SLU Signs Two on National Signing Day


Everything’s getting bigger in St. Louis, at least for the Billikens’ basketball team. After signing 6’9″ Brett Jolly and 6’11” Austin Gillmann last year, Coach Crews’ staff added two more giants for 2015 with Matt Neufeld (6’11”) and Elliot Welmer (6’9″). Both come to SLU after completing a year in prep school, after 4 years of high school.

Matt Neufeld comes to Saint Louis by way of Victoria, Canada, and then Sunrise Christian Academy. In his senior season at Lambrick Park Secondary School, Matt averaged 18.5 points with 14 boards and 4.5 blocks per game. Reminds me a lot of 2014 commit Brett Jolly with how well he finishes near the rim. Great footwork, and moves quickly on the post. Also, not afraid to step outside and can knock down contested 3’s consistently. None of the major recruiting websites give him any stars, which I think is absurd. He’s very talented, and could play himself into the starting lineup next season.

ESPN says Welmer “owns a good build with long arms and wide shoulders that should fill out nicely in the coming years”. He’s a late bloomer, and could still add a few inches in the years to come. This accounts for the year of prep school, to help him learn how to use his new length. He’s ranked as a 3-star recruit on ESPN, and earned 2 stars from In his senior season at Columbus North (Indianapolis) High School, Elliot dropped close to 16 points per game and grabbed 8 boards. Not necessarily eye-opening numbers, but the talk around is that the year of prep school really helped him out, and has made him more college ready. The little video that there is of him shows good hands and footwork. His outside game leaves something to be desired, but he can hit an open 3 or 15 footer if asked to. Overall, pretty good upside. Nothing really jumps out from his highlights, but he has the upside to turn into an important contributor in years to come.

Overall, good recruiting start for 2015 from Coach Crews. Both players have the skill set that fit into SLU’s system. Neufeld is the better of the two, in my opinion, but not enough has been seen of either of them to fully know. Moving forward to other targets, guards Ronnie Suggs and Nych Smith are the only ones currently on the radar for 2015. The real test of this program will be the 2016 class, where Coach Crews will have the chance to attract top prospects Jayson Tatum and Tyler Cook to join their neighborhood program (both attend Chaminade High School in St. Louis).