CARBONDALE — Tyler Smithpeters played pretty well with a stress fracture. The SIU men’s basketball team hopes he’s even better at 100 percent.

Smithpeters, the leading scorer for Harrisburg’s Class 2A state championship team, verbally committed to the Salukis on Saturday for the 2013-14 season.

The 6-foot-4, 178-pound guard averaged 17.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for the 33-1 Bulldogs. Playing on a stress fracture suffered in the super-sectional, he scored 23 points in the state championship game against Seton Academy.

The Salukis hope the combo guard is even better when he comes back this summer after resting his injured right foot.

“I’ve always wanted to go there since I was little,” said Smithpeters, whose older brother, Kyle, played at SIU and is now the men’s basketball coach at John A. Logan College. “It’s close to home. Their tradition is pretty good, and it just seemed like the right fit.”

Smithpeters could be a perfect fit for SIU’s offense, which struggled mightily from behind the arc. The Salukis shot 32 percent from the 3-point line last season. Senior guard T.J. Lindsay, who shot 38.3 percent, was the only Saluki to shoot better than 33 percent from the 3-point line.

Smithpeters shot 40 percent from behind the arc entering the state tournament, and as the son of Harrisburg coach Randy Smithpeters, could bring the kind of intangibles Anthony Beane Jr. brought as a freshman in 2012-13.

Beane’s father, Anthony, is an assistant coach at SIU.

“I think Tyler’s very versatile,” said Randy Smithpeters. “He can do a lot of different things, and they really liked that about him. He can score. He can handle the ball. He can shoot it. He just really has a lot of upside.”

Smithpeters, 19, was set to visit Evansville, but will now cross that off his schedule.

He will sign a national letter of intent when it arrives in the mail later this week. Per NCAA rules, SIU can’t drive the paperwork over to his house. He will be SIU coach Barry Hinson’s sixth recruit for next season, joining forwards Sean O’Brien and Jordan Martin and guards Mike Balogun, Hunter Gibson and K.C. Goodwin.


On Twitter: @THefferman_SI

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