Feb. 1, 2011
By Tim McGaughan
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois (10-12, 4-7) will host Drake (8-14, 3-8) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at SIU Arena.
Head coach Chris Lowery met with the media before Tuesday's practice.
What can you take away too much from the first game versus Drake?
"We're not even looking at that. It's more about what they have done in their last four games in the league. More importantly, how they are playing, how they are scoring, who they are starting. What they have done in recent weeks is really what we have to focus on."
Is this game more about them or you?
"It's about us, after halftime. We've put together five-straight good first halts, followed by five very mediocre second halfs. It's about us being clear about what needs to be done. We've been very precise about what needs to be done, and we need to come out and execute that."
After looking at the tape, do you think it's been more tactical stuff or effort?
"It's been both. At Evansville it was effort. It had nothing to do with the tactical aspect. It was all effort. We started the second half very undisciplined with how we were guarding. All of a sudden, their best player gets open three times when he hadn't been open all day. That has everything to do with effort."
Has it become a confidence thing with this team?
"I think our guards need to have more confidence. We're good enough to beat anyone with who we have inside. We've given them every opportunity. We have pushed and pulled every button, and now as a player you have to have enough pride to go out and get it done."
Do you expect to use the same lineup you used against Evansville?
"We don't know. We have to shake things up, because we're not getting anything out of the second half with that lineup. We're coming out very slow and methodical."
Have you tried to cut down on the fouls?
"A lot of that has to do with late-game situations. Also, when our guards break down, our bigs are fouling the most. When you have a breakdown and they have to rotate and jump the lines where we don't want them to go, they're picking up fouls."
Carlton has been pretty good for you, how important is it for Seck, and Teague to be a factor tomorrow?
"They have to come back, and Seck has hit the wall a little bit. He's really struggled in the last couple games mentally. He's always playing hard, but now it's a thinking-man's game, your seeing people twice, and you can't do what you did the first time. He has to make adjustments from what he did the first time to the second time. He's struggling with that a little bit, but his effort has still not changed."
Do you expect them to defend you differently then the first time?
"We didn't have a post presence the first time, and that was the first game that we started Carlton at the 5. I think they will definitely try to guard us differently."
Do you expect to still go with Mykel at point guard?
"We don't know yet. We still have one more day to see."
Are the guards getting angry, or what kind of mindset do the guards have right now?
"If you're angry you play harder, and you will play your way out of it. They are constantly hearing they are the reason that we're losing. That's not coming from us. That's the other team's scouting reports, that's what the commentators are saying -- if we had good guards, this team would be really good. They can become better, and we haven't lost confidence in them. They have to continue to fight and grow up, because anything can happen in this league. When you have good bigs like we do, all they have to do is their job and good things will happen for them."
Is it nice to come home for two games?
"We definitely need to be home. We have to win. We jump out to leads on people because of the scouting report, because we're doing things the right way, and in the second half we abandon that. Now we have to find a way to get that locked in the whole time."
What have you been telling them at half time?
"We've tried everything.. We're coaching them. Halftime is really more about stats, and tendencies, and saying this is what we need to do better...the play hard charts, the 5-minute wars...everything goes into what you should come out and do in the second half."
Do you say, "guys lets not let this happen again"?
"We don't even talk like that, because when you do, they think you don't have confidence in them. We have not talked about that at all. We talk about what we have to do to win the game. I think that way there are no jitters. We're not playing nervous, we're just not playing very smart, and we're not playing with a lot of energy and enthusiasm."
There were a lot of quick shots in the game at Evansville. Did you tell them to stop taking those?
"They got it after the game, because that is not how we play. That was straight rec ball. We didn't tell them to play that way, but the flow of the game, kids do what they think they need to do. A 10-point shot, there is no such thing, and that's how we played."