By Joe Henricksen
Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery is set to get back to putting hard-nosed, tough-minded teams on the floor. With a commitment from junior point guard Bobo Drummond this weekend, Lowery took a big step in that direction.
Drummond, who played his first two years at Peoria Central, is now at La Lumiere Academy in LaPorte, Indiana. Prior to leaving the state, Drummond was considered among the top 10 prospects in the Class of 2012 in Illinois and arguably the top point guard in the class.
A lot of credit goes to SIU assistant coach Brad Korn, who has now tapped into what hopefully will become a Peoria pipeline to Carbondale with this early commitment. This is an impressive early commitment for the Salukis. SIU has also offered a pair of tough Peoria Manual standouts in guard Kiki Stokes and 6-5 Jacoby Roddy.
Drummond is an ideal Missouri Valley Conference fit -- a true lead guard who can run the show and take some pounding in what is typically a physical mid-major conference. He's a strong, compact guard who had a very solid summer with the Illinois Wolves on the AAU circuit. While his perimeter shot is still developing and gaining consistency, there aren't many who better understand the nuances of the point guard position better than Drummond. He has a natural feel and doesn't know what it is to back down from anything.
Plus, Drummond fits the mold of the type of player Lowery wants to coach. Lowery, who went 78-26 with three straight NCAA Tournament apperances his first three years as head coach in Carbondale, is looking to get back to those tough-minded, stellar defensive teams that included a Sweet 16 appearance in 2007. Drummond's early commitment is a jumpstart for the Salukis in recruiting underclassmen.
Southern Illinois has a pair of 2011 commitments from out-of-state prospects -- 6-5 Dantiel Daniels of Holt (Mo.) and 6-8 Treg Setty of Mason County (Ky).