Daily Egyptian

Scouting the Ramblers

By Sean Carley, @SCarleyDE

The Salukis will try to break a three-game losing streak Saturday when the Loyola Ramblers come to Carbondale.

SIU (18-6, 7-4 Missouri Valley Conference) has won four of the five contests with Loyola (10-13, 3-8 MVC) since the Ramblers joined the Missouri Valley Conference before the 2013-2014 academic year, including a 72-62 win in Chicago on Dec. 30 to open conference play.

Despite the Salukis being on a three-game losing streak, Hinson said he is not questioning the team’s effort.

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“We didn’t talk about being scared, how we weren’t frozen, how we weren’t apprehensive” he said. “I think those are all positives.”

Senior guard Anthony Beane led SIU in the previous contest with a game-high 26 points. His outing against Loyola was part of a performance that led to him being named MVC Co-Player of the Week.

SIU shot 50 percent overall in the game while holding Loyola to 38 percent shooting.

Even after the team’s strong shooting performance last time out against Loyola, Hinson doesn’t know if the Salukis will be guarded any differently. 

“I would not be surprised if they play some zone,” he said. “I’ll be surprised if they do, but then again I wouldn’t be surprised. I know that’s an oxymoron just how I said it, but I don’t know.”

Loyola’s starting lineup will likely be a lot different than what fans saw the first time around. Loyola’s top three scorers — senior forward Montel James, junior guard Milton Doyle and senior guard Devon Turk — all started in the previous game against SIU but have not started any of the last six games.

Because of this, Loyola’s bench has averaged 37.5 points per game its last six contests, including a 69-point outing in its 104-96 double-overtime win against Indiana State. Loyola’s starters have averaged 30.3 points per game since the shake-up.

“I think [coach Moser’s] found their attention,” Hinson said. “We’ll all go through that as coaches. He’s got them playing really hard.”

This game will be former Saluki Bryan Mullins’ first game back in Carbondale as an assistant coach. He is in his first year under Rambler coach Porter Moser.

“Mullins is coming back and I know he’ll have those guys fired up, but at the same time, this is a huge game for us,” Hinson said. “This is a big game. At least we get the chance to come home.”

SIU is in a four-way tie for second place in the MVC with Evansville, Illinois State and Indiana State. For those other teams, Evansville plays Missouri State, Illinois State hosts Wichita State while Indiana State is in Peoria to play Bradley all Saturday.

Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected] or at 618-536-3304.

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