Nov. 13, 2009
EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is proud to announce its newest additions to the men's basketball team. Gerald Jones (St. Louis) and Michael Messer (Wildwood, Mo.) have signed National Letters of Intent to play men's basketball for the 2010-2011 season.
SIUE Coach Lennox Forrester said he is excited about Jones and Messer joining the Cougars' team.
Jones is a 6-foot guard from McCluer South-Berkeley High School where his father, Gerald "Dink" Jones, is the basketball coach. Last season, Jones averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and five steals per game at McCluer South-Berkeley.
In addition to his high school basketball achievements, Jones played AAU basketball for Team Rameybasketball.com (formerly the St. Louis Falcons basketball team).
"Jones is a strong guard who has the ability to break down defenders and get to the rim," said Forrester. "He has really worked hard to develop into a good shooter as well. We will expect big things from him over the next four years. He is a coach's son with a very high basketball IQ."
Messer is a 6-5 shooting guard and small forward from Lafayette High School. He averaged 10.7 points per game last season in helping his high school team to a 19-9 record last season.
Messer plays for the St. Louis Gateway AAU team and has helped his team achieve an AAU Division I National Tournament record of 32-4 while finishing among the top five teams in the nation four times.
"Basketball wise, Messer is what I call a big guard. He can play the two or the three for us," said Forrester. "He is a highly-skilled player who will fit into our system perfectly. Michael has an unbelievable work ethic. He is a kid of very high character who will fit in great with our team. He has competed at a very high level playing with the St Louis Gateway AAU program and will no doubt be ready for the rigors of Division I basketball."
SIUE opens the 2009-10 season later today at Illinois. Game time is 7 p.m.