Southern Illinois won six of its last nine games in 2013, including a stunning upset of nationally ranked Wichita State, to give the program momentum heading into Barry Hinson's second season at the helm. The Salukis have added 10 newcomers, as Hinson has almost completely overhauled SIU's roster since taking over as head coach in March, 2012.
Hinson, who has won more conference games in his career (101) than any of the league's 10 active coaches, hopes to continue the progress made last season. To do so, he will need big production from a dynamic pair of returning guards (Desmar Jackson and Anthony Beane), and the emergence of complementary pieces at point guard and forward. While the Salukis have proven talent in the backcourt, they have just one forward with Division I playing experience (Davante Drinkard). Hinson brought in five junior college transfers to provide an immediate boost, but also landed one of the state's top freshmen (Sean O'Brien).