Nov. 4, 2011
By Tyler Wooten
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois hosts Missouri S&T on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. in the team's final exhibition tuneup before the home opener on Nov. 12.
Head coach Chris Lowery met with the media prior to Thursday's practice.
Q: "What kind of challenge do you think Missouri S&T brings?"
"They'll have to replace three starters, but we have no idea, we don't have film on them. Obviously, they're a different team. They have two really good guards, one being a local kid from Nashville (Tommy Pelczynski). We know that they'll have two guys that are really good, and we'll definitely have to key on those guys, but we have no idea about the rest of their team."
Q: "What do you want to see out of your team?"
"We just want to play hard. I just want to see us compete at a high level. I think that is something that we've been committed to doing, and I think we just have to have consistent effort like we did in the first game and build on that. Less turnovers is obviously the number one thing. We just have to continue to play our guys and take a look at people and go from there."
Q: "Can you talk about the status of Diamond (Taylor) and Kendal (Brown-Surles)?"
"Diamond is eligible for Ohio Dominican. Kendal is still at this point only able to practice with the team. As far as I'm concerned, Diamond gets off his suspension after this next exhibition game, and we'll just go from there."
Q: "As you looked over the film from the first exhibition, what did you take from it? What were the highs and lows?"
"The play-hard chart was at 25, which is tremendous. I think we had dives on the floor in the first half. All the little things: the effort, the energy, the enthusiasm, was tremendous in that game. Those are things you want to have continue to grow and build on. Turnovers were obviously very high, but we had a majority of the turnovers when our freshmen and new guys were in at the end of the game against the press. We didn't use timeouts, and that's a part of them learning, and me just saying, 'What should you have done in that situation?' in film. We had a lot of people in the wrong place in the presses, and that was good for us to be able to see it on film and ask them questions and know the right answer. That was good for us to be able to watch the film after we played."
"They were different turnovers last year as opposed to what we did this year. We had them at 47 points, and if we really wanted to put it on and keep the pressure up and leave Justin (Bocot) and (Mamadou) Seck to break the press we don't even have those turnovers. The biggest thing for us, our turnovers were going really fast and trying to make athletic plays, which we want. As opposed to last year, we made turnovers and some of those were because we weren't good enough. The issue right now is that these guys, we're letting them play a little faster, we're letting them get in transition and allow them to use what they have athletically, so that had a lot to do with the first game. And, it was the first game, so I don't think we can base the whole season on one game."
Q: "Did you learn anything about different player combinations in that first game, or are you still in a learning process?"
"We're still learning because it's a live game, it was a game we actually got to play in and see certain people play with certain people. We realized that certain people can't play with other guys, and that's good to know early. But, it may change in the next game because that's the good part about watching film and saying, 'Hey, these are this guy's strengths right now, try to utilize those things.' "
Q: "Is there a number of free throw attempts you want to hit in a game?"
"We always want to make more than they attempt. That's the biggest thing for us, is attacking the basket in transition and really being aggressive. Our thing is that we want to steal points in transition off of our defense, off of defensive rebounds, and we did that at a high clip in that game. Those are things we have to continue to do."
Q: "You had a good balance in your offense in that first game..."
"Well, we're young and new in a lot of different places. It's good to see Dantiel (Daniels) and (Mamadou) Seck fight for rebounds. We gotta learn when one of them has it to not try to take it from the other one. I think they've done a good job of understanding who can score where, and that's a good thing when guys recognize who can get the ball and where they can score at. I thought we did a good job of that in the first game."