Some of the departed members of last season’s Idaho State men’s basketball team have landed at new college basketball programs.
Former center Kelvin Jones transferred to Creighton University in Nebraska, reported June 17 by Stadium’s Jeff Goodman and the Omaha World-Herald. The 6-foot-11 rim protector had numerous Division I programs vying to acquire his services for his final college basketball season, including Virginia Tech, Georgia, Oregon, Oregon State, Florida, Oklahoma State and Boise State, among others, according to Goodman. Jones is a graduate transfer and is eligible to play this upcoming season.
In his lone season at Idaho State (29 games), Jones averaged 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game. Creighton will be his fourth college basketball stop, following UTEP, Odessa College and Idaho State.
Creighton, which plays in the Big East Conference, has qualified for the NCAA Tournament five times in the past eight seasons, including first-round wins in 2012, ‘13 and ‘14.
Kyle Taylor, last year’s associate head coach for former Bengals head coach Bill Evans, was hired to be the head coach of the Salt Lake Community College men’s basketball team, the school announced June 1. An SLCC news release reported Taylor is the sixth head coach in program history, and its first externally-hired head coach since 1991.
Taylor was ISU’s offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator last season, according to the release. The head coaching gig is his first since he led the men’s basketball team at Division III Covenant College (Georgia) from 2009-2016.
“Salt Lake Community College is one of the best NJCAA jobs in the country and I feel incredibly blessed to be the new head coach,” Taylor said in the release. “... As far as the program goes, we are going to pursue championships on the court and help our players grow off the court as men.”
The SLCC men’s basketball team won national championships in 2009 and 2016 and has won at least 20 games in 17 consecutive seasons, the release says.
CJ Killin, who was an assistant coach last season at ISU, is staying in the Big Sky Conference. The one-year Bengals assistant was hired as an assistant coach at Portland State, the school announced June 26.
PSU went 16-16 last season under second-year head coach Barret Peery.
“I am very excited to have CJ join our basketball family,” Peery said in a PSU news release. “I have known him for many years. He has worked for several programs I am close to, so I am very comfortable having him join us.”
Former ISU forward Matija Ilic transferred to Vincennes University, an NJCAA men’s basketball program in Indiana, the school announced June 7. Ilic, who is from Serbia and prepped at Utah’s Wasatch Academy, did not play his freshman season at ISU because of an injury.
Ilic joins a Vincennes team that went 34-2 and won the NJCAA Division I national title last season.
The Journal is unclear on the statuses of Evans, former assistant coach Tim Walsh and former graduate assistant coach Chris Hansen. No one from Evans’ coaching staff was retained by first-year ISU head coach Ryan Looney.
The statuses of former ISU players Alonzo Walker and Andrew Vaughan are also unknown.
Walker announced his intent to transfer in April. Killin, who coached Walker at Odessa before ISU, told the Journal in June that Walker had narrowed his field of suitors down to three schools. The 6-foot-6 forward was one of ISU’s top reserves last season, averaging 6.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in 19.1 minutes per game.
Vaughan was a walk-on at ISU who appeared in two games last season.
2019-20 ROSTER FINALIZED
ISU’s roster for the upcoming season is finalized. It includes seven returning players, nine newcomers and nine Idaho natives.
Five players come to ISU from the College of Southern Idaho, where they played under first-year ISU associate head coach Jared Phay. Phay was the head coach at CSI from 2014-19.
See the Bengals’ 2019-20 roster below.
1 G Austin Smellie So. Preston, ID
2 G Tarik Cool Jr. Chandler, AZ (Lane CC)
3 F Malik Porter Jr. Phoenix, AZ (CSI)
4 F Chidi Udengwu Sr. Diamond Bar, CA
5 F Chier Maker Sr. Sydney, Australia
10 G Lyle Sutton Jr. Rexburg, ID
11 G Landon Bowman Fr. Idaho Falls, ID
12 G Nico Aguirre So. Castro, Chile (CSI)
13 F Daxton Carr So. Pocatello, ID (Cal Poly)
15 F Coreyoun Rushin So. Chicago, IL (CSI)
20 G Balint Mocsan Sr. Budapest, Hungary
21 G/F Jared Stutzman Sr. Idaho Falls, ID
22 G Jaxon Edelmayer So. Rexburg, ID (CSI)
23 G Houston Wahlen Jr. Aberdeen, ID
24 G Nick Huston Jr. Rigby, ID (Snow College)
25 F Brayden Parker So. Preston, ID (CSI)