SPRINGFIELD -- Missouri State men's basketball coach Paul Lusk
announced Wednesday the receipt of National Letters of Intent from three standouts who will join the Bears for the 2018-19 season.
Junior college sophomores Grant Gelon
and Kabir Mohammed
, as well as high school senior Ronnie Bell
have all committed to joining Lusk on the Springfield campus next fall.
"We are excited about this group," Lusk said. "With the three commitments we received today, as well as adding Jared Ridder
to this class, we have added some nice pieces for next season and beyond."
Ridder transferred to Missouri State from Xavier University in September. Per NCAA transfer rules, Ridder must sit out the 2017-18 season in residence and will have four years of eligibility beginning next year.
Ronnie Bell (G, 6-1, 170, Fr., Kansas City, Mo., Park Hill High)
A two-sport standout at Park Hill (Mo.) High School, Bell led the Trojans to a 21-6 record and state sectional run last season. In 2016-17, Bell averaged 14.4 points per game as a junior and earned first-team all-district and all-conference laurels. He was also named MVP of the Liberty North and William Jewell tournaments, while earning all-tournament honors three times. As a standout wide receiver at Park Hill, he has accumulated more than 150 receptions, 2,300 career yards and 30 touchdowns. He has been named Park Hill's player of the game six times this fall and earned conference offensive player of the year honors.
Lusk on Bell:
"Ronnie is a winner. Whether it's on the football field or basketball court, he competes at a special level. He's explosive off the bounce and can score the basketball."
Grant Gelon (GAY-lawn) (G, 6-5, 195, Jr., Crown Point, Ind., Crown Point High, State Fair CC)
Gelon is currently a sophomore at State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Mo., playing for coach Matt Brown. He played his freshman season for coach Tom Crean at Indiana and saw action in 12 games for the Hoosiers in 2016-17. He was 7-for-9 (.778) from the field and 3-of-5 from 3-point range with 22 points, 5 rebounds and a steal at IU. He scored a season-best 8 points at Michigan on 1/26/17. As a prep senior at Crown Point (Ind.) High, he averaged 14.5 points and shot 41.8 percent from 3-point. He led the Bulldogs to back-to-back regional final appearances. He earned AP all-state honorable mention distinction in 2016 for coach Clint Swan and garnered IBCA Super 15 all-state honors. He also was named to the Indiana All-Star Team following his senior season. His junior year, he made 102 3-pointers and averaged 17.5 points per game. He played AAU ball for Indiana Elite, averaging over 12.0 points per game and making nearly half his 3-point attempts.
Lusk on Gelon:
"Grant has prior Division I experience which will help him when he arrives. He has good size and can shoot the basketball from deep."
Kabir Mohammed (F, 6-5, 225, Jr., Lagos, Nigeria, Fort Washington (Md.) National Christian Academy, San Jacinto College)
Mohammed averaged 10.8 points and 8.3 rebounds as a freshman for coach Scott Gernander at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas last season. He was an All-Region honorable mention pick as part of a 33-2 club that claimed the Region 14 title in 2016-17 and advanced to the NJCAA national tournament. He was also on the San Jacinto Dean's List as well as earning NABC Academic Excellence national honors. As a high school senior at National Christian Academy in Fort Washington, Md., Mohammed logged 18.1 points and 12.3 rebounds per game for an Eagles team that won the Beltway League title and finished 27-2 overall and 10-0 in the region. He was an all-conference pick for coach Trevor Brown in 2016 and eclipsed 1,000 career points. He posted a 25-point, 28-rebound game against Bull City Prep (11/28/15) as one of two 20-20 games his senior year before earning his school's valedictorian laurels.
Lusk on Kabir:
"Kabir averaged close to a double-double last year at his junior college. He's a powerful player who can be a matchup problem for the opposing team."
The Bears, who have five seniors on the 2016-17 roster, kick off the new season Friday night at Western Kentucky (7 p.m.) before returning to JQH Arena on Nov. 15 to take on Southern University at 5:30 p.m., in the home opener.