In 2013-14 6-foot-3 guard Tyler Smithpeters started 12 of the 28 games in which he played last season, posting averages of 4.8 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. Unfortunately for Smithpeters any plans of him earning more opportunities in 2014-15 were put on hold earlier this month, as he was reportedly suspended for a violation of the school’s student code of conduct policy.
Wednesday the basketball program announced that the sophomore has been reinstated by the basketball program and is now practicing, according to Todd Hefferman of The Southern Illinoisan. The basketball program issued the following statement on Smithpeters’ updated status:
“Southern Illinois University men’s basketball head coach Barry Hinson announced today that sophomore guard Tyler Smithpeters has rejoined team practices. Earlier in the week, Hinson told local media that Smithpeters was not practicing with the team while dealing with a personal matter. University privacy guidelines prohibit Hinson from making further comments related to the nature of Smithpeters’ recent absence from the team.”
Smithpeters rejoining the program comes one day after he was allowed to resume attending classes on campus. Southern Illinois, which finished the 2013-14 season with a 14-19 record (9-9 Missouri Valley), returns two of its top three scorers from last season in guards Anthony Beane Jr. (14.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg) and Jalen Pendleton (9.1, 3.5).
The Salukis will have to account for the loss of Desmar Jackson, who accounted for 18.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.4 steals per contest as a redshirt senior.