Indiana State men’s basketball coach Josh Schertz announced Wednesday the first three student-athletes to join the Sycamore program for the 2021-22 campaign.
All three are transfers coming from Schertz’s previous stop at Lincoln Memorial University. Guard Cameron Henry comes in with two years of eligibility remaining, while fellow guard Xavier Bledson has three to play and forward Simon Wilbar will join the Sycamores with four seasons of eligibility remaining.
“I think one of the biggest keys to our sustained success at LMU was our continuity and the players’ ability to acquire corporate knowledge over their time with us,” Schertz said. “Taking over a new program, I think these three guys will be invaluable in terms of helping to establish the culture here relative to how we work, compete and play.”
The 6-foot-6, 210-pound Henry, a redshirt senior, joins the Sycamores after a stellar three-year run at Lincoln Memorial. The guard from Chesterton, Va., averaged double-digits in all three seasons in the Blue and Gray, culminating in a 15.1-point, 6.0-rebound and 4.3-assist-per-game average during his final season in Harrogate. Henry showed an ability to score from anywhere on the floor, averaging 39.2 percent from beyond the 3-point line during his career while shooting 50.5 percent from the floor overall.
His junior campaign shines as the most productive from the counting stats perspective, scoring 13.7 points per game while shooting 52.4 percent from the floor and 42.2 percent from 3. Henry also averaged 8.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.2 steals per contest.
During his time with the Railsplitters, Henry was named to the All-South Atlantic Conference second team in both 2021 and 2020. The guard was a D2CCA Southeast All-Region second-team member in 2020, a 2019 South Atlantic Conference All-Freshman Team member and earned the SAC’s Defensive Player of the Year award in 2020.
As a prep player, Henry earned multiple all-conference, all-region and all-state recognitions at Lloyd C. Bird High School and led the Skyhawks to the 2016-17 Virginia High School League Class 5A state title. Henry was ranked as a two-star recruit by Verbal Commits.
“Cam is a guy that brings incredible versatility to our program on both ends of the floor and impacts winning in a myriad of ways,” Schertz said. “His combination of skill, basketball IQ, length, and lateral quickness check a lot of our boxes and we expect him to have a significant impact for us this season.”
The 6-6, 215-pound Bledson, a redshirt junior, spent two seasons playing at LMU, utilizing a redshirt season between his first and second years in Harrogate. The Gainesville, Ga., native averaged 10.5 points, 5.1 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 19.6 minutes per contest during the 2020-21 campaign, more than doubling his averages across the board from his first season with the Railsplitters.
As a true freshman, Bledson played in 22 games, making three starts and averaging 2.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 9.3 minutes per game. Prior to his college days, the guard played at Gainesville High School. He led the Red Elephants to the 2018 Georgia Class 6A state title game and was rated as a two-star shooting guard by Verbal Commits.
“Xavier is a basketball savant, his IQ, feel, and understanding of our system on both ends of the floor are as good as anyone I’ve ever coached,” Schertz emphasized. “He’s a ferocious competitor and a terrific leader who never complained about coming off the bench for us despite leading the South Atlantic Conference in assists and field goal percentage. I look for Xavier to positively impact our program on and off of the court.”
After redshirting his true freshman campaign at Lincoln Memorial, the 6-11, 235-pound Wilbar saw action in 12 games during the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 campaign. The big man averaged 2.8 points and 1.3 rebounds in just 4.6 minutes per game.
Wilbar also was a two-star recruit per Verbal Commits out of high school, starring at Canterbury School in Cypress Lake, Fla. The forward led the Cougars to the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Class 3A championship game as a junior and followed it up with a senior season that saw him average 16.4 points and 8.8 rebounds per game on the way to being named News-Press All-Area second team.
"I am really excited to add Simon to our program,” Schertz mentioned. “His rare combination of size and skill makes him as talented as any player I have ever worked with.
"Having had the opportunity to coach Simon already, I have no doubt he has the inner fiber to reach his potential. We are beyond fortunate to have him on board here at ISU.”