Mario Moccia press conference transcript.
Mamadou Seck ends his career with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Salukis prep for first-round tournament game versus Indiana State.
Salukis were led on Senior Day by Mamadou Seck (18 points) and Justin Bocot (14 points).
Chris Lowery served as head coach at Southern Illinois from 2004 to 2012 and compiled a 145-116 record in eight seasons.
During his first three seasons, his teams won 27, 22 and 29 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament each year. He and Rich Herrin are the only head coaches in school history to make three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Long known as the school that produced Walt Frazier in the late 1960s, Southern Illinois began a renaissance of Saluki Basketball in the early 1990s. As a player, Lowery led the 1992-93 team that broke a 16-year NCAA Tournament drought. Lowery was the catalyst for the 1993 and 1994 teams that reached the NCAA Tournament.
A scrappy, hustling player, Lowery scored 1,225 career points and dished out 391 assists at SIU. The Salukis recorded an 86-37 mark during his four years, won two conference championships, advanced to two NCAA Tournaments and picked up a pair of NIT berths as well.
The Evansville, Ind., native returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach under Bruce Weber in 2002. That team advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, knocking off opponents such as Indiana, Texas Tech and Georgia.
Lowery spent three seasons serving under Weber, including one season with him at the University of Illinois
On April 9, 2004, Lowery fulfilled a dream. He returned to his alma mater and was introduced as the 12th men's basketball head coach at Southern Illinois University in the history of the program.
In his first year at the helm of SIU, Lowery won 27 games and became the youngest coach, at age 32, to ever win Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors. The Salukis won the MVC regular-season crown and beat Saint Mary's in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The program continued its steady ascent. Lowery guided a team with no seniors to the 2006 NCAA Tournament and a Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship.
In 2006-07, the Salukis had the greatest season in school history. They won a school-record 29 games, advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and finished the year with a No. 11 ranking -- the highest ever at SIU.
More than any season in school history, the 2006-07 season established an identity for Saluki Basketball. Commentators from across the country marveled at the tenacity with which the Salukis played defense.
"They play as good a defense, if not better defense, than just about anybody in the country," said analyst Jerry Tarkanian. "(Lowery's) defense was so similar to what we were playing at UNLV, that I really fell in love with it. His team just plays so hard and sound. I like his philosophies -- he believes in good, solid defense, starting with fundamentals and with intensity and playing hard."
Southern Illinois ranked third in the nation in points allowed per game with 56.2 in the Sweet 16 season.
During Lowery last three seasons at Southern Illinois, his teams posted records of 15-15, 13-19 and 8-23. The 23 losses were a school record and Lowery's contract was terminated on March 2, 2012.
Lowery was born on July 7, 1972 in Evansville, Ind. and attended Harrison High School. He graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in physical education.
Lowery and his wife, Erika, have four children: Lexis, C.J., Kahari and Jazmyn.
|Thursday, Mar 5|
|Men's Basketball||St. Louis, Mo.||6:05 PM||Free Audio|
|Friday, Mar 6|
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