Jan. 14, 2012
CARBONDALE, Ill. - After beating Indiana State on Friday night, Southern Illinois (6-11, 3-3) has a quick turnaround and will play at No. 21-ranked Creighton (15-2, 5-1) on Sunday at 6 p.m. in Omaha, Neb.
The game will not be televised, but it will be streamed live on ESPN3.
Series vs. Creighton
The Bluejays hold a 49-36 advantage in the all-time series. Creighton has won the last seven meetings between the schools. Three of those games were decided in overtime. SIU is 4-4 at the CenturyLink Center, which opened in 2003. The Salukis won the first four meetings and lost the last four.
Eleven different starting lineups
So far this year, head coach Chris Lowery has tried 11-different starting lineups in 17 games. Eleven-different players have made starts, and the only player to start every game has been Mamadou Seck. Conversely, Creighton has started the same lineup in all 17 games this season.
Lowery versus ranked opponents
The Salukis are 4-11 versus ranked opponents during Chris Lowery's seven-plus seasons at the helm. The most recent win came on Feb. 13, 2008, versus No. 14 Drake. The most recent loss came on Dec. 25, 2011 versus No. 14 Xavier.
Salukis rank 31st in nation in steals
The Salukis lead the league and rank 31st in the nation out of 344 schools with 8.71 steals per game. Against Missouri State last Tuesday, SIU had 14 steals, marking the seventh time this season the team has reached double figures in a game -- the most since the 2005-06 team had eight double-digit steals games. It's a team effort for Southern, which has no individual among the top five in steals in the MVC rankings. Jeff Early is 7th at 1.4 steals per game.
Mamadou Seck is Go-To guy
The undisputed go-to guy on Southern's roster is F Mamadou Seck (6-7, 220, Sr.), who leads the team in scoring (13.6 ppg), rebounding (8.2 rpg) and assists (2.9 apg). The Senegal native has five double-doubles on the season, giving him 12 in his 49-game career at Southern.
Inexperience + missing players = rough non-conference for Salukis
The team's 3-8 non-conference record was, in part, a product of the number of missed games by key players:
Kendal Brown-Surles: 6 games (academics)
Davante Drinkard: 6 games (academics)
Justin Bocot: 4 games (suspension)
Dantiel Daniels: 3 games (injury)
Kourtney Goff: 1 game (flu)
Three freshmen combine to make 28 starts
Three true freshmen have combined to make 27 starts for the Salukis so far this season: Dantiel Daniels (11), Josh Swan (9) and Treg Setty (8). The Salukis have eight players in their first year of Division I basketball (five freshmen and three JUCO transfers).
T.J. Lindsay heats up from 3-point
The team's top 3-point shooter is G T.J. Lindsay (6-3, 175, Jr.) who has converted 26-of-61 (.426) on the season. He started the first two games of the year at point guard, but then switched to the 2-guard spot. Against Illinois State on Jan. 1, he was 6-of-7 on 3-point tries.
At home versus MVC
During six seasons from 2001-02 through the 2007-08 campaign, SIU posted a 62-2 record against MVC opponents on its home court. The last 3+ seasons, however, the Salukis are 13-17 at home against the conference.
Monroe College teammates give team offensive boost
As a part-time starter, G Jeff Early (6-3, 185, Jr.) has scored in double figures six times. Both he and T.J. Lindsay were teammates at Monroe College (N.Y.) last year, leading the club to a 31-5 record and the JUCO Final Four. Early was an All-American and the Region XV Player of the Year. Lindsay was the team's point guard.
Treg Setty breaks out of shooting slump
Treg Setty (6-9, 200, Fr.) scored a career-high 20 points against Illinois State on Jan. 1, marking the first double-figure scoring game of his career. He entered the game 0-for-18 from 3-point, but was 2-of-4 against the Redbirds. After playing mostly at the "4" position, Setty started at the "3" against ISU. He came off the bench on Friday to score 11 first-half points in the win over Indiana State.
Walk-on Kourtney Goff contributes at point guard
Walk-on point guard Kourtney Goff (6-0, 180, Jr.) has started five games and been a steadying influence. He has 14 assists and five turnovers in his last seven games. He missed the conference opener at Evansville with the flu.
Elusive three-game winning streak
It has been more than two years since the Salukis have had a three-game winning streak. They won four in a row from Dec. 19, 2009 to Jan. 1, 2010.
Saluki season-opening streak
SIU began the season 0-3 for the first time since 1963. In that season, the team lost its first four games, but rebounded to finish 16-10 and advance to the small college NCAA Tournament.