Beveridge Talks About Billikens

Rob Beveridge has several connections to the Saint Louis University basketball. The coach of the Perth Wildcats in Australia and the coach of the World Team at the Nike Hoop Summit talked with about some Billikens — past, present and future — earlier this week after practice.

First we asked the coach about one of his players on the World Team, New Zealand post player Rob Loe, who recently pledged to play his college basketball at Saint Louis University.

"He's a 6-11 guy who can shoot the 3 ball really well," Beveridge said. "We're talking the international 3-point line and maybe beyond. He has good touch for a big guy. He's very mobile. He has good hands. Physically he's got to work on his body, but that's why he is going to college to play basketball."

Beveridge had just finished his sixth practice session coaching Loe, but he predicted the New Zealander would have success at the collegiate level.

"He'll be a very good college player," the coach said. "Right now what he'll have to get better at is playing against bigger athletes. That will be a fast learning curve for him. He's a very, very good prospect."

While coaching the Perth Wildcats this season Beveridge got to know a lot about former SLU standout guard Kevin Lisch, who helped the Wildcats win the NBL championship.

The Perth coach's comments about Lisch are similar to what some of the Belleville, Ill., native's former coaches, including SLU mentor Rick Majerus, have said about the guard.

"I love the kid that much that I hope that my kids grow up to play like him," Beveridge said. "His character is unbelievable. He's a great young man. Zero maintenance off the court. Every practice he went hard. He wants to get better and better. That's why he played so well for us. He kept getting better. Physically, he's stronger. We put him in a system where if he didn't shoot the ball, we would sub him out of the game. I absolutely love the kid."

Beveridge said Lisch had some difficulty in adjusting to playing professional basketball in a foreign country at first, but before long the Illinois native found his footing and because an important part of the Wildcats' success.

The Perth coach has a strong bond with Saint Louis University assistant coach Chris Harriman and it was Harriman who suggested Lisch could help the Wildcats.

"He's one of my former players," Beveridge said of Harriman. "He played for me in Sydney in 1997 and 1998. I helped him get to the USA and we've been friends ever since. He's like a kid brother to me. I rang up Chris and said, this is what I want and he helped find me Kevin."

Harriman may have finally paid back the Perth coach for an unfortunate injury that occurred as the result of an over-exuberant celebration several years ago.

"We won the national championship and after the game the guys got a little rowdy and wrestled me and I dislocated my shoulder," Beveridge said. "Chris Harriman was responsible for it."

The Perth coach also has a connection to a famous family in Perth and current Saint Louis University freshman forward Cody Ellis. He's hopeful that Ellis will return to Australia after his college career to suit up for the Wildcats.

"I want Cody to come back and play in Perth when he's done with that," the coach said.

Beveridge has watched Ellis develop over the years.

"I've known him for a few years as a junior," he said. "I knew Cody and I'm good friends with his father and his uncle. I've followed Cody for a long time and followed his development. He's very laid back. Nothing fazes him. Great basketball I.Q. He has the ability to play inside or outside. He's going to be a very good player."

The coach was asked whether Ellis would be able to transition from power forward to small forward for SLU.

"He has the basketball I.Q. to play the three spot," Beveridge said. "He has to work on his lateral movement."

The next question is when Beveridge, with all of his connections to the Billikens, will make a trip to visit Saint Louis University.

"I'd love to," he said. "Now that Cody is there. I know Rusty and Cathy Lisch. I'd like to see Harry and his wife and the kids."

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