The Billikens have added yet another transfer, but this one will be eligible to play right away.
Saint Louis Billikens basketball coach Travis Ford sure has a knack for getting Division I transfers to want to attend SLU. Ford brought in three transfers shortly after being hired by the Billikens last spring, recruited another one during the middle of the season, and then added a fifth last month.
The never-ending transfer pursuit continued on Wednesday, as Seton Hall graduate transfer Rashed Anthony committed to the Billikens. Anthony, who will be entering his senior season, will be eligible to play immediately since he already completed his undergrad education at Seton Hall. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Stu Durando first reported the move on Wednesday afternoon.
The 6-foot-9, 235-pound Anthony was never a significant contributor for the Pirates, getting his most extensive action as a freshman, when he averaged 8.8 minutes, 1.4 rebounds, and 0.9 points per game. He’s mostly been parked on the bench for the past two seasons, averaging less than five minutes per game in both campaigns while failing to register a full point or rebound per game. Obviously, though, he provides physical presence and will bring some size to a Billikens team that doesn’t have a ton of it right now.
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The addition of Anthony provides the Billikens some extra protection in the paint for the 2017-18 campaign. Their most productive big man, Reggie Agbeko, finished up his career in March, and the status of center Elliott Welmer is in question following his second foot surgery in three years. Durando reports that Welmer is set to get back on the court shortly before the start of the season, but foot injuries are always risky with tall, gangly players like Welmer.
Rutgers transfer D.J. Foreman appears set to take over Agbeko’s role, but prior to Anthony’s addition, the only player the Billikens had to back him up was incoming freshman Hasahn French. With Anthony in the fold, they’ve got some extra protection in case French ends up being more raw than anticipated when he arrives on campus this summer.
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With the addition of Anthony, there will be seven players on the roster who began their collegiate careers at different institutions. In addition to Anthony and Foreman, transfers Adonys Henriquez and Javon Bess will see their first action with the Billikens at the beginning of the 2017-18 season. Ty Graves won’t be eligible until midseason, while Luis Santos will have to wait until the 2018-19 season to play again. In addition, walk-ons Aaron Hines (John Wood Community College) and Markos Psimitis (Harris-Stowe State University) began their careers at other schools before transferring to SLU.
All in all, also factoring in the additions of French and fellow freshman Jordan Goodwin, there will be at least seven players making their respective debuts with the Billikens in 2017-18.
Anthony’s addition leaves the Billikens with one remaining scholarship for the coming season. While they’ve hosted numerous unsigned prep players and Division I transfers, it would be kind of surprising if they didn’t give the leftover scholarship to Hines, who served as their starting point guard for almost all of the ’16-’17 season in the absence of Jermaine Bishop. In addition to giving Hines the reward he deserves for a strong performance last season, the decision to make him a scholarship player would leave three scholarships open for the ’18-’19 season–which basically would give Ford a license to recruit high school seniors and transfers in the coming year, since there are already two spots promised to prep commits Carte’are Gordon and Fred Thatch.