Barry Hinson era begins at New Orleans on Monday night

    Barry Hinson makes his Saluki coaching debut on Monday night.

    Barry Hinson makes his Saluki coaching debut on Monday night.
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    Nov. 9, 2012

    By Dustin Carlisle

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Saluki men's basketball program officially begins the Barry Hinsonera on Monday night when Southern Illinois travels to New Orleans for a 7 p.m. game. The Privateers are returning to Division I basketball this season after two years at the Division II level. The teams have split two previous meetings, with SIU winning in 1977 and UNO victorious in 1986.

    SIU-UNO Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

    Here is a transcript of Hinson's media availability.

    Q: "Coach, do you have film on New Orleans?"

    "We've gone off of film from last year's and off scouting reports of last year. They had two scrimmages and they had no trade agreements in their scrimmages, so we have no live film as of right now. They do open up tomorrow night against San Jose State at home and we will watch the stream of the video. Then we will have a copy of that game at our hotel that San Jose State will leave us."

    Q: "They have a couple 6-foot-8 guys, but how important is it for your guys to stay out of foul trouble?"

    "I think it's really important. You saw how much we struggled the other night when we got into foul trouble and we have to play small. This is going to be a unique game for us, because we're not at full strength. We will not have Dantiel (Daniels). There is a possibility that we may not have another one of our big guys. If that happens then we will only go into the game with one big guy. So, now you got all sorts of concerns with our lineup. The one thing that I am comfortable with is that they (New Orleans) play such a fast pace that I think that will help us if we have to go small."

    Q: "Is (Antonio) Bryer hurt?"

    "No Bryer is not hurt. Devante (Drinkard) is really struggling with his feet right now. I anticipate playing him, but there is a chance that he might not be able to play."

    Q: "How happy have you been with the defense this week in practice?"

    "Happier. A defensive-minded coach is never happy. We're always looking for the perfect game and the perfect stop. We really didn't have a good practice yesterday. As a matter a fact, we didn't have a good practice at all. Our guys were tired, they were cranky, and they acted like a bunch of babies. They acted like an old dog that had been woken up from his nap, and you can't be that way. You have got to be consistent every day. I told them at the end of practice yesterday that I was very disappointed. It's really hard as a coaching staff that we have to coach attitude and effort every day. That's part of the change of culture here that we're trying to change."

    Q: "Have you been making progress despite yesterday?"

    "I think we've been making progress, but we can't handle success. We are a typical two steps forward and one step back type of team. As a matter a fact, we could take one step forward and two steps back with in a matter of 48 hours. Our maturity level right now is not very good. It's just not very good. I've said this all along, you're only as good as your seniors. Our three seniors have really got to raise our maturity level. Not only as a group of individuals, but as our team."

    Q: "What did you learn about your team in the two exhibition games?"

    "I think our guys see that when we do what we're asked to do that we can besuccessful. We have had two very long film sessions and we've done a lot of teaching. So, I don't know if I can answer that question until two or three games into the season, but we have done an enormous amount of teaching after the two exhibition games. We have done an enormous amount of film work and breaking the film down in practice. We've also had individual conferences and team conferences so, I think we will be able to answer that question after two or three games?"

    Q: "Your last exhibition game you scored 30 points off of turnovers. Do you feel that your team can do that again in this upcoming game?"

    "I think that certainly that the way we want to play defense we would like to create an environment where we can create steals and where we can convert off of turnovers. Right now, we could get turnovers and hand it right back to them in a matter of seconds. So we really need those yards after catch type of plays, we really do. We don't have that right now. We are going to find out a lot about our guys in the month of November. You will have a good feel for what's getting ready to happen with our crew. I think we get better, but like I said our maturity level has to get back to where we've got to be able to handle real adversity. Whether it's missing a fee throw, whether telling to run extra in practice, or whether it's a team breakdown and we have some type of punishment. I mean we got to be able to handle that right now and we just can't do that."

    Q: "Coach, are you nervous and excited for your first game?"

    "Yeah. Nervous, excited, stressed, and can't sleep. Got to bed at two last night and got up the in the morning at six. It's a good thing, though. I told the interviewing committee this. I know what people are saying. I know where we're predicted to finish, but I can't switch to that mode and I won't switch to that mode. We are staring at a very, very difficult season ahead of us, unless we all get together and try to make a pathway to what we want to accomplish. We are going to be on a roller coaster I know it. The only problem with this roller coaster is that when we're at the top, can we stay there for a while and how do we handle when we get down low? That's going to be the challenge for this basketball team. It's going to be a challenge for me, because I absolutely hate losing with a passion. Just ask my wife. If I play my wife in checkers or chess I want to kick her butt every single time. I just hate losing."

    Q: "Has the life-skills program improved maturity off the court?"

    "I think you will have to ask the players that. I don't know. I hope so. In our life-skills program, I've enjoyed it. We have had a judge come speak to us. We've had former players come speak to us. Former coaches come speak to us. We've had lawyers and police officers come speak to us. We have had a lady come talk to us about our manners. I have talked to them about patriotism. I think it's working. I'm hearing great things in the community about how our guys are acting now off the floor. So I do think it's working from the program."

    Q: "Do you guys have a team charity this year?"

    "We do have a team charity. That's going to be next week on Thursday night. We are going to have a night for just the ladies. We are going to have a Ladies Night Out and going to support the women's center. I'm really looking forward to that. A matter of fact, our players have no idea how much fun they are going to have next Thursday night."

    Q: "Did you really want to go on the road for the first game?"

    "Yeah, I really wanted to go on the road for our first game. I just think when you go on the road, it's just you and the team. For lack of a better term, it's a foxhole. When you get in tough situations on the road you find out whose got your back, and on the road there is no better chance to do that. I really want to do that from the very first game."