Nov. 7, 2013
By DeMario Phipps-Smith
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois men's basketball team will host Division II William Jewell in an exhibition game at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday.
The Cardinals lost four starters from last year's team that finished 13-14 overall and 9-9 in the West Division of the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
SIU defeated Missouri-St. Louis last week in its first exhibition game. The Salukis open the regular season on Tuesday at Missouri.
Barry Hinson Press Conference Transcript
Q: Have you seen any progress in practice?
"This time of year you try to get better defensively. From what we showed against UMSL, we weren't very good defensively -- we weren't good in a lot of areas. As I said in the press conference after the game, none of the things that happened in that game surprised me at all. Nine of the guys -- or maybe eight -- that we played hadn't entered into a Division I basketball game before. Those guys were scared to death. I think we'll play much better, to what degree, I can't answer that. I do know next Tuesday we'll play a pretty good team (Missouri) and we better be ready to go."
Q: Do you feel those guys have gotten past the shyness of the first game?
"No, they are always going to be in shock. They're really going to be in shock on Tuesday night when they go into Mizzou Arena and see a lineup with guys who are 6-foot-10-11; the shock factor will kick in then. That's why we did it and I'll be able to answer whether it was a smart decision or not Tuesday. In all honesty, I don't know if I'll be able to answer it then because it may be a few games before I can determine if that (Missouri) game was beneficial or not. It's a gamble. I have always been tough on my players and I still think this will pay off."
Q: Are you going to start Marcus Fillyaw again?
Q: What are you most encouraged from this week of practice?
"Everyone is excited at this time of year. We're undefeated and we haven't played a game. Everyone's attitude is good. I said at the start of the season that I really like our guys. They remind me a lot of my Labrador. All Labradors are just a pleasing type of animal. I think our guys, for the most part, want to please. I couldn't say that about everyone last year. We got to the point where they did want to please, but we were butting heads a lot. We're not butting heads on a daily basis with this squad -- maybe occasionally, but not all the time."
Q: Has the officiating been what you expected?
"I think that had an effect on how we played defensively the other night. Our emphasis on the rule changes going into that game made us rather passive. So consequently, the next game we'll probably foul out five guys. We're just trying to find a medium."
Q: Do you expect to make redshirt decisions Monday?
"In all honesty, I'd like to make those decisions Saturday evening, after I discuss it with my staff. I'd like to finalize them Sunday morning. When I got the job I told the interviewing committee that I remember players like Darren Brooks. In order for this program -- or any program in the Missouri Valley -- to be successful you have to have fourth and fifth-year seniors. We have several candidates that we can redshirt. The only reason you redshirt is that you know beyond a shadow of doubt that it's the greatest investment for the young man and the program. We don't redshirt kids that we think aren't good enough. We redshirt kids because we believe they will payoff great dividends in the future. Bill Self has a great saying, `You are a lot better at 23 than you are at 18.' Here's a great stat for you: we've red-shirted kids in all my years of coaching basketball and 90 percent of them didn't want to do it. One hundred percent said redshirting was the best thing that ever happened."
Q: What are some of your goals against William Jewel?
"We'd like to make a three so the coach can look like Nostradamus. I want to play better defense. Our interior defense-- and believe it or not, I coach the big guys -- was really disappointing the other night. There's no one to point the finger at because I'm the one that works with those guys every day. I hope our interior play is better defensively. I hope our interior play improves offensively. I also hope we play better perimeter defense. We'll see what happens."
Q: Have you shot better 3-pointers in practice?
"We haven't shot very much. I know what people are saying, `Well, if you're not shooting in practice, you're not going to shoot very well.' We'll do a lot of shooting later in this week and the weekend. I don't think that affected us very much the other night. We had great looks and were wide open. We just couldn't hit anything."
Q: Did anyone stand out after the first game?
"I think two players stood out pretty well last game. Their names were (Desmar) Jackson and (Anthony) Beane. I think they had 50 points between the two of them. I think Sean O'Brien, Davante Drinkard, Bronson Verhines have played a lot better in practices since the game -- and they need to. Bola Olyanian has played a little bit better, but not to the level I want him to. My staff has to remind me that this is Bola's first year of college basketball."
Q: Do you feel that Beane will be a little more consistent this year?
"I hope so. The weaknesses Anthony had last year, he has improved on. I think because of his athleticism, he will always be somebody that will give teams trouble. Anthony has got to get better defensively for us. He's such a good athlete that he should be able to guard anyone on the floor."