Salukis’ supporting players struggle to produce

By Gus Bode

The Salukis have scored a combined 105 points in their first two games, with 51 attributed to seniors Justin Bocot and Mamadou Seck.

While head coach Chris Lowery acknowledged that SIU counts on the seniors to be potent scorers, he said other players must perform better in their supporting roles.

“I think they’ve got to be solid …  and they’ve got to make plays,” Lowery said. “You want your seniors to be your guys leading. But when they don’t, those guys have to step up.”


Freshman forward Dantiel Daniels shoots over St. Louis Billikens’ defense Tuesday during the Saluki loss at the SIU Arena. Head coach Chris Lowery said he is pleased with Daniels’ defense so far, as he leads the team with nine blocks through two games. Isaac Smith | Daily Egyptian

Bocot said he has to place responsibility for the team’s two losses on his shoulders. He said he has to work on staying out of foul trouble so he can be on the court as much as possible. Saint Louis University head coach Rick Majerus said his players did a good job of stopping Bocot, and that was part of their plan heading into the game.

The Salukis have eight new additions to the team. With opponents who focus on blocking Bocot and Seck, Lowery said someone must provide the team with a spark.

Freshman forward Dantiel Daniels contributed interior defense and came out with a game-high five blocks against SLU. Lowery said he is pleased with Daniels’ defense, as he is holding his own against the other team’s best low post player.

Daniels has continued to struggle from the free throw line, though, shooting only 50 percent.

Another newcomer who has also received praise from Lowery is freshman point guard Josh Swan.

“At this point, he really understands what we’re trying to do,” Lowery said. “We’re going to play him a lot more.”


No players, other than Seck and Bocot, have scored double-digit points in either of the two games. Freshman forward Treg Setty was closest, and he finished with eight points against SLU. Lowery commended Setty for playing fearlessly and attacking players who were two or three years older than him.

Six-foot-11-inch freshman center Harry Whitt has seen a combined seven minutes of court time in the team’s first two games. While his size disguises him as a capable rebounder, Lowery said his slow foot speed has limited his playing time.

“(SLU’s) bigs don’t come inside, except for (Brian) Conklin, so that was one of the things we felt he couldn’t guard out there,” Lowery said.

Guards Jeff Early and T.J. Lindsay, both junior college transfers, are shooting a combined 8-26 through the two games, as both players have struggled with their jump shots. Sophomore Diamond Taylor is essentially a team newcomer, as he sat out the first half of last season due to NCAA transfer rules. He has also had to sit out part of this year on suspension because of a drug-related incident. Taylor showed ability to breakdown his defender and draw fouls while attacking the rim, but has failed to convert a field goal this season

Junior guard Kourtney Goff and freshman forward Antonio Bryer have not been effective players for the Salukis yet this season. Bryer made his first appearance against SLU and remained scoreless in two minutes with one personal foul. Goff was also held scoreless with one personal foul in seven minutes against SLU, and has a total two points in 16 minutes this season.

Lowery said his team has to mature quickly.

“We have to learn to deal with older guys, and the only way to do that is through competition,” Lowery said. “Our kids have to grow up, and they have to grow up fast.”