Daily Egyptian

Starting five for SIU remain unaffected by injury

By Evan Jones, @EvanJones_DE

With more than 10 minutes to play in the second half of SIU’s game against Missouri State on Saturday, senior guard Anthony Beane fell to the ground, landing on the back of his head after attempting to block a shot.

While the first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference guard missed the end of the game, he said he will not miss SIU’s Arch Madness quarterfinal game against Northern Iowa on Friday. If he did, he would be the first SIU starter to miss a game because of an injury. 

Coach Barry Hinson has started the same five players for most of the season — Beane, junior forward Sean O’Brien, junior center Bola Olaniyan, junior guard Mike Rodriguez and junior guard Tyler Smithpeters. Olaniyan was suspended three games earlier this season. He and Smithpeters also came off the bench on Senior Night so senior centers Ibby Djimde and Deng Leek could start their final games at SIU Arena. 

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In his final season as a Saluki, Beane said there is no way he is missing the next game, but Hinson said it’s not up to him to decide.

“I like Anthony’s attitude, but it’s not up to him,” the coach said. “That will be a medical decision, but I think he’s going to play. Something unusual is going to have to happen for him not to play.”

Concussion protocol had Beane praciting longer each day, without contact.  

Beane, O’Brien and Rodriguez have started all 31 games this season, and average more floor time per game than any other players with 34.3, 30.8 and 29.1 minutes respectively.

The consistency of the starting lineup is unique compared to Hinson’s past teams. 

Hinson’s past two squads had seven different players start more than 10 games each year. This season’s team has just five players with more than 10 starts.

“Usually someone twists an ankle and misses a couple games,” O’Brien said. “I have to give props to [Hinson], he’s done a great job of keeping us fresh.”

O’Brien has been troubled with a knee injury all season. He said the team has been weightlifting with lighter weights to keep their strength up.

They also started doing Yoga to stay loose and limber.

But neither of those methods can treat a potential concussion. 

“I just have a little headache, other than that I’m good,” Beane said. “They looked better when I was off the court [against MSU]. I learned a lot from that — I need to get the ball to our players who are dangerous.” 

When he missed extended amounts of time in the second half of the Missouri State game, SIU rallied and went on a 12-0 run. The team completed the come-from-behind 10-point win to end the regular season.

Beane checked out of the game with 19 points. In the first half, he scored 12 of the Salukis 30 points.

“I don’t think [Beane] has to score 25, but it certainly does help,” he said. “It takes a lot of pressure off of us. With our supporting cast, if we continue to do what we have done in the past it puts us in a good place.”

Thanks to lighter practices, when the Salukis take on Northern Iowa at 2:30 p.m. Friday, you can expect to see the same five players begin the game.

Evan Jones can be reached at [email protected] or at (618)536-3304

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