Daily Egyptian

SIU men’s basketball to announce schedule today

Saluki guard Mike Rodriguez dribbles toward the basket during SIU’s 78-68 victory against Missouri State on Feb. 27, 2016, at SIU Arena. (Jacob Wiegand | @JacobWiegand_DE)

Saluki guard Mike Rodriguez dribbles toward the basket during SIU’s 78-68 victory against Missouri State on Feb. 27, 2016, at SIU Arena. (Jacob Wiegand | @JacobWiegand_DE)

By Ted Ward

SIU men’s basketball schedule for the 2016-17 season is nearly finalized.

Mike Reis, of Saluki Radio’s play by play, will unveil the schedule in a live-video interview with coach Barry Hinson at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday. The schedule includes eight non-conference home games and five road games, including three trips to Power 5 conference opponents.

The last time the Salukis played a Power 5 school was against Missouri in Columbia, Mo., on Nov. 13, 2013.

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One of the Power 5 games will be against Louisville, according to the Louisville Courier-JournalSIU will receive a $95,000 guarantee to travel to the KFC Yum! Center and face the Cardinals, the paper reported. 

The Salukis will also face Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) on the road Dec. 19 as part of the Mountain West – Missouri Valley Conference Challenge.

Left to right: Saluki guard Tyler Smithpeters, forward Sean O'Brien, center Bola Olaniyan and Evansville center Egidijus Mockevicius scramble for the ball during SIU’s 85-78 overtime loss the Evansville on Jan. 28 at SIU Arena. (Jacob Wiegand | @JacobWiegand_DE)

Left to right: Saluki guard Tyler Smithpeters, forward Sean O’Brien, center Bola Olaniyan and Evansville center Egidijus Mockevicius scramble for the ball during SIU’s 85-78 overtime loss the Evansville on Jan. 28 at SIU Arena. (Jacob Wiegand | @JacobWiegand_DE)

In his monthly newsletter, athletic director Tommy Bell said he “carefully examined the data on our non-conference strength of the schedule and have had multiple discussions with Coach Hinson,” and “agree that for our program to receive at-large consideration from the NCAA or NIT [tournaments], we must play top-100 teams outside our league.

The Dawgs were ranked 346th out of 351 Division I teams in the nation last season by kenpom.com, a leading college basketball analytics site.

Hinson’s squad went 1-6 last season against ESPN top-100 RPI teams, none of which were outside of the Missouri Valley Conference.

Bell also announced in his monthly newsletter the Salukis had withdrawn from the three-game Lone Star Showcase.

MORE: SIU women’s basketball lands two commits

SIU would have potentially faced Central Michigan, Arkansas at Little Rock, Pepperdine, St. Bonaventure or 2015-16 Saluki basketball opponent Sam Houston State. Only Arkansas at Little Rock and St. Bonaventure were top-100 RPI teams last season.

SIU went 22-10 last season, its best record since the 2006-07 run that ended in the Sweet 16.

Staff writer Ted Ward can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @TedWard_DE.

To stay up to date with all your SIU news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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