Southeast loses reserve forward to transfer

Southeast junior Isaiah Gable (13) goes toward the basket while guarded by SIUE junior Mike Adewunmi (5) and freshman Lamar Wright (55) during the Redhawks' 75-71 victory this past season at the Show Me Center.
Jacob Wiegand ~ Southeast Missourian

What has become a rite of spring within the Southeast Missouri State men’s basketball program showed the first sign of blossoming this year Sunday when college basketball writer Jeff Goodman of Stadium reported that Redhawk junior forward Isaiah Gable would be transferring.

The exodus of a Southeast player isn’t surprising.

Of the initial three recruiting classes of former coach Rick Ray, only four of the 20 players that signed ever completed their eligibility with the program.

Ray was terminated earlier this month, and at the time, Southeast athletic director Brady Barke said he met with the Redhawk players to reassure them about the future of the program.

“I’m interested in making sure that we get the best possible person to come in and lead our program moving forward,” Barke said. “I think we owe that, first and foremost, to our student-athletes.”

Gable was one of six recruits that signed with the program for the 2017-18 season. Of those players, only Mark Laros and Skyler Hogan completed their eligibility with the program, and Hogan attempted to transfer prior to the 2019-20 season before changing his mind and returning.

Gable would have had the distinction of becoming the first high school recruit (of nine student-athletes) signed under Ray in his first three recruiting classes who completed his eligibility with the Redhawks. However, all nine have now left the program prior to completing their eligibility.

“We need someone who can come in and be able to convey a vision and create a sense of unity within the program,” Barke said.

Gable had a solid sophomore season a year ago but regressed considerably this season in terms of statistics.

As a sophomore, the 6-foot-7 athlete was the Redhawks’ second-leading scorer in Ohio Valley Conference play at 9.9 points per game.

This season, Gable averaged just 5.4 points per game.

His time on the court dropped from 24 to 21 minutes per game and his shooting plummeted to 28.6 percent from 3-point range after he made 46.1 percent as a sophomore.

“We need someone to come in and has the ability to recruit and has the ability to develop talent,” Barke said. “That ultimately is where the payday is.”

Southeast signed two incoming freshmen in Phil Russell (Vashon High School) and Ramean Hinton (Curie High School in Illinois). However, Russell has already asked for his release and Hinton announced earlier this month that he was re-opening his recruitment, but would consider Southeast.

Southeast resdhirt sophomore guard Khalil Cuffee was dismissed from the program late in the season due to violation of team rules.

The Redhawks currently have nine returning players, so in theory, the program now has four open scholarship slots.

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