EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE men's basketball Head Coach Lennox Forrester has signed five newcomers to the program during the early signing period.
C.J. Carr (Rock Island, Ill.), Michael Chandler (Columbus, Georgia), Jalen Henry (Springfield, Ill.), Jake Newton (Terre Haute, Ind.), and Keenan Simmons (Michigan City, Ind.).
"I think we have a good balance with three freshmen and two junior college transfers," Forrester said of the recruiting class. "All of these young men are a great fit for SIUE because of their talents on the floor, in the classroom, and the values they bring to our program in the community."
Carr, a 5-foot, 7-inch point guard, is currently a senior at Rock Island High School. Carr was the Metro Player of the Year as chosen by the Dispatch-Argus as a junior. He was the All-Western Big 6 Player of the Year as well as an All-Metro choice by the Quad Cities Times. Carr also was a special mention All-State according to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.
"C.J. is a very explosive, very quick playmaker," Forrester said. "As a point guard, he is a tremendous ball-handler, passer, and scorer. He will also give us a presence on the ball defensively."
Chandler, a 6-8 forward, is a sophomore at Hill College in Hillsboro, Texas. Through five games this season, Chandler is fourth in the National Junior College Athletic Association with 5.6 blocks a game. His 12.2 rebounds per game are 11th best in the NJCAA.
"He is a big-time shot blocker," Forrester said of Chandler. "He gives us a strong presence both in blocking and in rebounding."
Henry, also a 6-8 forward, currently is a senior at Springfield Southeast High School. Henry averaged 10.3 points and nine rebounds per game as a junior. He was an All-Conference selection as a junior on the basketball court and is a three-time Academic All-Conference choice.
"Jalen is a very strong inside-outside player," Forrester said. "He plays extremely hard, and he can score with his back to the basket or by stepping out to shoot the ball."
Newton, is a 6-6 wing forward, who comes to SIUE from Lincoln Trail Community College. Newton was a first team All-Great Rivers Athletic Conference choice and a second team All-Region selection. He averaged 11.2 points and four rebounds per game last season.
"Jake is a very good shooter," Forrester said of Newton. "He has an incredibly high basketball I.Q. He is a very skilled and savvy player."
Simmons, a 6-6 forward, is a senior at Michigan City High School. As a junior, Simmons scored 14 points a game while also hauling in 11 rebounds per game for the Wolves.
"Kennan is extremely athletic and can play multiple positions for us," Forrester said. "He rebounds well, runs the floor well, and is a tireless worker."
"It's great to have five young men signing early. It says a lot about where we are as a program," Forrester added. "All five of these student-athletes are capable of contributing right away."