While his 10-point scoring average and 7.8 rebounds per game were overshadowed at times during Edwardsville's 31-3 season, Division I recruiters never lost sight of 6-foot, 5-inch senior forward Armon Fletcher.
Fletcher continued to see his recruiting stock rise and he recently made a verbal commitment to Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He believes the Salukis are a solid fit that offers a chance at early playing time.
"I felt that SIU had the best offer," said Fletcher, who also considered SIU-Edwardsville, Lindenwood-St. Charles and several other schools. "They have a great engineering program there and the schooling part was great. It's nice and close to home, so my family can come see me play and I'm not too far from home, so I can come see my family, too."
Fletcher hit 61 percent of his shots last season and also had 56 assists and 75 steals. His strong inside work and athleticism were a key reason Edwardsville went 31-3 and finished in third place at the Class 4A state tournament.
Fletcher cited the recruiting work done by Salukis coach Barry Hinson as another reason he chose SIUC.
"Coach Hinson's a great guy, he really takes that role of being a father figure and loves you like one of his own children," said Fletcher, who played with the Southwest Illinois Jets this summer. "I had a great summer with the Jets and it was a great experience to be out there playing against some of the top players in the country."
Fletcher said the state tourney trip last season has only made the returning players that much hungrier.
"Pretty much everybody's good up north, so when you go to state you've got to bring your A-game," Fletcher said. "It was one of those experiences you want to re-live over and over again. I want to be that guy to be there for my teammates and do whatever I can to get us a victory."
Edwardsville graduated Western Illinois recruit Garret Covington and fellow senior star Tre' Harris. Harris has enrolled at a prep school, the Fishburne Military School in Virginia.
The Tigers' two top returning starters are Fletcher and senior point guard Shawn Roundtree. Edwardsville also picked up a significant addition in senior guard transfer Trevor Clay.
Clay, a 6-1 shooting guard, averaged 18.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists for a 22-5 Crossroads team in Missouri. The Tigers also got Clay's younger brother, 6-foot-3 forward Kameron Clay.