CARBONDALE — SIU's men's basketball team ended the season with one available scholarship for 2020-21. Less than a month later, the Salukis now have five.
Sophomore guard Harwin Francois and redshirt freshman guard Karrington Davis are leaving the program, they told The Southern Illinoisan Wednesday, giving SIU coach Bryan Mullins two more scholarships to fill before next season. VerbalCommits.com first reported the moves. Junior guard/forward Brendon Gooch and junior center Stevan Jeremic are also looking for new homes.
Mullins signed two high school guards, Dalton Banks of Eau Claire North High School and Eric Butler of Orlando Christian High School, and lost three seniors/graduate students.
Francois, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound sophomore from Fort Myers, Florida, started the first four games of the season. The transfer from Dayton State (Florida) College scored a season-high 14 points in the road loss at Southern Mississippi. He grabbed a season-high seven rebounds in SIU's first road win at Illinois State since 2006 and played a season-high 35 minutes in the conference opener at Indiana State. Francois, an elite 3-point shooter at Daytona State, made 37.8% from the field and from the 3-point line (34 of 90) in his first Division I season.
He played 10 or more minutes in six of SIU's last seven games. Francois scored six points and grabbed five rebounds in the Salukis' home win over Missouri State.
Davis, a 6-6, 210-pound shooting guard, played in 25 games, all off the bench. He scored a season-high 12 points against Southeast Missouri State and grabbed a season-high six rebounds at Evansville. Davis shot 39.1% from the field, including 28.6% from the 3-point line (6 of 21). He averaged three points and 1.6 rebounds per game for the season.
Davis, a St. Louis native, redshirted at Nebraska after tearing his Achilles tendon and missed the first six games of the season recovering. He played 22 minutes in SIU's home win over Drake, which started a seven-game winning streak. Davis made all three of his field goal attempts, including both of his 3-point attempts, and added three steals and two rebounds.
SIU could return two starters from last season's 16-16 club that finished fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference. True freshmen Lance Jones and Marcus Domask started 26 and 32 games, respectively. Domask, the Salukis' second-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, was named MVC newcomer and freshman of the year.
On Twitter: @THefferman
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