Thik Bol signs with Salukis

By Austin Miller, @AMiller_DE

SIU men’s basketball made the transfer of 6-foot-8 forward Thik Bol official, announcing Wednesday the Sudan native has signed on to join the Salukis squad with two years of eligibility.

Bol, who last played at Iowa Western Community College, finished in the top five of the NJCAA in blocks each of his two seasons as a Reiver, including being No. 1 with 4.9 as a freshman.

He started 28 of 30 games last season and averaged 10.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.3 blocks.

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“He is just a tremendous shot blocker,” said Reivers head coach Jim Morris in a release Wednesday. “He’s just a bouncy, quick leaper, a good rebounder and he’s getting better offensively. There were about 20 schools recruiting him and all said they needed him as a rim protector. The Missouri Valley Conference is a very good level for him. He could probably use another 20 pounds, but he’s a really good kid, zero maintenance, goes to school and does fine academically.”

Junior forward Sean O’Brien led the Salukis with 29 blocks this past season, while Bol had 102. The Salukis had just 63 blocks last season — last in the MVC.

“I’ve always said it’s important to recruit kids who come out of well-established programs, and [head coach] Jim Morris has developed some great players at Iowa Western,” coach Barry Hinson told SIU Athletics. “For our program, we’re always looking to get something that we don’t have. We’ve not had anybody in our program with the ability to alter or block shots like this young man. He will have the opportunity to have an immediate impact on our program.”

The move helps bolster the Saluki frontcourt with the impending graduations of senior centers Ibby Djimde and Deng Leek.

Austin Miller can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3333

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