College Sports

Harris adds six to SIUE men’s basketball roster


Jon Harris will begin his fourth season as head coach at SIUE.
Jon Harris will begin his fourth season as head coach at SIUE. SIUE

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men’s basketball coach Jon Harris on Wednesday announced six additions to his roster for the 2017-18 season.

D.J. Jackson, Nico Johnson, Daniel Kinchen, Jaylen McCoy, David McFarland and Toriano Stokes all are set to join the Cougars.

“With this class, we’ve increased our overall size, athleticism and scoring, as each guy will bring something a little different,” Harris said. “We feel this is a very competitive group, and they’ll raise the day-to-day intensity in our program.”

D.J. Jackson is a 6-foot-5 forward from Moscow, Tenn. He comes to SIUE from Fayette Ware High School where, as a senior, he averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds. He also dished out five assists per contest.

“At 6-5, he creates matchup problems for opponents due to his ability to overpower smaller players while possessing the quickness and ball skills to create problems for bigger guys,” Harris said.

Nico Johnson is a 6-1 guard from Danville. He played three seasons at Danville High School before moving to Conrad Academy, a prep school in Florida, for his senior season.

“Nico is a dynamic athlete and an explosive scorer with good ball skills,” Harris said. “With him, we add depth to our backcourt.”

Johnson averaged 16 points, six assists and five rebounds as a junior at Danville.

“He thrives in a transition game due to his quickness and creativity in the open floor,” Harris said. “He also has the ability to score in a variety of ways. Nico has the tools to develop into a strong defender.”

Daniel Kinchen is a 6-3 guard from Atlanta who last played at Alabama Southern Community College, where he was named ACCC Player of the Year. He also was a third-team NJCAA All-America selection.

Kinchen played 31 games, 28 of them starts, as a sophomore at Alabama Southern when he led the team in scoring at 26.7 points per game. He connected on 50 percent (189-for-377) of his shots and 45 percent (109-for-242) of his 3-point attempts. He was a 74-percent (116-for-156) free-throw shooter and added 2.2 rebounds per game.

“He poses a major threat with or without the ball in his hands, and defenses will have to identify him on the floor,” Harris said. “Daniel has good length and great instincts defensively. He finds ways to get deflections and make an impact on both ends of the floor.”

Jaylen McCoy is a 5-11 guard from Montgomery, Ala., who played last season at Wallace State Community College.

McCoy led Wallace State in scoring at 14.9 points per game in 29 games as a sophomore. He connected on 131-for-318 (41 percent) shots from the field and was an 83-percent (111-for-134) free-throw shooter. He led the team with 33 total steals and was second on the team with 51 assists.

“His ability to shoot the basketball, paired with his quickness, make him a tough matchup for opposing guards,” Harris said. “He is also tough-minded and plays with the desire to impose his will on the defensive end.”

David McFarland is a 6-4 guard from Edwards, Miss. He played at East Mississippi Community College.

McFarland led the team with 17.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and was the only player to start all 21 games. He connected on 49 percent of his field goals (123-for-253) and 40 percent (52-for-130) of his 3-point attempts. He shot 77 percent (66-for-86) at the free-throw line while adding 32 assists (1.5 per game), 23 steals (1.1 per game) and 12 blocked shots.

“His day-to-day approach will be a great addition to our locker room,” Harris said. “He can score the basketball at all three levels (3-pointers, mid-range and at the rim) and finds ways to put pressure on opposing defenses. His length and athleticism give him good versatility on both ends of the floor.”

Toriano Stokes is a 6-9 center from Memphis, Tenn. He comes to SIUE from Southwest Tennessee Community College.

“Toriano bolsters our front line with a strong presence to block shots and rebound,” Harris said. “He brings physicality and a true competitive spirit to the program.

Stokes averaged 5.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in one season at Southwest Tennessee. He began his college career at East Tennessee State, where he played in 11 games as a freshman.

“He’s a quick jumper and gifted athletically but also a very well-rounded individual,” Harris said.