In a period of transition, the Southwestern Illinois College Blue Storm men’s basketball program may have hit the recruiting jackpot on Monday.
Calling him ‘potentially one of the top 5 recruits in over 30 years,’ Blue Storm coach Jay Harrington announced that Assanti Patterson from Dayton, Ohio is one of two players who have signed to attend SWIC beginning in the’16-17 season.
Patterson, a 6-foot-4 1/2 combination point/off guard, attended Planet Academy in Phoenix this past season where he averaged 26 points per game. Patterson also attended Indiana Elite Prep School this past season and is considered one of the top players in the nation.
“I said potentially, he’s one of the top five players we’ve recruited here SWIC. Assanti’s still got to prove it on the court,’’ Harrington said. “We played Planet Academy this season in our Blue Storm Tournament. That’s where we first saw Assanti play. There were two kids we really liked. One of them has signed with Boston College and there was Assanti. He’s got a whole bunch of big time NCAA Division I programs who are recruiting him.’’
While Patterson has signed with SWIC, he may or may not be with the Blue Storm when the season begins in November. Because of a situation involving academic credits, Patterson was told by the NCAA that he could not attend an NCAA Division I school. Patterson has appealed the decision and if the decision is overturned, Harrington said there is a very good chance Patterson will be signed by a Division I program.
“If the NCAA grants his appeal, then I would think an NCAA Division I program would snatch him up,’’ Harrington said. “Assanti is a combination guard who can do a little bit of everything. Most of all, he’s a great athlete.’’
Jenkins signs with SWIC
Harrington also announced on Monday that point guard DJ Jenkins has signed with SWIC. A 6-foot-4 pure point guard, Jenkins played at Lakeland College this past season where he averaged 12 points per game. Jenkins also was at his best in big games, scoring 26 points against John A. Logan College earlier this season.
Jenkins will have one year at SWIC.
“DJ isn’t just a point guard. He’s a 6-4 point guard with a lot of experience. We wanted to bring in a sophomore point guard to take De’Antae (McMurray’s) place and we feel that DJ is exactly the type player who can come in and do the job for us,’’ Harrington said. “He’s another player with D-1 potential.
“I really like what we’ve got coming in next year. We’re especially deep and talented with our guards. We’ve got three and maybe four scholarships left and we’re looking at big kids.’’