Southwestern Illinois College gets commitment from Texas power forward

At last, Southwestern Illinois College men’s basketball coach Jay Harrington’s most challenging and longest recruiting season may be coming to an end.

Continuing to totally restock the Blue Storm’s basketball roster, Harrington has gotten a verbal commitment from 6-foot-9, 190-pound former Sachse, (Texas) High School standout Kris Williams for the upcoming 2016-17 season.

Williams, who averaged eight points as a senior at Sachse two years ago, is the 12th new player recruited by Harrington and his staff for the upcoming season. With two scholarships still remaining to give out, Harrington is finally nearing the end of the longest and more challenging recruiting year of his junior college hall of fame coaching career.

The 2016-17 season will be Harrington’s 37th with the Blue Storm. He took over the coaching duties in the 1979 season.

“I can honestly say I’ve put more hours in and watched more film than I ever have before,” Harrington said. “Will I be glad when we finally get done with this recruiting class? Yes. I’m very pleased by the players we have in our program right now. They are all great kids that I enjoy being around. We have a lot of talent, but again a lot of these kids have never played college basketball. It’s going to take time.”

A project

Williams, at 6-9 is one of the tallest of all the new recruits. But Harrington said Williams may be a bit of a project as he needs to get stronger and more physical to be able to play in NJCAA Region 24 and one of the best junior college basketball leagues in the Midwest — the rugged Great Rivers Athletic Conference.

“Kris is an athlete. But at 6-9 and 190 pounds, he needs to get stronger. I see him being more of No. 4 (power forward) but he can rebound and he can run the floor. He can also step out and hit the jump shots,” Harrington said.