College Sports

SIUE lands a pair of transfers to basketball program

SIUE men’s basketball coach Jon Harris has announced his first two signings since being introduced as the Cougars’ coach April 6. Burak Eslik and Glen Pierre, Jr., both transfers, will join the Cougars.

“We feel that they will be tremendous additions to the Cougar basketball family,” Harris said. “They both impressed our staff as quality young men that will represent our department and this university the right way.”

Eslik, a 6-foot, 4-inch guard, comes to SIUE after spending two seasons at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey. Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Eslik graduated from Fayetteville Christian High School in North Carolina before coming to Lewis and Clark. Eslik will be eligible immediately and will have two years of eligibility left at SIUE.

As a sophomore last season, Eslik led his team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 15.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. He also averaged 2.4 assists per game. He appeared in 28 of the Trailblazers’ 30 games and made 26 starts. He was named to the first team All-Region 24 following the season.

“Burak brings great savvy and versatility to our backcourt,” Harris said. “He has the ability to score the basketball, while also possessing strong court awareness, allowing him to keep his teammates involved in the game.”

As a senior at Fayetteville Christian, he averaged 23.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and four assists per game. He was chosen as an All-Conference performer.

Eslik previously was part of the under-16 National Team in Turkey.

Pierre, a 6-11, 230-pound center, is transferring to SIUE after spending his first two college seasons at the College of Charleston, of the Colonial Athletic Association. Pierre will sit out the 2015-16 season and have two years of eligibility remaining after that.

At Charleston, Pierre showed significant improvement from his freshman to his sophomore season. After playing in just nine games as a freshman, he appeared in 32 of the Cougars’ 33 games as a sophomore and led the team in blocked shots with 21.

“With Glen, we are adding size and athleticism to our front court,” Harris added. “We feel that he has the necessary tools to impact the game on both ends of the floor. He can be a rim protector in the lane defensively, and he owns a good skill package on the offensive end. Redshirting the 2015-2016 season should prove to be major advantage for him.”

Pierre scored a career-high eight points in a career-best 23 minutes of action against Texas A&M Nov. 21. He hauled in a career-high nine rebounds versus Campbell Dec. 14.