Dec. 31, 2011
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois (3-9, 0-1) will host Illinois State (9-3, 1-0) in a New Year's Day men's basketball game on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Head coach Chris Lowery fielded questions from the media prior to Saturday's practice at SIU Arena.
Is Illinois State doing anything differently defensively this year?
I think starting their two little guards out front helps them. The big guys are playing well -- (Jon) Ekey's having a great year, his stats are phenomenal playing the three and the four.
Is it pretty much (Jackie) Carmichael inside and everyone else shooting threes?
He's posting up smaller guys. He's their only inside threat and is really dominating. It seems the bigger the game, the better he plays.
Do you expect Dantiel (Daniels) to cover him?
We don't know yet. (Carmichael) has to see different people. The one thing he does is get tired real easy and comes out. He has flurries where he's unbelievable, they take him out and rest him, and put him back in. When they play him in shorter periods, he gets a lot more done.
Do you feel you have a better chance playing at home?
We feel better. It wasn't a great showing for us coming back from Hawaii. That's why we didn't want to play until today. We asked to play on the 30th and the 1st, and it didn't happen for us. You have to play the schedule you get and we're going to move forward and try to get better.
Is Kourtney (Goff) feeling better?
He didn't practice yesterday. After not eating all day in Evansville and not eating yesterday, we didn't want anybody else to get what he had, so we sent him home.
Did you take a step back offensively at Evansville?
We needed to be a little more aggressive to start the game. We turned it over 23 times against a team that doesn't pressure past the 3-point line. That is knowing when to attack and when not to. When we moved the basketball, we got good stuff on them.
It was something we definitely needed to look at because of Mamadou Seck's activity. Hopefully, that will keep him out of foul trouble. He and Davante (Drinkard) getting into foul trouble the last three games has really hurt us.
Do you feel like you're getting the right 3-point shots?
At certain points we are. That's something we addressed yesterday in practice. The right guys need to shoot threes. T.J. (Lindsay) and Kendal (Brown-Surles) are the guys that shoot threes. Everybody else needs to get it inside.
Is Kendal getting into a rhythm?
We hope so. He had a long layoff. It's playing games, consistency, habits. Basketball players are creatures of habit and doing things over and over will help him.
How has Kendal's return helped the guard position?
It gives you an older guard whose been in there. He has to show more leadership. That's something we've struggled with all year. We have to have more leadership, whether we're winning or losing, it has to be consistent.
Have you figured out your rotations now that you have a full roster?
Stats don't lie and how hard you play, when you look at Josh Swan, his stats aren't great, but his effort and energy are tremendous. Those are things you take into account, too.
Can you talk about how Kourtney has grown?
He's really done a good job of starting our defense. When he's in, we have a lot more pressure to start games. He makes them start at 35 or 40 feet.