Saluki men unaffected by coaching vacancy
As the SIU men’s basketball program enters its third week without a head coach, and as the search for Chris Lowery’s replacement continues, Saluki players say they remain committed to the program.
Rumors of players asking for their release to transfer to other schools have been on the Internet, but no one has officially been released. Freshman center Harry Whitt said he remains committed to the program and will put his faith in Athletic Director Mario Moccia to find a suitable replacement for Lowery, who was fired March 2.
“It’s always interesting, who’s going to be your coach … I know that Mario has more experience picking a coach than I do, so I’ll trust him,” Whitt said.
The list of possible replacements is long and includes coaches with various experience levels and resumes, according to ESPN reports. One candidate who could fill the coaching vacancy is former SIU coach Bruce Weber, who was recently fired from the position of head basketball coach at the University of Illinois.
While the players would not name any preferences in their future coach, sophomore forward Davante Drinkard said he expects specific qualities in whoever coaches him next season.
“A coach who is big on things like integrity and respect, (and) also a coach who works as hard as they possibly can and can develop us into good players,” Drinkard said.
Although he was recruited by Lowery, Drinkard said the players signed to play for SIU and not for coach Lowery. And even with the uncertainty of who is going to be the next coach, Drinkard said he too remains committed to the program.
Freshman forward Treg Setty also reiterated the players’ loyalty to the basketball program and the university as a whole.
“We’re Salukis first and foremost. We’re committed to the team, the university, the fans and everything else; I’m just waiting it out to see what happens,” Setty said.