Dantiel Daniels will likely miss both games this week, Hinson said.
Jan. 7, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois (7-7, 0-3) plays at No. 23 Wichita State (14-1, 3-0) on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. in a game that will be regionally televised by WSIU.
The Salukis are looking to avoid their first 0-4 league start since 1987, when Rich Herrin's team dropped its first five Missouri Valley Conference games. SIU has lost eight-straight Valley games dating back to last season.
SIU head coach Barry Hinson took questions from the media during his weekly MVC teleconference on Monday morning.
Talk about your upcoming opponent, Wichita State.
They are a top 25 team. I have the utmost respect for Gregg (Marshall) and what they do. I think what he's done this year is even more impressive than what they've done in the past. They are playing 12 guys in double-figure minutes and getting everything out of each and every one of those 12 guys. It's never fun to go to that arena, but it's a great venue for college basketball. A lot of people talk about a bucket list of going to Kansas or Duke or North Carolina, it ought to be on your bucket list to go to Koch Arena. The crowd is so good and the tradition is so good, and what Gregg has done is really impressive.
You mentioned after the Missouri State game that Carbondale is a really good fit for you. What do you like about your situation?
It reminds me of where I was raised -- a small community in Oklahoma, which our two, largest means economically were agriculture and oil. In this area, our two largest are agriculture and coal. I was raised in a small community, my wife and I have been extremely comfortable here, and we think it's a good fit. So far, this community has wrapped their arms around me. They're not going to wrap their arms around me if we don't start winning some ballgames. Right now, we have some deficiencies. We're not going to the O.K. Corral with a lot of bullets.
You've been a passionate supporter of the MVC. Do you know when or why that started?
When you're in a league for nine years, you get a chance to go to each one of those venues and it's a top moment. I was in the league when Bradley went to the Sweet 16, in the league when SIU went to the Sweet 16, in the league when Wichita State went to the Sweet 16, in the league when Creighton was making their run, in the league when Drake was top 20, in the league when Illinois State was good, in the league when Indiana State with Royce (Waltman) went to the NCAA Tournament. When you're in the league as long as I am and you get to see all of these venues, and you get to see so many things happen, like when Larry Bird comes back to Terre Haute, when SIU beat Indiana in this arena...you just fall in love with the passion of this conference. The other thing is, we are a basketball conference, we always have been and I don't think we get enough credit. The announcers try to do a good job giving us credit, but on the national scene, it's still about Robin Hood. The rich get all of the publicity. You're sitting here with one of the best conferences in the country, rest assuredly the best mid-major conference in the country. I've always taken it as a charge of mine. I've always bragged about the schools in which we play and their communities, and I'll continue to be that way. It's one of the reasons I took this job, because I feel so passionate about this conference, not just the conference, but all of the opponents we get to play.
Was getting back into the Valley top on your priority list?
I would have taken a job that fit me, but put it this way, I had four opportunities to take jobs, and none of them were a good fit for me. This was a great fit for me. The byproduct was I got a bonus and got to come back to the Missouri Valley Conference. There's not one coach in this league who I couldn't play and after the game go and have a cup of coffee -- not one. I ultimately respect each and every coach and all of the communities in which we play. Sure we want to beat everybody and have great rivalries, but there's an appreciation for good quality basketball in this league, and I really enjoy it.
How is Dantiel's recovery coming along?
He's still on crutches, so that kind of tells you where we are. We're going with as much of an increased workout as we can right now. We're really struggling to put any type of pressure on the foot right now. We had hoped to have him back for Indiana State for limited minutes, but it looks right now that's not going to be the case.
What are you asking Anthony Beane to do?
We put a lot of emphasis and pressure on Anthony, and in a lot of ways, it's not fair to him as a freshman. We've asked him to guard the other team's best players. We've asked Anthony to be a contributing scorer and with assists. There's no question in my mind he's one of the top freshmen in the league, simply because of all the things we're asking him to do right now.
How well has he responded to that?
Anytime you are a coaches son, and come from a family that has great values and expects the best out of you every day...his mom and dad have done an unbelievable job of raising this young man. When you have those good, core family values, that makes life easier on everybody. I think that's the biggest thing Anthony possesses. He has a lot more maturity than your average freshman, but at the same time, he makes freshman mistakes. I brought all the freshmen in last week, because they had their heads are down, even the two that are redshirting. I told them, you are the future of this program, don't get your heads down, we have to continue to invest in you, and we're not going to quit on you, we'll keep teaching you and try to get you better every single day. I was really encouraged by how our meeting went.
How have you tried to compensate for not having as many bullets as the other guy?
That's a good question. My dad has helped me a lot, my wife has helped me a lot, my athletic director has been a great help to me. I rely on my staff. One of the things we talk about is we grade ourselves on our attitude and approach the game based on our effort. We've had to get away from the score clock, because if we grade us right now just by the score clock, we're going to have problems. You can only imagine every day coming into practice, twice a day, three times a day, it's a little bit difficult for us to keep them going. In their defense, we're on the practice floor right now, and our attitude has been great all day long. I was very disappointed in our second-half effort at Evansville, we just get worn down and we're not mentally strong enough. We're searching every day for different things. We understand our deficiencies, which includes suspensions, injuries and lack of depth, we know them and there's nothing we can do about them. The only thing we can do is approach every day and try to get better.