Press Release from Southern Illinois Athletics
The Southern Illinois men's basketball program signed Eastern Illinois transfer Ben Harvey on Wednesday, a 6-foot-5 guard who was the Panthers' third-leading scorer as a true freshman last season.
Harvey played in every game in 2018-19, made one start and averaged 10.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. He shot .459 from the field and .389 from 3-point range. More than just a jump shooter, 68 percent of his scoring came from either inside the arc or at the free throw line.
"Ben is the ultimate competitor who has a natural ability to score the ball at all three levels," said SIU head coach Bryan Mullins. "He is a proven, efficient scorer who will be a great fit for our program."
In a game against SEMO on Feb. 16 last season, Harvey scored a career-high 29 points on 11-of-14 shooting from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range and 4-of-5 from the free throw line.
"That was kind of a breakout game for me," Harvey said. "I knew a game would come where I'd be hitting all my shots and be in a really good groove. I was just waiting for that game to come and when it did, it gave me a lot of confidence."
A native of Jonesboro, Arkansas, Harvey led Jonesboro High School to a 32-0 record and Class 6A state title in 2017. The team was ranked No. 5 in the nation, and Harvey averaged 17 points per game. His high school team never lost a conference game during his career. Harvey played the 2017-18 season at Link Year Prep School in Branson, Missouri, where he averaged 25 points, five rebounds and four assists per game.
"Ben continues to add to our winning culture by going undefeated his senior year and winning a state championship," Mullins said. "He understands the work ethic and commitment it takes to win at a high level."
According to NCAA transfer rules, Harvey is required to sit out the 2019-20 season and then will have three years of eligibility remaining.
“Coach Mullins is building something special here,” Harvey said. “SIU is a place that feels like home, where I can build relationships with the coaches and the players, and winning is a big thing. My goal is to serve others, do the right thing and whatever it takes to help us get wins.”