hired April 20, kept telling Hinson to be patient when he was still looking for another assistant, and that the search might need to go into the summer. But Beane Sr. became available once Jankovich left, and Hinson said he was the perfect candidate because of his familiarity with the area and the league.
Beane Sr. also had a former Illinois State signee follow him to SIU: his son Anthony Beane Jr. a senior guard out of Normal Community High School originally signed a letter of intent to play for Beane Sr. at Illinois State, but he was granted his release May 18 after his father left.
“As a father, it’s been a real pleasure to watch his development from his freshman year all the way to now,” Beane Sr. said about his son, who was a two-time All-State player in 2011 and 2012.
Hinson said he initially thought Beane Jr. was a junior in high school and he wasn’t going to pressure Beane Sr. into making his son sign with SIU.
“That was kind of a funny part of the deal,” Hinson said. “I said (to Beane Sr.), ‘Well, this proves my point Anthony, I’m really trying to sign you first.’”
Beane Jr. is one of two recruits Hinson snagged to play for SIU in the 2012-2013 season. The signing of Jalen Pendleton, a senior guard out of Bosse High School in Evansville, Ind., was also announced Monday.
Pendleton was a two-sport star in high school. He guided the basketball team to a Class 3A semistate berth after he quarterbacked their football team. Hankins said a lot of schools recruited Pendleton for football, but he choose basketball instead, and Hankins said he’s athletic enough to play either guard position.
“He’s a fantastic athlete,” Hankins said. “He’s big and strong. I can see him being a tremendous defender in time, and we definitely think he is a Valley-level athlete.”
McGee, who was hired as an assistant coach April 19, is in charge of recruiting for Hinson. He said he learned a very thorough approach to recruiting from Ric Wesley, who was an associate head coach at Southwest Missouri State under Hinson from 1999-2004 and McGee’s former boss at Grand Valley State University.
“He made sure that in recruiting, I’m very thorough: find out who’s his friend, who’s his girlfriend, his mom, his dad, his preacher,” McGee said. “We were very thorough because we were a Division II school.”
Mast was hired May 19 as the director of basketball operations. He led Parkland Junior College to a NJCAA Division II national tournament appearance in the 2011-2012 season and he played for the University of Illinois in 2001 when Kansas coach Bill Self was hired to coach the Illini.
He joined Self in an administrative capacity in 2004, but left in 2007 before Hinson was hired as Self’s director of basketball operations. Mast said Hinson and Self are very similar, so Hinson will be easy to work with.