Billikens Sign Three Players

ST. LOUIS — Saint Louis University basketball coach Rick Majerus today announced that three players — 6-foot-7 forward Jon Smith (Grove City, Ohio/Grove City), 6-8 post Cory Remekun (Mesquite, Texas/Mesquite) and 6-4 guard Christian Salecich (Gold Coast, Australia/Institute of Sport) — have signed their letters to attend the University and play basketball for the Billikens.

Majerus provided a breakdown of all three recruits.

Jonathan Smith

"Jon has tremendous character, is a strong student, and most of all, has unbridled passion for the game," Majerus said. "He is early to the gym and the last to leave. This summer, I saw him take a brutal undercut, spit up some blood, and I thought he lost some teeth. When he came back, he was upset when they would not let him back into the game. From that point on, I was as convinced as ever that he loves the game.


Jonathan Smith

"He is a Paul Pressey-type (former NBA player whom Majerus, with Don Nelson, coached on Dream Team II) of player. Jon is a cerebral young man. We feel he can defend any position one through four and is an outstanding rebounder. When Jon concentrates on his outside shooting and ball handling, he can be the complete package at 6-foot-7. We are making a concerted effort to play more up-tempo basketball. Jon's athleticism will enable us to extend our pick-up point on defense. His best attribute, however, may be the ability to transition running the floor."

"Like Christian Salecich and Cory Remekun, Jon is a sensational student," Majerus said. "This is an honor roll class in the academic arena as well as the basketball arena. But in the area that matters the most, all of these young men have exceptional families who visited with them and got to meet and see for themselves first hand the best part of Saint Louis University – the faculty, education and the current players on the team. Christian, Cory and Jon were player favorites on their recruiting visits. Our current class really felt that their attitude and commitment to the game coincided with theirs."

Smith was a Division I All-Ohio honorable mention selection after averaging 17 points and 11 rebounds for Grove City as a junior. He is ranked by Scouting Ohio as the #12 senior in the state. Smith was the Player of the Year in the Ohio Capital Conference and was a first-team All-Conference selection. Playing on a young team, his high school squad posted a 12-10 record. He also played on the King James Shooting Stars AAU team, which is sponsored by NBA superstar LeBron James.

Cory Remekun

"Cory has an outstanding future," Majerus said. "He is a 17-year old senior who reminded our staff of Bryant Dunston (former Fordham player). Cory's family is about education first and foremost, and he is an outstanding student. His body could become that of a man-child. Cory has broad shoulders, soft hands and a very good touch. We are confident he could become, for the old schoolers out there, a (former NBA standout) Paul Silas-type of player. His best ball lies ahead of him. He played on a high school team that has two other Division I players on it (Vertrail Vaughns, George Mason and Chase Hallam, Denver), so he hasn't had the touches a big might get. Therefore, Corey goes hard to the glass. However, he's got the ‘P' word (potential) in spades. He sat through three practices on his visit, and his eyes never left the court. Corey really wants to be a good player.

"Like Jon Smith and Christian Salecich, Cory is a sensational student," Majerus said. "This is an honor roll class in the academic arena as well as the basketball arena. But in the area that matters the most, all of these young men have exceptional families who visited with them and got to meet and see for themselves first hand the best part of Saint Louis University – the faculty, education and the current players on the team. Christian, Cory and Jon were player favorites on their recruiting visits. Our current class really felt that their attitude and commitment to the game coincided with theirs."

As a junior, Remekun was a first-team All-District 12-5A selection and averaged over nine points and five rebounds per game. Last season, his Mesquite team was the No. 1 ranked team in the district for most of the year, finished with a 28-7 record and reached the regional semifinals of the Texas 5A state tournament. This season, Mesquite is ranked eighth in 5A preseason polls, Texas' top prep division.

Christian Salecich

"Christian is truly Aussie-tough," Majerus said. "Like all ‘Boomers', he has a passion and a competitive streak to rival that of Australians like (former Utah and current NBA player) Andrew Bogut, who I was fortunate to coach, and (former NBA and Australian pro) Shane Heal. Christian has played on three continents against men. Every coach and every competitor talks first and foremost about his toughness and passion. He is coming 6,000 miles from home to play basketball. That should give our fans some indication about his love of the game."


Christian Salecich

"Like Jon Smith and Cory Remekun, Christian is a sensational student," Majerus said. "This is an honor roll class in the academic arena as well as the basketball arena. But in the area that matters the most, all of these young men have exceptional families who visited with them and got to meet and see for themselves first hand the best part of Saint Louis University — the faculty, education and the current players on the team. Christian, Cory and Jon were player favorites on their recruiting visits. Our current class really felt that their attitude and commitment to the game coincided with theirs."

Salecich is the top-ranked off guard in the 2009 class in Australia. He played the last two seasons for the Australian Institute of Sport, the elite prep school in Canberra, Australia, which has produced more than 20 Division I players, including Bogut who played at Utah under Majerus.

"Christian's Junior National Coach, Marty Clarke, is a teacher extraordinaire, therefore, Christian has a real command of the fundamentals," Majerus said.

Last season, Salecich averaged 12 points per game while shooting 43 percent from 3-point range and 89 percent from the free-throw line. Christian helped A.I.S. advance to the 2008 Southeast Australian Basketball League finals.

Salecich is a member of the Junior Australian National team which will compete at the 2009 U-19 World Championships. He won the silver medal with Team Australia at the 2007 Junior Oceania Tournament, and he participated in the 2007 Adidas Nations Camp in New Orleans, when he played against current Billiken Ruben Cotto, and each remembered the other for his tenacity.

Salecich scored 15 points and had four assists and helped Australia win the bronze medal game at the 2008 Albert Schweitzer Tournament with a victory over the USA. Salecich is an athletic guard who possesses deep 3-point range, and he is considered a premier defender.


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