By Joe Henricksen
The Illinois State basketball program added a true big man to the mix with the commitment of 6-9 Jordan Threloff of DeKalb on Friday and then added a multi-talented guard in Simeon product Kenyon Smith early this week. The 6-0 guard committed to Illinois State following his senior year of high school and now, after a year away from basketball, he will sign with the Redbirds this November. Smith ended up at Lincoln College and will play this season for the Lynx.
The 6-0 point guard brings many attributes and has the ability to fill a lot of different roles, including bringing some toughness and a willingness to get out and defend on the perimeter. He had a penchant for making an important play or hitting a big shot while at Simeon. Smith, who averaged 8.2 points, 4 rebounds and 8.5 assists a game as a senior for coach Robert Smith at Simeon, is a point guard with the ability to shoot. He played the shooter’s role off the bench his junior year for Simeon’s Derrick Rose-led state championship team. During Smith’s senior year Simeon finished second in state.
Smith sat out last season but will play this year for Lincoln, which will give Smith three years of eligibility at Illinois State. He will join and add another dimension to a talented young group of perimeter players, including 6-4 freshman Justin Clark, who was named Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Freshman of the Year by the Sporting News, freshman point guard Terry Johnson of North Lawndale, 6-6 freshman Zeke Upshaw of University High and Thornwood product Trey Blue, who transferred to Illinois State this year.