May 21, 2012
By Tom Weber
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University men's basketball coach Barry Hinson introduced his coaching staff on Monday and also announced the signing of two guards who will join the team as freshmen next season.
Hankins, the former associate head coach at Oral Roberts before joining SIU, said the new staff is intent upon building strong relationships with the returning Saluki players.
"A lot of times when you take over a program, people say you need to rebuild and get your own guys in there," Hankins explained. "Well, the guys we have right now, we have to convince them that they're our guys. Coach Hinson is huge on family and we have to convince the guys who are here that they're part of our family."
Beane, Sr. announced that his son, Anthony Beane, Jr., will play for the Salukis next year. Beane, Jr. originally signed with Illinois State but was released from his scholarship last week. He is a 6-foot-1, 170-pound combo guard who averaged 16.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and set a Normal High School record for 3-pointers in a season last year. Beane, Jr. was named 4A Second-Team All-State by the Associated Press.
"As a father, it's been really pleasant to watch his development," said Beane, Sr., who coached under Tim Jankovich at Illinois State. "Teams that have excelled in the Valley start with good guard play. Anthony is bringing that athleticism, hard work and passion. He's been really fortunate to grow up in a household where he's always had access to the gym."
"He was a quarterback for the football team and he's a guard who can play a lot of positions," Hankins said. "We think he is a tremendous Valley-level athlete. He's big and strong and I can see him being a tremendous defender in time."
The coaching staff was asked a wide range of questions from recruiting, to academics, to their priorities going forward, as Southern Illinois looks to bounce back from an 8-23 record last season.
McGee, a graduate of Missouri State, said Hinson was a father figure to him during his playing days with the Bears.
"He sat me down from day one when I played for him and let me know how it was, told me he was going to be there for me through thick and thin," McGee said. "Now I can relate that to the players better because I've been through it."
Mast credited Kansas head coach Bill Self for encouraging him to get into the coaching business and giving him his start with the Jayhawks.
"I think what Coach Hinson has said, with (he and Self's) minds being alike is going be an easy transition for me, because I kind of know what to expect," Mast said. "Obviously, I take Coach Self's opinions very strongly. I respect him and he's opened up so many doors, and that's why I'm here today."
The Salukis have one available scholarship, and Hankins said the team is still looking at front-court players but might hold the scholarship until the fall.
Excerpts from today's press conference
"You guys (the media) have absolutely worn me out about, 'who're you gonna hire?' 'Who're you gonna sign?' and all that stuff. I know you've been patiently waiting, but we really felt like in the process of this hiring that we had to make sure that we had all the pieces to the puzzle that went together and went together well.
"Defending and rebounding are the two most important parts of what we do. I know that Coach Hinson is a very good offensive mind, so what I've learned and what he likes to do will gel real well together."
"There is no question (recruits) have the name recognition. That's one of the many great things I've realized after coming here is how everyone knows who the Salukis are."
"Driving down here this morning, we were talking about the last time we were down here when we got smacked (Jan. 1) here in Carbondale. Now, I get a chance to join the family and I'm really excited. It's a great move for me and my family. My wife and I basically grew up here in southeast Missouri. I'm very familiar with Saluki Basketball. Whenever I was in high school I remember all the great teams and great coaches that have come through here, so we know that we're joining a basketball program that is really rich in tradition."
"In recruiting, I'm very thorough. I find out who's his friends, his girlfriend, his mom, his dad, his preacher. I was very thorough because we were a Division II school."
"That same hunger and passion I had when I played, I have that passion now."
"Coach (Matt) Painter, Marcus Belcher, they all tell me you got a great program on your hands, continue to build it. It's good to hear guys that have gone on to Purdue or Indiana State about how passionate they are about Saluki Basketball."
"I've talked to Coach (Bill) Self quite a bit, as much as I can get, he's a pretty busy guy. I visited with him down in New Orleans for the Final Four, and he kind of knew my passion to move on, and I was very thankful to have played for him. He came in my senior year at U of I. He kind of opened my eyes to coaching and I followed him out to Kansas."
"My background, I like to prove the odds wrong. I had to walk on at Illinois, so I had that fighter mentality. As soon as somebody told me I couldn't do something, I've said I'm gonna show you. So I've just been thankful from that moment on to have so many opportunities. My goal has been to keep pushing and get back to the Division I level, and I'm just grateful for the opportunity that has opened here."