The St. Louis University Billikens began forming their team for the 2013-14 season with this week's announcement of signing the team's first recruit.
Mike Crawford, from Tipton High School (Indiana), reportedly gave a verbal commitment to SLU interim coach Jim Crews last week.
Crawford also announced his intentions on Twitter last Tuesday night.
Crawford (6'5", 185 lbs) can swing between both guard and forward positions. One Indiana basketball scouting site, Indiana Basketball Source, credits Crawford as a good outside shooter who has the ability to score in many ways. That was evidenced by his 40-point effort in the Indiana state semifinals this year.
Crawford was recruited by several Division I schools including Lamar, New Orleans, Yale and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Crawford told Tom Timmerman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via STLToday.com) that, "when Coach [Rick] Majerus got sick, the first person they called was me. [Crews] liked what I brought to the table, I guess."
Crawford's place on the Billikens’ roster is an intriguing one. Assuming Crawford plays either the 2 or 3-guard position, he should have an opportunity at starting by his sophomore year.
Cody Ellis, Cory Remekun, Dwayne Evans, Jake Barnett and Jordair Jett will all have graduated. The only upperclassmen battling Crawford for playing time would be Grandy Glaze and Jared Drew.
Glaze is an end-of-the-bench type player, and Drew is a true freshman this season, so Crawford could easily become a starter for the Billikens by the 2014-15 season.
It's very encouraging for Billikens fans that the team is still able to sign strong recruits, despite the questions surrounding Majerus' health and his status as the team's coach beyond this season.
The Billikens do not have a player of Crawford's size and versatility on their roster right now.
It looks like Mike Crawford is set to fill a much-needed role on future Billikens teams.
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