Saluki basketball faces changes

Saluki basketball faces changes

By Tyler Dixon

Following coach Hinson’s advice, guards Fillyaw and Balogun pursue other options

The Salukis will be without two guards next season; both played valuable minutes in the run to the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament semi-finals.

Sophomore guard Marcus Fillyaw and junior guard Mike Balogun both confirmed Monday they will transfer from SIU.

Advertisement

Fillyaw said his departure was his decision, but was suggested by coach Barry Hinson.

“He just suggested that I may be happier somewhere else with the situation within the team,” Fillyaw said. “And then I made the decision to leave on my own.”

A Saluki basketball player who wishes to remain anonymous, said coach Barry Hinson released Balogun and Fillyaw because Hinson preferred to take a freshman and build his skills.

The two have been trying to find schools since being released.

The anonymous player said many team members have tried to distance themselves from Hinson and starters have considered leaving the team.

Fillyaw said his relationship with Hinson during the course of the season was not perfect.

“We weren’t as close as I would have liked to have been,” he said. “But we didn’t have any problems.”

Advertisement

Hinson spoke with various players during the past weeks regarding their futures with the team.

“He said I should find a situation that’s better suited for me,” Balogun said.

The anonymous player said Balogun would remain with the team even without large amounts of playing time, because of his loyalty to the program —but last Thursday Hinson brought in a recruit and decided to move on without Balogun.

“It felt really bad,” Balogun said. “These guys are all my family, they’re my brothers.”

The absence of Balogun and Fillyaw will leave a void at guard for the Salukis, but freshman Tyler Smithpeters will likely have an expanded role next season.

SIU also signed guard Chaz Glotta of Fort Zumalt North High School in O’Fallon, Mo., and has a verbal commitment from Deion Lavender of Marquette Catholic High School in Alton.

While Hinson’s name was recently mentioned for the University of Tulsa coaching job, the anonymous team member said assistant coach Anthony Beane Sr. and sophomore guard Anthony Beane Jr. are playing the market.

“We’ve enjoyed our time with Michael and Marcus and we wish them the very best,” Hinson said.

Fillyaw started 16 games at point guard for the Salukis before breaking his hand against Loyola University Jan. 8. He averaged 23.5 minutes per game and 3.7 points per game. In Fillyaw’s absence, Beane stepped up in his new role and earned second-time All-MVC consideration. Fillyaw scored a season-high 17 points against St. Louis University Nov. 16.

Balogun averaged 8.2 minutes per game in 26 appearances. Balogun was a long-range shooter for the Dawgs and scored a career-high 21 points at Chicago State University Nov. 30. Balogun hit five 3-pointers against the University of Evansville Jan. 11.

Advertisement