Illinois State Adds Key Transfers And JUCOs To Their Recruiting Class

By Roy & Harv Schmidt

May 9, 2016

8:15 A.M. CST

Illinois State head coach Dan Muller made it abundantly clear at the beginning of Spring that he and his staff would practically be working around the clock in their pursuit of quality JUCO recruits and transfers in order to strengthen their 2016 recruiting class even further.  The results speak for themselves--they have done just that and then some.

In the past two months, the Redbirds have added five recruits which include two JUCOS and a pair of D1 transfers.  Three of them came on board in the last week alone--6'6 wing forward Milik Yarbrough, 6'10 center Christian Romine and 6'6 2-guard Derrick Clayton.

Of these three, Yarbrough probably is the one for Redbird fans to be the most excited about from an offensive standpoint. That is because the thick-bodied wing is a tremendous scorer who can put points on the board in a variety of ways. Yarbrough decided to transfer from St. Louis University at the end of March and will have two years of eligibility at ISU. He averaged 10 ppg his freshman year at St. Louis, and over 7 ppg as a sophomore.  His father, Del Yarbrough, played at Illinois State in the late 1970s.  As long as Yarbrough stays in shape and maintains a high level of intensity, he is capable of being as productie as any player in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Romine transferred to ISU after spending one year at Texas-El Paso under Tim Floyd and will have three years of eligibility at ISU.  He is a local product, having played his high school basketball at Mahomet-Seymour High School in Mahomet, IL.  As a senior, Romine was instrumental in helping his team reach the Class 3A supersectional.  Although he is still quite raw offensively and needs to get stronger, he will provide Muller and the redbirds with some much needed size and athleticism on the front line.

Clayton comes to Normal from Palm Beach State Junior College in Lake Worth,FL.  He is known as a diverse scorer who finishes well at the rim and has an effective mid-range game.  While his natural position is the 2, Clayton is also capable of playing the point and has the ability to be a lock-down defender.

In addition to Muller, Redbird assistant coaches Luke Yaklich and Dean Oliver deserve props for being instrumental in the final decisions of all of ISU's Spring recruits.  Both Yaklich and Oliver were relentless in their pursuit and were absolutely huge in making sure that they got each player on campus for official visits and ultimately in the fold.

Yarbrough, Romine and Clayton give Illinois State a total of five additions during the Spring recruiting period.  They join 6'9 forward Phil Fayne from Western Nebraska Community College, who committed to the Redbirds last month, and 6'5 2-guard Isaac Gassman from Ottawa Township High School in Ottawa, IL, who Muller announced will join the team as a preferred walk-on.        

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