NORMAL - Illinois State's basketball team does not have any more scholarships available for the 2007-08 season.
That didn't bother Landon Shipley.
Shipley, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound guard who played the last two seasons at Austin Peay, said Monday night he will enroll at ISU for the fall semester and be a recruited walk-on with the basketball team. Shipley will have to sit out the upcoming season as a transfer, but will have two years of eligibility beginning in the fall 2008.
"I had some scholarship offers from other places, but I wanted to go somewhere where I felt comfortable with the coaching staff and I wanted a better environment," said Shipley, who lives in St. Louis. "I wanted something more than a small-town place.
"The basketball environment (at Austin Peay) was not what I wanted. We won the conference, and it wasn't as good as I thought it would be."
Shipley visited the ISU campus a couple weeks ago and met with new coach Tim Jankovich. He also visited Wichita State, Saint Louis, Denver and Missouri-Kansas City before deciding to become a Redbird. He was on the ISU campus again this past weekend and has sent in his application to the school.
NCAA rules prohibit Jankovich from talking about a player not on scholarship until the player attends classes.
Shipley was Austin Peay's fourth-leading scorer last season, averaging 8.8 points despite starting only two of 31 games and playing 22 minutes per game. He shot 34.9 percent from the field, including 34.8 percent on 3-pointers, and 82 percent at the free throw line along with 1.7 assists and 1.5 rebounds.
Austin Peay, which is located in Clarksville, Tenn., was the Ohio Valley Conference regular-season champion. The Governors lost in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament to Air Force and finished with a 21-12 record.
"I would say I'm very knowledgeable and very feisty," said Shipley. "You might say I look like someone who would be good in golf or cross country, but when I play I show I'm better than that."
Shipley also wants to go into college coaching in the future. He said ISU offers his major, exercise science, along with a minor in coaching.
"I wanted to be in the Missouri Valley Conference. One of the main reasons I'm coming to ISU is the Missouri Valley Tournament is in St. Louis where I am from," said Shipley, who scored 20.2 points per game as a senior at Lafayette High School. "I wanted to go to a bigger school, and off the court (at Austin Peay) I wasn't having a good time."
Shipley's father, David, was a standout player at Southeast Missouri State who scored more than 1,000 points in his career. Landon Shipley said his father does business with someone who is an ISU booster, and that's how he first became interested in the Redbirds.
"All I can say is that I'm sorry that it did not work out to his satisfaction," Austin Peay coach and athletic diretor Dave Loos told The Leaf-Chronicle in Clarksville on April 2. "I appreciate his contributions and wish him the best. He told me that 85 percent of his decision is because he's not happy with the school, and about 15 percent has to do with basketball."