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By Gus Bode

The dark cloud that loomed over the SIU Arena has dissipated and Missy Tiber is ready to move the SIU women’s basketball team into a new day.

Tiber was announced as the eighth head coach in the history of Saluki women’s basketball, and has already begun to change the culture of the team. The first step: Installing an up-tempo offense that rivals the one she left at Tusculum College, which averaged 84 points per game.

‘I’m going to try to bring a style that’s fun for people to watch, but at the same time I’m not naive enough to believe that next year we’ll score 84,’ Tiber said. ‘I hope that we can, but we’re going to make it fun and we’re going to make it very tough for opposing for teams to guard us.’

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Tiber said when putting together her r’eacute;sum’eacute; for Athletic Director Mario Moccia, her last page made reference to what will be the team’s new motto: ‘Who let the Dawgs out?’

Once Saluki basketball gets underway, Tiber will be in charge of everything from rebuilding a team that lost 19 games last season and averaged only 60 points per game to reconnecting with Saluki Nation.

‘I plan to speak to every civic organization that I can that will listen to me talk. And I’m going to preach Saluki basketball,’ Tiber said.

In addition to spreading the gospel of Saluki women’s hoops, Tiber said she would embrace the southern Illinois media with an open door policy. Something that seems like a complete 180 compared to what transpired at the end of the Dana Eikenberg Era.

‘I don’t want to do the program any harm. I want to get it out in the community. Whatever I need to do, I will make both myself and my team available to the media at any time,’ Tiber said.

It’s almost a shame I will not be around to see how things fall into place in the coming years under Tiber, but I’ll try to keep my eye on the situation from afar. Until then, my hat is off to you, Missy. Good luck.

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