I feel kind of sorry for Southern Illinois. They had a few good seasons, then Illinois and Purdue raided them for coaches. Of course, we have to thank them for the gift of Matt Painter. I just don't want to thank them with a victory. I think this would be slightly awkward if we were facing them shortly after Painter came home, but he is now in his sixth season in West Lafayette. Anyone he coached there is long gone, so his short time in Carbondale is a footnote.
Unfortunately, this is not the same SIU team that made the Sweet Sixteen twice in the past 10 years. Their 10th NCAA Tournament appearance was in 2007 when they made the Sweet Sixteen before bowing out against Kansas. they were an unprecedented four seed that year, but they have not been back since. Coach Painter did take them to the NCAA's during his only season as SIU head coach in 2004.
2010-11 Record (2-2)
2009-10 Record (15-15, 6-12)
Postseason Result: None
Blog Representation: The Dawg Blog
Series With Purdue: Purdue leads 2-0 (last played 12/9/1985 at Southern Illinois)
SIU comes in at 2-0 in this invitational and 0-2 elsewhere. They lost their season opener against Illinois, then they lost a weird game to Northeastern in the 24 hour basketball marathon on a controversial technical foul in overtime. Because of this Chicago Invitational Challenge we already have a common opponent, as they beat Austin Peay by seven.
From the numbers above you can see this is not a strong offensive team. Gene Teague and Carlton Fay are the only double figures scorers. Teague is a big 6'9" 290 pound center that will be an interesting matchup for us. He is not as lithe as JaJuan Johnson, but he is bigger physically than Sandi Marcius. It will be interesting to see if we draw him outside with JJ or try to bang him inside with Travis Carroll and Marcius. This could be a game where Marcius is an asset to play him physically down low while JJ punishes them outside.
Fay is a 6'8" forward that can help Teague and make things even more interesting in the paint. I don't want to play the Hummel card, but we could really use his experience and defense against him. It is clear that with two solid post players we need Patrick Bade, Marcius, and Carroll to play more minutes and contribute more. Then again, JJ, handled Oakland's size just fine on his own. I would rather have the Bade-Marcius-Carroll trio play more in this game and gain experience for later.
John Freeman is an experienced and talented senior guard from Indianapolis. He is tied for the team lead in assists with Fay, but they do not have the ratios of assists to made baskets that we do. In fact, they have more turnovers than assists as a team. I think defense has been a concern a bit this early against the better teams we have faced in the last two games. I would like to see us play better on that end of the floor, especially against a team that shoots 48% from the field.
Southern Illinois is probably going to work the ball inside. They shoot the three poorly (27%) and they have a big lineup. Freeman is 6'5", and they have five players total at 6'7" or taller. They aren't afraid to get to the line (75%) and they average 38 rebounds per game. This will be a real test for our new found post depth.