Daily Egyptian

Saluki basketball class of 2016 update

By Sean Carley, @SCarleyDE

After having its best season since 2007-08, men’s hoops will have to reload its roster to repeat its success.

SIU basketball is losing its No. 3 all-time scorer in Anthony Beane, as well as two post players — centers Ibby Djimde and Deng Leek — to graduation this coming May. In addition, the team had two players, guard Aaron Siler and forward Jeremy Postell, drop from the team midseason.

The Dawgs have four players lined up to try to help fill the hole these players leave on the team:

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Aaron Cook — Westminster (Mo.) Christian Academy

After not having a true point guard before last season, next season’s team will have two. Cook, a 6-foot-1 guard, will likely play the backup point guard role behind rising senior Mike Rodriguez.

Cook helped lead the Westminster Wildcats to a 19-5 record and a district semifinals appearance. Cook outscored the entire opposing team with 46 points in a 70-38 victory in a game last season.

The Wildcat guard received a myriad of honors after the season, including being named Conference Player of the Year, Class IV First Team All-State by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association and St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK’s All-Metro team.

Cook is one of two future Salukis to sign a letter of intent on national signing day Nov. 11.

Brendon Gooch — Belleville Althoff Catholic High School

Across the Mississippi river in Belleville, a state champion is coming to SIU.

Gooch, the second letter of intent signee, helped lead the Crusaders to the Illinois High School Association Class 3A championship with a 30-2 record. He averaged eight points and nine rebounds per game in Althoff’s state tournament run.

He was Illinois Class 3A All-State honorable mention the past two seasons.

A 6-foot-6 guard, Gooch will add needed length to the Salukis.

The former Crusader played for the Southwestern Illinois Jets for travel ball — the same program that current and former Salukis Deion Lavender, Armon Fletcher and Tyler Smithpeters played for.

Jeremy Roscoe — Chicago Uplift / Victory Rock (Bradenton, Fla.) Prep

Roscoe is the third guard of the 2016 class, verbally committing Jan. 25.

He is currently playing a postgraduate prep year at Victory Rock Preparatory Academy and will still have four years of eligibility.

Roscoe’s senior season of high school, his Uplift Community Titans won the IHSA Class 2A championship, going 28-5 on the season.

In that campaign, Roscoe averaged 14.5 points, 4.4 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game.

Thik Bol — Iowa Western Community College

The Salukis’ latest commitment is also their tallest.

Bol is a 6-foot-8 shot-blocking forward who will have two years of eligbility at SIU.

He averaged 10.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game for the Reivers last year.

Bol’s freshman year was even more impressive defensively, leading the NJCAA with 4.9 blocks per game. SIU as a team averaged 1.9 blocks per game last season.

The former Reiver also earned All-Region XI Second Team in his freshman circuit.

After losing Djimde and Leek, Bol seems to be the replacement to their roles.

SIU has one more scholarship to hand out for 2016.

Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected] or at 618-536-3307

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