Men's Basketball opens regular season at Missouri on Tuesday

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    Barry Hinson begins his second season as head coach at SIU.
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    Nov. 11, 2013

    Southern Illinois (0-0) at Missouri (1-0)
     Date Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013
     Time 8 p.m. CT
     Location Columbia, Mo. - Mizzou Arena
     Radio Saluki Sports Network
     TV Fox Sports Midwest
     Video Stream ESPN3
     Game Notes Southern Illinois Get Acrobat Reader
     Live Stats Gametracker
     Social Media @SIU_Basketball

    Series versus Missouri
    The Salukis are 1-6 all-time against Missouri. The last time the teams met was in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2003, when the Tigers rallied for a 72-71 victory. Rickey Paulding drew a controversial blocking foul and made the winning free throw with 4.1 seconds left. A 3-pointer by SIU's Kent Williams at the buzzer was off the mark. The game was the final one of Bruce Weber's five-year career at SIU, as he went on to coach at Illinois. Southern's only win in the series versus Missouri came in the season opener of the 1976-77 season. The Salukis won at Columbia on Nov. 26 and went on to finish with a 22-7 record and advance to the NCAA Sweet 16.

    Salukis versus the SEC
    The Salukis are 9-20 all-time against the current membership of the Southeastern Conference. The last time SIU played an SEC opponent was in 2007, when it beat Mississippi State, 63-49, at the Anaheim Classic.

    Salukis in season openers
    The Salukis have won their season opener in 12 of the last 14 seasons. The only losses in that span were at Illinois in 2010 and versus Ohio Dominican in 2011.

    Salukis picked 8th in preseason poll
    The Salukis were picked to finish eighth in the preseason poll of MVC head coaches, SIDs, beat writers and radio announcers. The Salukis finished 10th last year, exactly where they were picked in the 2012 preseason poll.

    Desmar Jackson named to Preseason Team
    G Desmar Jackson (6-5, 180, Sr.) was named to the seven-man MVC Preseason Team. Jackson averaged 15.1 points and 5.4 rebounds last year for the Salukis and has scored more points in his college career (1,271) than any active player in the league. He scored 804 points in two seasons at Wyoming (2010-11). Last year, he was named honorable mention All-Conference in the MVC.

    Anthony Beane named to the MVC All-Freshman team
    G Anthony Beane (6-2, 180, So.) became the 10th Saluki player in school history to earn MVC All-Freshman team honors last year. SIU has had an All-Freshman team member in four of the last five years, including Kevin Dillard (2009), Gene Teague (2010) and Dantiel Daniels (2012). Beane finished second in scoring among league freshmen, averaging 9.1 points, trailing only Missouri State's Marcus Marshall. Beane scored 283 points last year, the seventh-most all-time by a freshman at SIU. He originally signed with Illinois State, but came with his father, assistant coach Anthony Beane, to Southern instead.

    Salukis finished 2012-13 on hot streak
    After starting the conference season 1-10 last year, the Salukis finished the league slate 5-2. The hot streak started when the Salukis beat No. 22-ranked Wichita State on Feb. 4, marking their first win over a ranked team since beating No. 15 Drake in 2008. SIU had lost nine-straight games to ranked teams since that time. Since 2001, the Salukis are 8-18 against ranked teams.

    Exhibition notes
    The Salukis beat Division II foes Missouri-St. Louis by five points and William Jewell by 12. Against UMSL, Jackson and Beane combined to score 50 of SIU's 71 points. The duo did not start against William Jewell after arriving late for warmups. C Davante Drinkard (6-9, 245, Sr.) had an impressive exhibition campaign, averaging 11.5 points and shooting 71.4 percent from the field. Last year, he was bothered by foot problems and averaged just 1.9 points. Two years ago, he averaged 3.6 points and scored in double figures twice -- the only two times he has reached double figures in his 75-game career. The Salukis were cold from 3-point range in exhibition, converting 3-of-22, including 0-for-11 in the opener. They shot 32.0 percent from 3-point last year.

    Hinson remakes Saluki roster
    In just over one year, head coach Barry Hinson has almost completely remade SIU's roster. Of the 13 players on scholarship, only seniors Desmar Jackson and Davante Drinkard were not signed by Hinson.

    Salukis enlist help of five JUCO transfers
    The Salukis signed four junior college players during the off-season and added a fifth (Dawson Verhines) as a walk-on. Two JUCOs -- Bronson Verhines (6-6, 200, Sr.) and Marcus Fillyaw (6-1, 180, So.) are penciled into the starting lineup. Verhines helped lead nearby Rend Lake College to a 30-3 record and the NJCAA Division II national championship. He averaged 10.0 points and 9.0 rebounds. Fillyaw, a point guard, averaged 6.0 assists for Cloud County Community College. Two more JUCO signees -- Mike Balogun (6-2, 170, Jr.) and Hunter Gibon (6-3, 180, So.) -- were brought in to improve the team's perimeter shooting.

    Davante Drinkard gives SIU a big body in the starting lineup
    At the end of last year, the Salukis had no starters taller than 6-foot-5, as C Davante Drinkard (6-9, 245, Sr.) primarly came off the bench. He did start four games in 2012-13 and has started 14 times in his 75-game career. He averages 3.9 points as a starter and 1.7 points coming off the bench. Drinkard has battled foot problems throughout his high school and college career but is completely healthy this season.

    Two freshmen featured in Saluki playing rotation
    The Salukis' eight-man rotation features two freshmen -- F Sean O'Brien (6-6, 205, Fr.) and G Tyler Smithpeters (6-3, 170, Fr.). O'Brien averaged 21 points, 11.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists as a senior at Mundelein High School in suburban Chicago last year. He had a career-high 17 assists against Wauconda and recorded five triple-doubles. Smithpeters led Harrisburg High School to a 33-1 record and 2A state championship. He was named the Southern Illinoisan Co-Player of the Year (with teammate Capel Henshaw) and averaged 17.5 points, six assists and 4.7 rebounds, while shooting 40 percent from 3-point range.

    Salukis graduated nation's top rebounder among players 6-1 and under
    F Jeff Early (6-1, 187, Sr.) led the nation in rebounding (7.4 rpg) last season among players 6-foot-1 and under. Although he stood only 6-foot-1, Early played what Hinson calls the hybrid "4" spot. The high-energy Early averaged 13.0 points on the season and was particularly effective down the stretch, averaging 20.6 points in the last five games of the regular season.

    Jalen Pendleton to play the hybrid four-spot
    G Jalen Pendleton (6-2, 205, So.) is expected to play a similar role on this year's team as Early -- an under-sized hybrid forward. The Evansville native came on strong at the end of last season as he averaged 8.0 points in the final nine games and scored the final six points in the two-point win over Wichita State.

    Desmar Jackson's 20+ point games
    From Jan. 9-15, 2013, Desmar Jackson reeled off three-consecutive 20-point games at Wichita State (28), versus Indiana State (29) and at Bradley (21). The last Saluki to score 20+ in three consecutive games was Kent Williams, who posted four-straight in Nov./Dec. of 2001 versus Illinois (23), UIC (21), Indiana (22) and George Mason (26).