#76 Southern Illinois Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Southern Illinois Salukis
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #76
Conference Rank: #3 Missouri Valley
 Southern Illinois Logo
In a down season for the Missouri Valley, outside of Loyola’s magnificent tournament run, it was Southern Illinois who managed to finish second in the conference with an 11-7 record. It should be another tight race in the middle of the MVC, but the Salukis will be well equipped to again finish towards the top of the conference standings. Coach Barry Hinson returns all five starters and this could be the year he finally takes SIU to the postseason for the first time since taking over the program in 2012.
2017-18 Record: 20-13, 11-7
2017-18 Postseason: None
Coach: Barry Hinson
Coach Record: 99-96 at Southern Illinois, 304-236 overall
Key Departed Players:
Tyler Smithpeters, Guard, 7.7 ppg
Jonathan Wiley, Forward, 5.8 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Armon Fletcher, Senior, Guard, 14.1 ppg
Sean Lloyd Jr, Senior, Guard, 12.1 ppg
Kavion Pippen, Senior, Center, 12.1 ppg
Aaron Cook, Junior, Guard, 9.8 ppg
Marcus Bartley, Senior, Guard, 6.7 ppg
Eric McGill, Junior, Guard, 5.0 ppg
Rudy Stradnieks, Senior, Forward, 3.3 ppg
Brendon Gooch, Sophomore, Forward, 0.9 ppg
Thik Bol, Senior, Forward, DNP last season
Key New Players:
Darius Beane, Freshman, Guard
Jimmy Beane, Freshman, Guard
Amadou Fall, Freshman, Forward
David Swedura, Freshman, Guard
SIU is loaded in the backcourt. Armon Fletcher led the team last season with 14.1 points per game. He needs to more efficient shooting the basketball, but obviously Fletcher can score regardless. Sean Lloyd and Marcus Bartley are also experienced senior guards who can score in a variety of ways. Bartley is not much of a scorer, but he is a very consistent shooter and led the team with 3.5 assists. Aaron Cook and Eric McGill give the Salukis plenty of depth and experienced options. Last season Southern Illinois started four guards around center Kavion Pippen. The 6-10 senior center averaged 12.1 points and a team high 5.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Coach Hinson will need to find some depth in the frontcourt without Jonathan Wiley. Senior Rudy Stradnieks has the experience, but there needs to be production from the younger frontcourt players as well or Southern Illinois will have a tough time matching up against larger teams.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.9 (268th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.1 (92, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.2 (91, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.8 (172, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.5 (280, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.6 (145, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.6 (247, 9)
Rebound Margin: -1.5 (258, 8)
Assists Per Game: 14.1 (140, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.7 (159, 5)