Men's Basketball hosts nationally ranked Creighton on Sunday night

    Barry Hinson

    Barry Hinson
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    Jan. 25, 2013

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois (8-11, 1-7) hosts No. 12-ranked Creighton (17-3, 6-2) in a nationally televised game on ESPNU on Sunday night at 7 p.m.

    Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

    The Salukis are looking to snap a nine-game losing streak in the series versus the Bluejays, while Creighton enters the game having lost its last two games.

    SIU head coach Barry Hinson met with the media prior to Friday afternoon's practice.

    Is Creighton the best 3-point shooting team you're going to play this year?

    The Last Meeting
    Southern Illinois69
    February 14, 2012
    Carbondale, Ill.
    Hot-shooting Creighton downs Men's Basketball, 88-69
    Creighton put on a shooting clinic in an 88-69 win over Southern Illinois on Tuesday night, snapping a three-game losing streak.

    I don't think there's any doubt. This is the first time in the history of my coaching career that I've looked at a stat sheet and not one guy is shooting in the 30th percentile. Everybody is in the 40th percentile or above. That's completely opposite of our stat sheet. Certainly, that concerns me--their ability to make perimeter shots. The biggest thing that concerns me is how we're going to respond with the absence of Jeff (Early). Certainly, that's going to be a challenge for us. When you take your second-leading scorer and leading rebounder out of the ball game, and you're already short-handed, how do we collectively take care of that? We've got 48 hours to work on that and that's what we're going to do.

    How do you slow down their offense?

    Much like we did at Northern Iowa, I think there's only one way to slow down another team's offense. You have to have good offense on your side of the ball, as well, and you have to get great possessions. What we did at Northern Iowa--limiting them to 58 points--had a lot to do with our patience on the offensive end. Now it would have helped if we could have scored at a little bit better rate than we did; but if I was to take something from the Northern Iowa game, our guys tried to do what we asked them to do. We just couldn't put the ball in the basket.

    Will you start Josh (Swan) in Jeff's place?

    Yes, I'll have to start Josh. I have every intention of starting Josh Swan, and then our rotation from there will be somewhat different than what we've had all season long. But we've had drama all season long, so we'll just adapt.

    Do you think the pace you had at Northern Iowa, where you were dragging it out, is in your best interest on Sunday?

    I don't think there's any question it's in our best interest. Whether it works or not, I don't know, but I do know this: we can't play an up-and-down game with Creighton. If we do, it could be a long day for the Salukis. I like Cardinals baseball, and we have to do what Whitey Herzog used to talk about. We have to play small-ball. We have to get singles. We have to get doubles. That's all we have to do. We need to find a way to get on base. In a football analogy, we have to run the football. We need to get that clock to tick a little bit. They are so good at pushing the ball and playing at a fast pace, and there's a chance they come in here a little motivated after getting beat two in a row.

    How do things change without Jeff?

    Things change dramatically. I don't care who you are. Go to any team in the country and take away their second-leading scorer and leading rebounder off the squad. Collectively, you just have to get a group of guys who are going to bond together and take care of Jeff's absence.

    Did you get a chance to review the video of Jeff's incident? What did you think?

    Yes, and I thought it was spot on. I'm embarrassed. I'm upset. I'm frustrated. I'm really embarrassed for our program. I'm embarrassed for our university. We don't condone that kind of action in any way shape or form. Jeff knows. I visited with Jeff for a long time last night. I've been on the phone with the commissioner and the commissioner of officials, and I fully support their actions. I go back--I'm embarrassed. We've never condoned this type of attitude and this type of play will not be tolerated in our program. After getting back and looking at the video, had the Valley not made that decision, we most likely would have made the decision ourselves because this had malicious intent written all over it.

    Was it the knee or the arm?

    From the angle I saw, it looked like it was part of the knee and the arm. It was definitely to the mid-section, and it was not needed. There was no call for it.

    How has Jeff responded?

    He's been great. I think he realizes now he's a marked man. I think he realizes that every game he goes into from now on, that he will be a marked man. When you've received the number of technicals that he's received this year and now an F2 flagrant foul, I think he realizes that. I hope he does. If he doesn't, he won't get to play anymore.

    Do you think his passion and energy get him in trouble?

    Yeah, I think it has a lot to do with that. I think he plays with a lot of passion and a lot of energy. I think he gets beat up a lot because of his size and his stature, but none of that matters. That's what I told him last night. Regardless of whether it's David vs. Goliath in a beating down over and over and over, it still doesn't give you the right to ever lose your composure. My wife had a good point last night. She told me, 'Hey, we've been getting our tails whipped and (you) haven't gotten a technical.' Well, I've tried to get a couple. I don't mind telling you, but I didn't get them. When you're not very good, the officials won't even honor you with a technical. That's probably one of the by-products of being not very good.

    Do you think you need to get more production on Sunday out of Dantiel (Daniels) and Desmar (Jackson)?

    I don't think there's any question. I don't think either one of those young men has played very well, as of late. When you're Dantiel's size and you get one rebound--I mean, one? In a whole game? That has a lot to do with effort. I visited with Desmar personally today, and I just said, "Hey, we have to have better effort out of you. We have to have better play.' I think sometimes he feels the pressure of being referred to as the best player, and I said, 'Sorry. That's part of it. When you score 28, 29 and 21, and then you can't back it up, there's a target on your back. That's part of the by-product. You have to play hard every game.' Hopefully, they'll play better because we certainly need them.

    Is there a weakness in Doug McDermott's game?

    I certainly haven't seen it. Obviously, the weakness in his game at Drake was having the flu. So I haven't seen it. Here's a kid who can score inside, a kid that can score outside, a kid that can face up, fall away and all the stuff. I mean, guys, look at his stats. He's leading the nation in scoring and a viable candidate to be the player of the year. I think if there's any reason, other than coming and rooting for the Dawgs, is to come in here and watch one of the best college basketball players of all-time. Now, don't get me wrong, he's not Larry Bird, but he's got a little bit of a Larry Bird-type play in him. I mean, this is an impressive kid. I hate to say it, but I enjoy watching him play on film. I don't mind telling you. It's kind of like watching Halloween or Saw for me coming into Sunday. I mean, I'm not really excited about it. I'd like to have a saw before the game, but I don't think they're going to allow me to have one.

    Your 3-point shooting has not been great, but it could be an equalizer on Sunday.

    I think any time you can make perimeter shots, it helps a lot of other areas. We have not shown the tendency to be a great 3-point shooting team, but at the same time, we're continually working on that and trying to become a better 3-point shooting team.