Saint Louis Athletics

One-time Saint Louis guard Christian Salecich joins SIU-Edwardsville program

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After playing one season at Missouri Southern, one-time Saint Louis guard Christian Salecich was not allowed to play during the 2012-13 season.

Why? Salecich played a year of basketball in Australia after graduating from high school, but before enrolling at SLU, resulting in the NCAA denying Missouri Southern’s request for an eligibility waiver.

Apparently he’s regained that lost season of eligibility, as Salecich announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he’ll be able to play at SIU-Edwardsville next season.

Prior to averaging 6.3 points per game in his lone season at Missouri Southern, Salecich averaged 4.5 points per game in two seasons at Saint Louis. Salecich joins Tim Johnson, who averaged 7.3 points per game in his first season at SIU-Edwardsville after transferring in from Tulane, as the lone seniors in the backcourt for the Cougars.

Head coach Lennox Forrester has now added five newcomers to the program this offseason, with three being junior college transfer. He’ll also be able to call on transfers Donivine Stewart and Grant Fiorentinos, who both had to sit out the 2012-13 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

UMass freshman Pipkins waiting to be cleared

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One of the potential impact freshman in the Atlantic 10 is still waiting to be cleared by the NCAA.

Luwane Pipkins, who committed to UMass as a Rivals150 prospect back in May 2014, is still waiting to hear from NCAA Eligibility Center as the Minutemen enter the first week of practice, according to Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

“He hasn’t been deemed anything yet by the NCAA,” UMass head coach Derek Kellogg told reporters on Monday. “He’s in limbo to a certain extent. He’s been running the hills of Amherst on his own and doing some things to stay in shape while we wait on his outcome.”

The 5-foot-10 point guard did not make the Minutemen’s trip to Europe this summer; needing to finish high school coursework before heading to Amherst for the fall semester.

Pipkins, rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals, could be a big part of the future for UMass basketball. Trey Davis and Jabari Hines are set to graduate this year, leaving the ball duties in the hands of the Chicago native. Kellogg has hit the recruiting trail hard in recent months, securing commitments from guards DeJon Jarreau and Unique McLean, as well as forwards Chris Baldwin and Brison Gresham, adding to a group of returners for the 2016-17 season that should include Pipkins and shooting guard Donte Clark.

UMass opens the 2015-16 season against Howard on Nov. 14 at home.


Missouri lands three-star power forward Reed Nikko

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Missouri landed its third commit in the Class of 2016, as power forward Reed Nikko announced his commitment on Monday night via Twitter.

“Couldn’t be happier to announce that I’m commiting to The University of Missouri for basketball,” he tweeted, attached with a thank you note to family, coaches and teammates.

Nikko, who attends Maple Grove Senior High in Minnesota, was in Columbia, on an official, visit this past weekend. He had scheduled an official visit to Kansas State scheduled this weekend, according to Rivals, which rates him as a three-star recruit.

The 6-foot-9 power forward joins small forward Willie Jackson and center Mitchell Smith in Kim Anderson’s current recruiting class.