NORMAL — During his recruiting visit to Illinois State last weekend, Seneca Knight said he sensed something while talking to new Redbird basketball head coach Ryan Pedon. and his assistants.
“Even recruiting me, he reached out to some of the coaches I’m closest to, like my high school coach and one of the coaches I played for in San Jose (State) who I’m very close to,” he said. said Knight. “He was constantly calling me and my parents. It was one of those real vibes that they really cared about me and really wanted me.”
Knight, a transfer from Brigham Young, announced Wednesday his intention to play for the Redbirds in the fall. He gives Pedon a size athletic wing that can score at any level, which is rare in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The 6-foot-7, 215-pound Knight averaged 7.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists last season with the Cougars while starting eight of 27 games. He played multiple positions with BYU, including power forward.
The New Orleans native began his career at San Jose State, where he contributed 17.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists while making the all-Mountain West Conference third team in the the 2019-20 season.
Knight shot 30.6 percent from 3-point range for BYU and is 29.7 percent from outside the arc for his career.
Knight, who went to LSU after leaving San Jose State in 2020 but never played a game there, still has one year of eligibility left. Pedon cannot comment on Knight until the school receives a signed financial aid agreement.
When asked to describe what kind of player he was, Knight replied “versatile”.
It’s also one of Pedon’s favorite words, and the kind of player the ISU coach was looking for.
“He said he wanted me to play a big, impactful role, be the best player I could be and help lead this team, along with my teammates, to a championship in year one,” Knight said.
Knight liked the “family-like atmosphere” he immediately felt at ISU.
“When I made my visit, I could see the coaching staff being themselves and able to laugh and joke around,” he said. “Everything made sense to go there.”
Knight plans to arrive on campus in early June for summer school and begin practices with his new teammates.
He plans to focus on improving his 3-point shooting this summer as well as some “simple decision-making things to help me be a lot more efficient.”
This is the fifth transfer that Pedon and his team have obtained. The others, all guards, are Luke Kasubke (Kansas State), Bloomington High School graduate Colton Sandage (Western Illinois), Darius Burford (Elon) and Malachi Poindexter (Virginia).
The 22-year-old knight will be one of the Redbirds’ oldest players. He seems to take that responsibility.
“You have to have leadership in the team. That’s a big thing we talked about,” he said. “You also need talent. I think the coaching staff have done a really good job of putting this together… trying to put it all together will be the most important thing and making sure everyone is on board. .”
The ISU still has three scholarships open, although Pedon said he might not fill them all.
Pedon and the ISU coaching staff will host two camps this summer inside Redbird Arena.
Ryan Pedon Redbird Basketball Camps run June 20-23 and August 1-4. Both camps take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are intended for children in grades 3 to 8. Camps are designed for campers of all skill and experience levels.
For more information, visit www.goredbirds.com/mbbcamps or email ISU Assistant Coach Walter Offutt at email@example.com.
Photos: Illinois State welcomes new basketball head coach Ryan Pedon
Watch now: New Illinois State basketball coach Ryan Pedon speaks to the media on Monday
Watch now: Illinois State AD Kyle Brennan introduces new basketball coach Ryan Pedon
Contact Jim Benson at (309) 820-3404. Follow him on Twitter: @Pg_Benson