Hinson’s in the Dawghouse now

Hinson’s in the Dawghouse now

By Tyler Dixon

The Saluki family photo album will now have two fewer players. 

Junior guard Mike Balogun and sophomore guard Marcus Fillyaw are leaving SIU at the end of the semester.

Hinson has preached family to his team all season long, but it’s obvious it has been a trying year.

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Yes, some of the turmoil started at Murray State in December when Hinson called out his players and said they were “mama’s boys,” but Fillyaw said his relationship with Hinson didn’t change after the so-called rant.

The team seemed like it was on a roll after the loss to the Racers, but maybe there were more problems beneath the surface.

There could be numerous reasons why a coach closes practice. Hinson could have wanted them private so he could say what he really thinks in front of the team without repercussion. Still, it is apparent to everyone in post-game press conferences he says what he really means.

Hinson said after Murray State that people in southern Illinois are tough; people in southern Illinois are blue-collar. Balogun and Fillyaw went through hell for Hinson and Fillyaw even had bones broken for Hinson. Fillyaw was called out and ridiculed on national television.

Generally, a player could leave a program one of two ways. The first is he can be kicked off because of conduct detrimental to the team. The second is when the coach advises the player it is in his best interest to transfer elsewhere.

It’s very unlikely either of these players did something that could be detrimental to the team. The person who has been most detrimental to the team this season is Hinson. He has brought national attention to a struggling program because he gets too amped up. He’s said he is an emotional guy, but maybe he should invest in a filter with the $300,000 he is making as of April 1.

Hinson would rather bring in five new players to work with instead of an offense that went to the MVC Tournament semi-finals for the first time since 2008.

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Transfers are common in college basketball and even higher profile players decide to go to other schools. University of Louisville guard Kevin Ware, who broke his leg in last year’s final four, is leaving the commonwealth and taking his talents to Georgia State University.

However, that is not always the case. Wichita State University had a miraculous run to the final four last season and nine players remained from that team on this year’s roster. The Shockers stayed together as a family and reeled off 35 straight wins.

The bottom line is Hinson has preached family and togetherness to his team all season but now he is the one splitting up the family. He is telling these players they are no longer needed and they should find schooling elsewhere.

The new recruits Hinson has coming in are all good players. Two or three of them could start immediately but they won’t have the same connection to the team as Fillyaw and Balogun, which is obvious. Everything this team has been through this season has made it stronger as a unit.

This scenario is not over. If more players are thinking of jumping ship, and if Anthony Beane Sr. and Anthony Beane Jr. leave, it could be a completely new look for the Dawgs next season.

Tyler Dixon can be reached at [email protected] on Twitter @Tdixon_DE

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