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Stephen F. Austin Basketball

Source: SFA's Leon Gilmore III 'no longer part of the team'

October 1, 2017
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Editor's Note: Stephen F. Austin has evidently opened the door to a Leon Gilmore III return, sources told The Sawmill days after this original article was published. You can read the latest on the Gilmore situation here.

At the 2017 Southland Conference Tournament, Leon Gilmore III was on fire. During Stephen F. Austin's victory over Lamar and season-ending loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the forward from Houston, Texas scored 19 and 20 points to pair with the elite denial defense he showed for most of his junior season.

Those games, along with a CIT contest at Idaho, will be his last as a Lumberjack.

The transfer from Creighton by way of Trinity Valley Community College is "no longer a part of the team," a source close to the Lumberjacks basketball program has told The Sawmill. Gilmore has been noticeably absent from team photos and SFA's official roster over the past week. This news confirms it is no coincidence.

Gilmore averaged just north of 10 points per game during his first and only season in Nacogdoches, helping SFA to a second-place finish in the Southland Conference. His breakaway dunks were a trademark of that 2016-17 team and he quickly became a fan favorite in William R. Johnson Coliseum.

While no official comment has been made at this point, head coach Kyle Keller will participate in his first press conference of the preseason early next week and is expected to address the Gilmore situation then.

If there is any silver lining, it is only that Gilmore's absence will likely create additional minutes for sophomore guard-forward combo Kevon Harris. SFA will open the season on November 11th at Longwood with a front court consisting of freshman Stefon Fisher, sophomores Harris, Samuli Nieminen, Nathan Bain and juniors TJ Holyfield and Jovan Grujic.

Guards Ivan Canete and Ty Charles will be the only seniors.

Source: SFA's Leon Gilmore III 'no longer part of the team'

No-look
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This is a huge hit. Hopefully we can adjust. I was high on him this year.
PurpleOut
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PurpleOut
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Seriously sucks, so close to the season. Another big hit right as practice starts, staff and the guys were counting on him. Keller will once again have to re-think and adjust before we even get underway.
TallTexan
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I think our freshman class is excellent, but you never want to lose a senior contributor. Wish the kid well though, it's his life.
BasketballMom3
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This was not Gilmore's decision
RedRiverLa
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How do you know it was not his decision?
BigJack85
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Probably Leon's mom or friend of his mom making the post.
sfa17
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Awesome. There goes a starter.
TallTexan
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Not sure what happened, but seems to be no hard feelings from him.






nacluth
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Tough loss. Wish Leon the best. Gonna miss those jams.
Ryan
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mwaddell
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I guess he is leaving for personal reasons. This incoming class must be very competitive.
INiedrauer
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Gilmore isn't off the team because someone took his spot.
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Isaac Niedrauer
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Txjack
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corleycl
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Then why is he gone?
Gazette1
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The fans, especially the ones who contribute to the program definitely deserve to know. two basketball publications or out. We are picked second in one and third in the other but those publications didn't know that Gilmore was no longer in the mix. We want answers.
INiedrauer
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I agree with you 100%. I hope Keller or a representative will address it publicly soon. In the meantime, as much as I want to share everything we know, off the record has to stay off the record.
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Isaac Niedrauer
@INiedrauer


No-look
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Gazette1 said:

The fans, especially the ones who contribute to the program definitely deserve to know. two basketball publications or out. We are picked second in one and third in the other but those publications didn't know that Gilmore was no longer in the mix. We want answers.
Picked second and third? Hope they are inaccurate. Who is picked ahead of us?
Ljacks&Longnecks
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Agree with Issac here....off the record should still mean something....... If this was a professional team then I would say there should be a full explanation of a similar incident, however this is still college BB and the young men playing or no longer playing should be able to expect some degree of privacy and respect thereof.
If we end up getting full disclosure then okay, if we get "Irreconcilable differences" as a cause then there you go....
nacluth
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I appreciate the desire to know all the details. I'm interested too and would like to know. At some point though, I don't think we "deserve" to know. If you have contributed monetarily to the program, I think it's fine to approach someone in the program and ask them because of your vested interest. However, beyond a cursory statement, I'm not sure we as fans deserve to know what's ending a student's scholarship status.

In support of good reporting, I have always appreciated how Isaac has handled these issues in the past, and I respect the discretion he continually shows.

Edit: ha! Ljacks and I were writing the same thing at the same time. Jinx!
Ryan
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edstile
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No-look said:


Picked second and third? Hope they are inaccurate. Who is picked ahead of us?
I agree. What magazines, and who the heck did they pick ahead of us??? No one has the returners (even without Gilmore) and new guys that we do.
Gazette1
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One magazine had Northwestern State and Lamar ahead of us the other had Lamar ahead of us. One had Leon picked as second team all conference. There are several teams that had four starters returning. Both publications had Leon listed prominently. We deserve to know whether Leon broke some sort of team or university rule or not. Recruiting requires judgment of character. We are paying Keller a large some of money to coach our team. It comes out of the pocket of taxpayers and the fans. I am not criticizing Isaac but if he has been told the reasons then he should let us know because they shouldn't have broke their discretionary code by telling him also. there is no reason not to tell us if he broke some sort of university or team rule or if he has some kind of run in with the law that forced them to dismiss him. If it concerns his health or grades then that shouldn't be told unless Leon tells us himself or has given permission for them to allow that information to be released. You at some point have to hold Keller accountable because that is two years in a row that we have been one scholarship short. If it was some sort of season ending injury then you shouldn't blame Keller but I doubt that that is the case. I wish Leon the best. If Leon had some sort of blowout with the coach we deserve to know.
BigJack85
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I would like to know if there was a character issue. Beyond that I could give a crap. If it's grades or attitude then that's a part of the program. If Keller goes 24-6 all will be forgotten. If he goes 20-10 the jury will be seated. If he goes 15-15 I think we will all be concerned about his capacity to lead this team to another level or at best continue SFA's recent success.
TallTexan
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INiedrauer said:

I agree with you 100%. I hope Keller or a representative will address it publicly soon. In the meantime, as much as I want to share everything we know, off the record has to stay off the record.
Off the record stays off the record? What if we hooked you up with a shoe deal Isaac?
Ljacks&Longnecks
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Well Gazette, let's look at it like this....we get a lot of information from the Sawmill and Isaac that isn't always out there for the general public or at least we get it before anyone else. If Issac were to blab out loud or post what he has been told in confidence, how much more inside info do you think he would be privy to in the future? Little to none.
I would prefer to keep the good info coming and besides a man's word should still mean something!
As for blaming a coach when a player leaves or has issues...if you look around college BB players come and go to other schools like loose change, some flunk out, some break team rules, some break the law. Find me a coach who hasn't lost a player.
As SFA fans we all here are disappointed to lose a player who would have been a big cog in the coming season and we may yet get an explanation of why this happened and I hope we do but ...it's done and like the rest of the team we march on towards the new season.
Gazette1
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I don't know who to blame but they shouldn't be giving inside information to anyone.I am not criticizing Isaac! I have not blamed the coach. The jury is still out on Keller and believe me I want him to succeed. You want find a more rabid fan than myself. I love to win If there is some kind of personal information that they are not suppose to share then they shouldn't be sharing it but believe me Keller is going to get asked that question over and over and over until he gives some sort of explanation. I have already talked to Kevin Gore and he will ask him. There has to be some sort of explanation at some point so why delay it. If he is sick that is another issue but if he broke a team rule then say he broke a team rule, OK Longneck! I do give a crap! I am also concerned about the young man whether he ever plays again or not. That is another reason why I am anxious to hear. Have a nice day. One more thing, the word will get out and one way to prevent a million rumors is to go ahead and make a statement. I've been here all of my life and have been a fan since before George Johnson and James Silas. I watched faithfully even through the bad times. It is amazing how the rumors just grow and grow until they are completely ridiculous. edstile, Lunardi also picked Lamar to win it. Let's hope that he is wrong.

edstile
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Gazette1 said:

edstile, Lunardi also picked Lamar to win it. Let's hope that he is wrong.


Lunardi and those magazine pick 'em fellows in their cozy corner offices don't know what the heck they're talking about. They're just looking at raw numbers on returners. We have depth, we have experience, and we have some young, hungry, and skilled new guys. I wouldn't be surprised if Lamar finishes second, but if we defend their big guy when we play them like we did in the conference tournament last season (we made him look very ordinary) they don't have a prayer of winning against us, and definitely no prayer of winning the whole SLC enchilada.
cboothe09
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Lamar has been a trendy pick the last couple of years. Weisbrod is good, but we were able to slow him down with Leon. Interested to see how we attack him this year. Overall, Lamar seems to underacheive on a yearly basis and I'm not buying into them until they actually do something worth noting...Their schedule is garbage and they will have an inflated record, so the hype will be there.

A&M-CC will still be good. Losing Thomas hurts them a lot, but I think there is still talent there to contend. Kilgore and Amin are two really good guards.

Northwestern State is the dangerous team with Jalen West back in the fold. Fortunately Zeke is gone, but a healthy West is a dangerous thing. Interested to see if he has lost a step or two. Hope he stays healthy.

Not sure what else to expect from the conference. Sammy won't be bad, Southeastern has been full of talent, and came on strong last year, but not sure of where they will go. HBU has been up there every year, but I still don't see them getting over the hump.
Gazette1
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There is no doubt that we are the premier program in the league but Lamar is my biggest long term fear. They have a great fan base with a lot of old money. I can't stand Tic Price. He has a history of abuse. I see Corpus as another big long term threat. Wilson is a very good coach. He knows how to prepare teams for the long run. I am neutral on our team this year but I fear that we are missing some vital pieces. It is a guard oriented league though and I think that we have the goods on the guards but you never know for sure. Sometimes you can end up with a player that is poison to team chemistry. I learned that from Kaspar and Marshall Brown. If we are good this year, we should be great next year but I'm getting old. I want to see it now because I may not be here to see it later, although I will do what ever I can to help the program even after I am gone with money that I will endow. I love Lumberjack basketball and consider our players family members.
cboothe09
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Corpus and Lamar are my two big long term threats. Lamar also has the benefit of being in a basketball hotbed. That said, Tic Price hasn't shown me anything yet at Lamar, and I don't expect that to change this year.
Gazette1
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Isaac what is the basketball practice schedule. I am anxious to go watch them. I frequent practice sessions and can actually be a good source for our subscribers. You know , Leon helped our athleticism but he had a lot of negative plays . The fans also grimaced when he would take one of his extremely low percentage three point shots which doesn't even count as a negative play in the stats book. But, we also grimaced when our shooters would turn down open shots and then let the clock run down to 0 or end up having to take a very low percentage shot. I did get angry with Keller for continually letting that happen without discipline. Ty took an ill advised three point shot at the end of the Northwestern State game but I would rather him than Leon. Maybe no one else was willing to shoot it.
TallTexan
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edstile said:

Gazette1 said:

edstile, Lunardi also picked Lamar to win it. Let's hope that he is wrong.


Lunardi and those magazine pick 'em fellows in their cozy corner offices don't know what the heck they're talking about. They're just looking at raw numbers on returners. We have depth, we have experience, and we have some young, hungry, and skilled new guys. I wouldn't be surprised if Lamar finishes second, but if we defend their big guy when we play them like we did in the conference tournament last season (we made him look very ordinary) they don't have a prayer of winning against us, and definitely no prayer of winning the whole SLC enchilada.
I don't think a lot of the Pick Em guys are giving us enough credit for the higher level of talent we've been recruiting the past few years.
Gazette1
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OK, I will be there at some point today. I got the practice schedule from the secretary Carrie Johnson who also said that hopefully things will work out where Leon can come back to the team. So it is not a done deal.
nacluth
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What's the rules on public attending practices? Are they always open or are there designated public practices?
Ryan
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INiedrauer
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There will be some more on Leon today. A chance as of last night.
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Isaac Niedrauer
@INiedrauer


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