Jalen Pendleton, a 6-foot-2 sophomore from Bosse High School, will crack the starting lineup tonight when Southern Illinois plays St. Bonaventure at 7:30 in the Florida Gulf Coast Showcase at Estero.
Pendleton is coming off a career-high 24 points in the Salukis’ victory over Division II Missouri State last Thursday, which increased his season average to 13.3.
He is playing a similar role on this year’s team to former Saluki Jeff Early, an undersized guard playing power forward. Last year, the 6-1 Early led the nation in rebounding (7.4) among players 6-1 and under. This season, Pendleton is averaging 5.0 rebounds off the bench.
He is replacing forward Bronson Verhines, who is out with a sprained ankle. Verhines could be sidelined two weeks.
SIU enters tonight’s game with a 3-1 record; St. Bonnie is 3-1.