Men's Basketball hosts Drake on Wednesday night

    Colby Long

    Colby Long
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    Jan. 29, 2013

    By Robin Thuringer and Amanda Erd
    SIUSalukis.com

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois (8-12, 1-8) hosts Drake (9-11, 3-6) at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday night as both teams begin the second half of Missouri Valley Conference play.

    Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

    Head coach Barry Hinson met with the media prior to Tuesday's practice.

    The Last Meeting
    Southern Illinois63
    Drake University78
    February 22, 2012
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Drake hands Men's Basketball a 78-63 loss
    Ben Simons returned from a five-game layoff to score 14 points, sparking Drake to a 78-63 win over Southern Illinois on Wednesday.


    Q: Coach, is there anything defensively you could do a bit different with Creighton with Drake?

    "I hope so, because if we don't it's going to be a long night for the Salukis. I think one of the things defensively, you know Drake's not as big. They're big but not as big as Creighton was. I know they're big but they still don't have the perimeter size as Creighton had, so I think it's a little bit more conducive for us. At the same time, though, they do shoot the three extremely well. They're one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country, so they still cause us a lot of difficulties. But at the same time I think we match up on the interior a little better than what we did against Creighton, which should help us."

    Q: Looking at that, how big does Dantiel (Daniels) have to play for you tomorrow night?

    "I think Dantiel has to have a huge game in order for us to be even competitive. I think Dantiel's got to play every game that we play, he's got to be competitive for us to just be in the basketball games. That means rebounding-wise, scoring-wise, we've got to start hitting those easy shots. We have to start scoring inside, and if we don't, we become a perimeter jump-shooting team. Everybody knows we're not the greatest of all shooting teams. I think that would help us a whole lot if we can get some inside performance, whether it be out of him or Davante (Drinkard), or whomever we have in that spot, well I guess that's it, that's all we've got, but one of those two guys have got to step up and score for us inside."

    Q: Have you been happy with Beane's effort?

    "I think the thing Anthony is doing for us is he's trying to control the other team's best player, or best perimeter player I should say. We're asking an awful lot of him as a freshman. And I think another thing that you're seeing is, like most freshman in the league right now, these are the dog days of college basketball and they're not use to it and this is where their bodies start to wear on them a little bit, and as freshmen and specifically as sophomores, it takes a little while to adjust to this."

    Q: People have started taking away his jumper at the free throw line, how have you tried to deal with that?

    "I don't think people are taking away his jumper from the free throw line, I think he's taking that away from himself. I think he's not been as aggressive off the dribble as what he has been earlier in the year and it's certainly an emphasis right now. He's got to quit settling for shots that are a little bit further out. We run some sets for him, we expect him to make those shots. He's as good, if not one of our best pull-up jump shooters that we have, but he hasn't been very aggressive lately on offense as far as taking good shots, which by the fact, that goes for our whole team. We're not as bad of a shooting basketball team as what our percentages say. We are an extremely bad shooting team when we take bad shots. And right now our process of deciding whether it's a good or bad shots is causing us problems."

    Q: Is Jeff (Early) going to play tomorrow? What kind of effort are you expecting out of him?

    "Well, he's going to play and I expect great effort. I'm not very happy with Jeff Early right now, not very happy with him at all. I told him that. I've told him that for the last three days. We don't condone those actions in any way, shape or form. I've made it pretty straightforward with you that I'm not happy about it. I put my neck out there last time for him and I told him several times that I'm not going to do it anymore. He's just going to have to live by his actions, which possibly could mean that he would be suspended for the rest of the year."

    Q: Will you start him, Coach?

    "No, he will not start. Josh (Swan) will start. Josh has earned the starting position not only by how he's performing, but also his actions on and off the court."

    Q: It seems like Colby Long has taken advantage of his minutes in the game.

    "I think Colby leads the country in scoring per minutes played. Colby is going to play in this game. We've been trying to find opportunities for him to play. We certainly think this gives him an opportunity to play in this game because of defensive matchups. It's hard for Colby to go out and guard a 6'7 guy, a 6'6 guard, 6'5, 6'4, whatever. But hey, everyone else is doing it, so why not let him have a chance to play a little bit. Colby is going to play a little bit more in this game than what he has in the past."

    Q: What do you like about Colby Long's recent performance?

    "I don't like Colby Long, I love him. I love everything he stands for. Practice hard every day, great attitude, does what we ask him to do and bides for his time until his number is called, and I am telling you tomorrow we are going to be playing Colby Long."

    Q: Have you sensed that Drake's newcomers are becoming more comfortable, more consistent the past couple of games?

    "I think Drake is a lot better than what they were three weeks ago. I think they are really good. Especially after what I saw against Creighton. They didn't make shots late in the game against Missouri State but they were really good. They had Missouri State down 10 in the second half and faltered making shots, but I told my staff this morning they are a lot better than three weeks ago when I watched them play, and that concerns me."

    Q: Stress fractures are common this time of year, are you concerned about that?

    "I've never been concerned with injuries because of how aggressive we are in the weight room. We are very, very aggressive. We lift two times a week even at this point in the year, and sometimes we lift three times a week. The more aggressive you are in the weight room, the better strength and conditioning program you have, makes me worry less about injuries. Clete McLeod has been doing a phenomenal job with our guys."

    Q: Did you learn anything from the Creighton game that you will use tomorrow night?

    "I think the one thing we got from the Creighton game is, for the most part, is that our guys didn't quit. It's easy to quit when you are down 20, 25. It is easy to quit when there is a 30-point deficit, but our guys never did. So we learned from our guys that we will have some fight left. They had a great practice yesterday and I am hoping to have another one today. Our attitudes were really good. Everywhere I go in this community the attitude is good with our fans. I expect nothing but trying to win that ball game on Wednesday night. We are prepared for it. I've always said you play like you practice and we had a good practice yesterday and that was coming off a 30-point whuppin'. That says a lot about our guys and their attitudes."

    Q: How do you get better guarding the perimeter?

    "I think one think you got to get better at is to score. Seriously, I don't think people understand when you miss as much as we have, you are scrambling. You are scrambling to find who you are guarding and your transition defense is always off. When you are not scoring, that puts an enormous amount of pressure on you defensively, and right now it goes hand in hand. Right now for us to improve defensively, we have to find a way to make some baskets. We are scoring three out of every 10 trips down the floor, so that is seven times you are scrambling to find who you are guarding and that puts us in a predicament with a team that can shoot threes.

    Q: What has been the toughest so far on the court?

    "I think the toughest thing for us on the court right now has been our depth and our size disadvantage. I think our size disadvantages has caused us problems. The very first possession of each game, Josh (Swan) and Jeff (Early) here it comes right at you, right off the bat. Teams are smart and that is what it has always been in the Valley. What is your weakest point? That is what teams in the Valley are going to try and take advantage of and certainly that is what it is now."

     

     

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