Jan. 30, 2012
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Southern Illinois (7-15, 4-7) practiced at the McLeod Center today as it prepares to face Northern Iowa (14-9, 4-7) in a men's basketball matchup on Tuesday. The game will be televised on WSIU at 7 p.m. CT.
The two teams are locked in a three-way tie for seventh place in the Missouri Valley Conference standings with Indiana State. The top six seeds bypass the March 1 play-in game at the conference tournament.
In other news on Monday, Southern Illinois was paired with Ball State in the 10th annual BracketBusters tournament. The Salukis will play in Muncie, Ind. on Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. CT. SIU has a 7-4 advantage in the all-time series between the schools, which are located approximately five hours apart. They last met on Nov. 25, 2000, in Carbondale, a game won by Southern, 93-80.
Series vs. Northern Iowa
SIU leads the all-time series versus Northern Iowa, 28-20, but the Panthers have won eight of the last 11 meetings. UNI also has an eight-game winning streak at home over Southern. The Salukis are 0-5 at the McLeod Center. Their last win in Cedar Falls was at the UNI Dome on Jan. 22, 2003, an 88-78 victory in overtime with Bruce Weber at the helm.
Dantiel Daniels chases freshman blocked shots record
F Dantiel Daniels (6-6, 225, Fr.) leads the MVC in blocked shots at 1.8 bpg and currently is second in school history in blocked shots by a freshman. He has 33 and trails only Tony Harvey (70 in 1989). He is tied with Randal Falker (30 in 2005). Daniels is also a threat to score, posting a career-high 22 points against No. 14-ranked Xavier on Dec. 25. In the last 15 games, he has made 49-of-78 (.628) shots from the field.
Salukis settle on starting lineup
Head coach Chris Lowery has finally settled upon a lineup of forwards Mamadou Seck and Dantiel Daniels, plus guards Kendal Brown-Surles, T.J. Lindsay and Jeff Early. The unit has started five- straight games and they are the 11th different starting lineup combination this season. Eleven-different players have made starts, and the only player to start every game has been Seck. The Salukis typically utilize between 10-12 players per game.
Salukis rank 65th in nation in steals
The Salukis lead the league and rank 65th in the nation out of 344 schools with 7.86 steals per game. Against Missouri State on Jan. 10, 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 player among the top five in steals in the MVC rankings. Jeff Early is 10th (1.2 spg).
Mamadou Seck is team's point-forward
Not only does F Mamadou Seck (6- 7, 220, Sr.) lead the team in scoring (12.5 ppg) and rebounding (7.9 rpg), but he is also the team's top assist man (2.8 apg). The Senegal native has six double-doubles on the season, giving him 13 in his 54- game career at Southern. He has led the team in either scoring or rebounding in 17 of 22 games. He also leads the MVC with 2.9 orpg.
Southern Illinois lost by 43 points to Wichita State on Jan. 21, the largest margin of defeat in school history in a conference game. The Salukis had more turnovers (22) than field goals (17). The Salukis bounced back in their next outing against Bradley on Jan. 24, winning by 17 points. It was their biggest margin of victory in an MVC game since beating Indiana State by 18 on Dec. 29, 2009 -- a span of 44 league contests. On Jan. 28 at Illinois State, SIU scored the second-fewest points in the modern era in school history, losing to the Redbirds, 60-40. Southern will try to bounce back again at Northern Iowa on Tuesday.
Saluki holds team below 65 points for ninth time
When SIU held Bradley to 60 points on Jan. 24, it marked the ninth time this season the Salukis held an opponent below 65. SIU's defense did not allow any of its first eight opponents to score 65 points in a game. It was the longest such streak since 2007, when that team also held eight- straight opponents below the mark from Nov. 22 to Dec. 18. Beginning with Kansas State on Dec. 23, 2011, the next 12 teams all surpassed the 65-point plateau against Southern.
Justin Bocot breaks out of shooting slump
Justin Bocot (6-4, 170, Sr.) has made 6-of-12 shots from 3-point in the last three games and is showing signs of breaking out of a January slump. He scored 11 points against Bradley on Jan. 24, after recording a total of six points in his previous five games. Bocot was academically ineligible as a freshman, earned his fifth year of eligibility by completing 80 percent of his degree requirements by the end of the 2011 school year. Bocot also averaged 12.1 points per game during a nine-game overseas trip to China in May, 2011, with Reach USA.