SIU basketball teams in different spots in preseason MVC polls

By Brent Meske, @brentmeskeDE

Saluki men’s and women’s basketball were picked to finish in ninth and fourth place, respectively, in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll released Tuesday during the MVC Hoops Tipoff Event. 

Men’s basketball finished last season with a 12-21, 4-14 record, good for No. 9 in the Valley.

Coach Barry Hinson, now in his fourth year as coach, has never had a team ranked higher than No. 7 in the preseason poll. His teams are 40-57, 18-27 since his first season in 2012-13. 


The team won its first round matchup in last year’s MVC Arch Madness, 55-48, against No. 8 Missouri State. They then lost to No. 1 Wichita State, 56-45. 

The Shockers are picked to finish No. 1 in the MVC this season, receiving 42 of the 43 first place votes. No. 5 Loyola received the other vote. 

WSU will return senior guards Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker who were both selected to the preseason All-Conference team. VanVleet, who led the MVC with 5.2 steals per game last season, was selected as the preseason Player of the Year. 

SIU senior guard Anthony Beane was selected as an honorable mention for the preseason All-Conference team. Beane started all 33 games last season and led the team with 531 points and 41 steals. He averaged 16.1 points and 2.6 rebounds per game while shooting .333 behind the arc and .813 from the free throw line. 

The men begin their season with an exhibition game against Maryville at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at SIU Arena. 

The women’s team is selected to finish No. 4 in the conference after its historic turnaround season last year. The team finished 17-13, 10-8 last season, a 12-game turnaround from the 5-25, 3-15 record in 2013-14. 

Missouri State was selected as No. 1, receiving 22 votes, and Drake followed with 15 votes. Northern Iowa, SIU and WSU rounded out the top-5, each receiving one first place vote. 


SIU, No. 5, was ousted by No. 4 UNI last season in the first round of the MVC tournament, 59-50. 

The Salukis are the only team in the Valley returning all five starters from last season including senior forward Dyana Pierre and junior guard Rishonda Napier who were both all-conference last season. 

Pierre was selected as a preseason all-conference player this season after leading the MVC with 11.8 rebounds a game and boasting a .554 field goal percentage last season. 

The women begin their season with an exhibition game against Maryville at 6 p.m. Friday at SIU Arena. 

Brent Meske can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @brentmeskeDE