Barry Hinson talks to leading scorer Desmar Jackson
Feb. 12, 2013
By Amanda Erd
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois (9-15, 2-11) will host Evansville (14-11, 7-6) in a 7 p.m. men's basketball game on Wednesday night at SIU Arena.
The Salukis have an 11-game winning streak over the Purple Aces at home. The last time SIU lost to Evansville at the arena was on Feb. 21, 2001.
Evansville hands Men's Basketball its fourth-straight loss, 85-68
Evansville handed Southern Illinois its most lopsided loss of the season, 85-68, at the Ford Center on Saturday night.
Q: What do you have to do to beat Evansville?
A: We have played well this last week and a half but I think this is a really tough match-up for us. When I tell you a lot of teams in the league don't scare me, this is one of the teams that scares me just because they are extremely cerebral. They're constantly moving, constant screening and that causes us difficulty because one, it makes us talk and we're not a bunch of talkers; we don't like to communicate out on the floor and that's gonna cause us a major challenge, so we've got to get through that. And the other thing is we always struggle with teams that shoot the basketball extremely well. I'll give you a great example. They gave Jake Odum the ball the other night for scoring his 1,000th point, which is a great honor, just awesome. Colt Ryan just scored his 2,000th point the other night. I mean, that's a big difference. This kid is capable of getting 30 on you at any time. He's getting 23 points a night and he draws a lot of flies but at the same time he earns everything, so he is certainly a big focal point and we just have to do a good job on him.
Q: Is there anything that makes you believe that Dantiel (Daniels) can have another game like he did against Indiana State?
A: Yeah, I think one thing that is promising about Dantiel is that he feels good. He's starting to get his explosives back, his ankle is okay, his groin is okay...I shouldn't say okay, but it's better. He's starting to get more confidence. And here's a kid that didn't play against them the first time, so I think that will make a huge difference for us because it gives us an inside scoring threat.
Q: Occasionally you get in to some trouble giving up some bad passes or turning it over trying to get it to him. How do you try to do better?
A: At least we're trying to get him the ball. We're not the best skilled team in the league right now, but at the same time we're making a conscientious effort to get the basketball there. When you're not a very good perimeter shooting team, people back up off of you, so when they back off of you, it's harder to get the ball inside. You've gotta have a little more movement, and quite frankly we've had better movement over the last couple weeks.
Q: What kind of problems does (Ned) Cox give you? He's a little bit of a different player than Colt is.
A: He's quicker, he's a threat inside, he's a threat outside, he's a threat off the dribble, he is the ultimate complement. You don't run into a lot of teams with their two leading scorers, normally you've got an inside guy that's really complementary, but here you've got two guards that are getting over 50 percent of their points. That shows you how good they are.
Q: Coach, you mentioned the better movement...what do you see is the main reason you guys have played a little better the last two games?
A: Well, I think one of the things has been practice and repetition, and the other thing is we're playing unselfish. I think you heard what T.J. (Lindsay) said the other night after the Wichita State game. He just said that's probably as unselfish as we've played since I've been here. And that's been our focus. Play unselfish. Go make a play for somebody else other than yourself.
Q: How is Jalen (Pendleton) earning minutes?
A: Well you know, part of it's by committee. I mean, I'm sorry, that's just part of it. But he has taken this time period in which he's had an opportunity to play and he's made the best of it. So when Jeff (Early) goes down, that puts us in a predicament. And when Josh (Swan) goes down, it puts us in a predicament. You're talking about taking a part-time starter and your second-leading scorer and leading rebounder out of the game, somebody's got step up and thankfully he has.
Q: Him and Anthony (Beane) have both been playing well as freshmen this year. How do you think the younger kids have helped this team and kind of made it a different look?
A: Since they're my first recruits, I think they're playing great. They've been very sporadic. I think Anthony is at that point in the year where he's worn down. I don't think he's as strong as what he was early in the year. Whereas Jalen hasn't played the amount of minutes that Anthony has and is a little bit more fresh right now. Certainly they're freshmen. They still make bonehead plays, bonehead mistakes. Jalen was one reverse pivot away from a charge the other night. We've still gotta learn how to play the basketball game a little bit better. But I tell you what, for freshmen...for being thrown into the water, specifically into the deep end, they've played pretty well.
Q: Did you see some positive steps defensively Saturday?
A: Yeah, as a matter of fact I felt we sustained defense throughout the shot clock. I though we did a good job. Our last two games, we've told our players win rebounding, win defense, win games. Consequently, we won the Wichita State game in the second half, holding them to 30 percent and then against Indiana State we played better defense and we out rebounded them, putting us in an opportunity to win the ball game.
Q: Can you tell me what Josh Swan's injury is?
A: It's not an ankle, it's a knee. It is definitely a knee injury. I can't go into specifics of it, but it is to the degree in which he will need surgery.
Q: And is that happening this week, you think?
A: It is on the docket to happen next week.
Q: The Ford Center, when we went there, seemed to be pretty loud and they seemed to feed off of crowd. How do you think that will help here with the tables turned when it's our home crowd?
A: Well, I hope so. I just looked at the attendance average for our league and you're talking about a team that's won two games in conference, but we're not last in attendance. We're seventh. I will be shocked if we do not break the 6,000 mark in one of these two games this week. I really will be. I think we'll go over the 6,000 mark and I'll be shocked if we don't. I hope we do. I think that'll show you that we're making progress with our program and making progress with our crowd. I think people are a little more excited about Saluki basketball than what they have been.
Q: Do you feel you guys are a little more confident playing at home now?
A: Oh, there's no question. I think every time you win a ball game it gives you confidence and I think certainly the Wichita State game gave us a huge boost. How we played at Indiana State, we should've won the ball game, but give them the credit, they made the plays down the stretch.
Q: What can you do free throw-wise, though?
A: Nothing. You know I've always said this and I believe it: Free throw percentages go back to how good of a free throw shooter you are. And with Des (Jackson), maybe, Des just get in there and practices free throws a little bit more. But we know what we're up against with Dantiel and I'm not gonna do that to him. We know he struggles from the free throw line. It's not like he doesn't practice; he practices all the time. There's some guys that are good free throw shooters, there's some guys that aren't. The biggest thing for us in this game free throw-wise is to keep them off the line. They're 78 percent from the field. They shot 89 percent last time we played them and we can't do that.