The SIU men's basketball team already picked up two Carbondale Community High School players Darius Beane and Kani Acree during the fall signing period. But SIU Head Coach Barry Hinson wasn't done there as the Salukis inked St. Louis Academy forward Amadou Fall to finalize its fall recruiting class.
Fall is short on actual game experience as he's only played organized basketball for the past three years in the United States. He originates from an African basketball academy which sends prospects to the states to earn collegiate scholarships.
Hinson is no stranger to recruiting African prospects. Thik Bol is a current example of such recruits on the current roster.
Fall's recruiting story, although short on too many details, is interesting. According to Hinson, the coaches didn't watch him play in an actual live game during the recruiting process. In fact, the Salukis were interested in him as soon as he stepped foot in America.
"Sure, we haven't seen him in a game, but Coach Beane (Anthony), I and all the coaches have watched him live at St. Louis Christian Academy practices," Hinson said. "Every once in a while, as a college coach, you are able to get some one that no one knows about yet. We discovered Amadou literally a week or two after he arrived in the states."
Hinson said he felt he needed to move fast before other programs found out about Fall.
"If we hadn't signed him when we did, big-time programs would have moved in for him during or after the period," Hinson said.
Fall's high school coach Casey Autenrieth has recently said schools such as Tulsa and St. Louis have stopped near the high school to look at him.
"I expected that his recruiting would have really picked up if SIU hadn't signed him when they did," said Autenrieth in an interview on 1 Africa Focus.com.
Autenrieth said Fall's skills will translate to the Division I college game.
"He's got great length," Autenrieth said. "But he has the ability to step out to 15 (feet) and can (make) jumpers too."