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Jimmy Beane could have been a hot recruit for 2019.

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound shooting guard at Potter's House Christian Academy in Florida, was a high-efficiency scorer last season. Beane, the cousin of Darius Beane and his older brother, Anthony Beane Jr., averaged Beane-esque numbers. More than 19 points per game, more than seven rebounds a game. More than four assists per game. A 48-percent shooter and a 38-percent shooter from the 3-point line.

With offers from Kent State, Indiana State, Valparaiso and Ole Miss, among others, Beane considered reclassifying to next year's class in the hopes of getting even bigger offers.

He verbally committed to Georgia, but then coach Mark Fox was let go. Then Beane considered a potential starring role in SIU's most anticipated season since 2008.

"I like the squad. The campus is really nice," said Beane, who verbally committed to the Salukis last week and plans to sign with the team this week. "Really, it was a really hard decision because I had a lot of big-time schools talking to me, but it couldn't get any better than playing with my cousin in the backcourt and playing for my uncle."

With the Salukis returning all five starters, and eight of their top 10, Beane went all-in. SIU returns senior point guard Marcus Bartley and their top-three shooting guards in Armon Fletcher, Sean Lloyd, and Aaron Cook, as well as Eric McGill, so he will have to compete for minutes.

McGill, a junior college transfer who hurt his left hand against Lamar and got back the year as a medical redshirt, will be a nice addition to an already talented backcourt.

Beane, who said he is closer to 6-6 than 6-5, could be another one. He could give SIU a taller shooting guard than Tyler Smithpeters who can break down defenses off the bounce and fire away from the perimeter.

"Ever since I was little, I was always big, and some coaches try to put you in a position by your size. I started working on my ball-handling, my shot, ever since I was 2 years old," Beane said. "I still grew, but I always worked on my fundamentals so I could be a guard. Every summer I just worked on my fundamentals. I just became real comfortable with it."

The Salukis also return center Kavion Pippen, a third team all-conference pick in his first Division I season, and preseason all-conference forward Thik Bol. 

The NCAA early signing period runs through Wednesday.

TODD HEFFERMAN covers SIU athletics for The Southern Illinoisan. Contact him at todd.hefferman@thesouthern.com, 618-351-5087 or on Twitter at @THefferman.

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Sports reporter

Todd Hefferman has covered SIU athletics since 2008. A University of Iowa grad, he is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and a Heisman Trophy voter.

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