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Floorburn U’s fire from Philly: Sean Lloyd Jr.

Junior+guard+Sean+Lloyd+looks+to+shoot+a+basket+Friday%2C+March.+3%2C+2018%2C+during+the+Salukis%E2%80%99+67-63+win+against+the+Missouri+State+Bears+at+the+MVC+tournament+in+St.+Louis.+%28Athena+Chrysanthou+%7C+%40Chrysant1Athena%29
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Floorburn U’s fire from Philly: Sean Lloyd Jr.

Junior guard Sean Lloyd looks to shoot a basket Friday, March. 3, 2018, during the Salukis’ 67-63 win against the Missouri State Bears at the MVC tournament in St. Louis. (Athena Chrysanthou | @Chrysant1Athena)

Junior guard Sean Lloyd looks to shoot a basket Friday, March. 3, 2018, during the Salukis’ 67-63 win against the Missouri State Bears at the MVC tournament in St. Louis. (Athena Chrysanthou | @Chrysant1Athena)

Junior guard Sean Lloyd looks to shoot a basket Friday, March. 3, 2018, during the Salukis’ 67-63 win against the Missouri State Bears at the MVC tournament in St. Louis. (Athena Chrysanthou | @Chrysant1Athena)

Junior guard Sean Lloyd looks to shoot a basket Friday, March. 3, 2018, during the Salukis’ 67-63 win against the Missouri State Bears at the MVC tournament in St. Louis. (Athena Chrysanthou | @Chrysant1Athena)

By Tamar Mosby, Sports reporter

The name “Floorburn U” holds a lot of meaning in Saluki Men’s Basketball history.

This term refers to putting forth a die-hard effort on the court and having a laser-focused defensive technique.

For a long time this term had lost its relation to the men’s basketball team here at SIU, that is until senior guard and Philadelphia native, Sean Lloyd Jr. stepped into the picture for the Dawgs.

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Among SIU athletic staff and fans, Lloyd is known as a scrappy, hardcore, defensive expert.

According to Saluki head coach Barry Hinson, Lloyd is the reason he decided to reclaim the programs famous historic name.

“Sean Lloyd instilled the past of Floorburn U,” Hinson said. “I didn’t feel like we had the right to call this program Floorburn U, much to do with Sean Lloyd, we were able to get that back.”

Lloyd has been a member of the men’s basketball team since 2015 but took the spotlight for the Salukis in his 2017 junior campaign.

In 2017, he started in all 33 games for Southern leading the team in steals with 52 on the season.

Lloyd was also second on the team in scoring averaging 12.1 points per game.

At the end of his junior season, the Lloyd was voted onto the MVC All-Defensive Team and the MVC Most-Improved Team.

Lloyd was not surprised by these accolades and felt that he had worked hard to accomplish them.

Lloyd and several Saluki supporters felt as if he should have also won the MVC Defensive Player of the Year Award.

“I felt like I deserved to be voted onto the All-Defensive Team,” Lloyd said. “I think that I should have also won defensive player of the year, but that decision wasn’t mine to make.”

Fellow teammate and roommate senior guard Armon Fletcher revealed that he was shocked when he found out that Lloyd hadn’t received Defensive Player of the Year.

“He put up the right numbers and shut down so many star players in The Valley,” Fletcher said.

Lloyd said he believes the key every player needs to succeed on the defensive end is a competitive mindset.

“I think what has made me successful on the defensive end is being a competitor,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his mother, father, and two brothers.

Sean’s uncle, Lewis Lloyd, has also made his mark on the Missouri Valley Conference.

His uncle was a two-time MVC Player of the Year Award winner while attending Drake University and also played for seven years in the NBA.

Basketball has been a big part of Lloyd’s life since his father taught him to play at age three, but he also shared that he grew up playing another sport as well.

“I played football when I was younger,” Lloyd said. “As I got older, football got too physical, so I eventually stopped playing.”

In high school, Lloyd went through various school changes but found success in basketball at each one.

Lloyd played his first two seasons in high school at Franklin Learning Center in Pennsylvania, where he averaged 13.7 points in his sophomore season.

He then played one season at The Haverford School in Pennsylvania, where he averaged 13 points and eight rebounds, which earned him a third-team All-City nomination and third-team All-State honors.

His last year was played at Imhotep Charter High School, where he averaged 16.9 points and six rebounds, which earned him a second-team All-City nomination and second-team All-State honors.

Coming out of high school, Lloyd received offers from various Division I universities including, Penn State, Temple, St. Joseph, and SIU.

Lloyd said that he settled on SIU because of the warm and friendly environment.

“I chose SIU because they were really family oriented when I took my visit,” Lloyd said. “The campus was very nice and so was the coaching staff.”

Lloyd views his teammates as his second family and said that they are his favorite part of being on the team.

“My favorite part about being on the team is having a family on campus,” Lloyd said. “I hang out with my teammates a lot, the guys on the team are like my brothers.”

Fletcher said that he has a very close bond with Lloyd.

“I think it’s his personality,” Fletcher said. “Most people see Sean as a tough guy, but a lot of people don’t get to see how fun and goofy he is. He is also very easy to talk to.”

Saluki assistant coach Justin Walker said one of Sean’s best qualities is his ability to bring people together.

“He brings the players and the staff together,” Walker said. “He’s able to talk to and joke around with his teammates and coaches, but knows when to get into player mode on the court.”

Since his arrival in Carbondale, Lloyd feels that he has become a better basketball player and person.

“I’ve become a better person on and off of the court,” Lloyd said. “My shooting, defense, and ball handling have improved tremendously. I also feel like my leadership skills have developed.”

Stats confirm Lloyd’s claim about the improvement of his shooting and defensive skills. His field goal percentage and total steals have increased every year he’s played.

His 2017 nomination to the MVC Most Improved Team is evidence of this as well.

Walker agreed with Lloyd’s areas of improvement and has seen the senior develop since his first year in the SIU program.

“He has improved in leadership every year by getting better at communication on and off the court,” Walker said. “His offense has also improved, specifically his jump shot and ball handling.”

“His basketball IQ has improved as far as understanding the game and how to approach the game,” Walker said.

Fletcher also said the improvement of Lloyd’s leadership skills since his arrival has been a helpful addition to the team.

“Sean is a vocal leader,” Fletcher said. “He’s the guy that gets on people when things are being done wrong. He’s not afraid to step up and talk in practice when we need it.”

Coach Walker said Lloyd’s leadership and toughness were very big additions to this year’s Saluki Basketball team.

“I think that he adds toughness and great defense,” Walker said. “Those were the first things I noticed about him when he arrived. As a senior this year he adds leadership and experience.”

So far in the 2018-2019 season, Lloyd is averaging 10.3 points per game and has been setting the tone for the Saluki defense by holding each opposing team’s best player under their normal scoring average.

Lloyd is expecting big achievements out of his team and himself this season by setting various goals.

“Individually I want to be Defensive Player of the Year and get on an All-Valley team,” Lloyd said. “As far as team goals, I want to win the MVC championship and go to the NCAA tournament.”

Lloyd feels that the key to the Dawgs taking home the Arch Madness championship trophy is selfless team play.

“I think the keys to us winning the tournament are us playing unselfish, playing together and playing team defense,” Lloyd said.

After graduating this spring, the senior would like to pursue a career in basketball and later on become a college coach.

Before leaving his interview Lloyd had a message for Saluki Basketball fans:

“Keep coming to the games and supporting us, and we’ll keep putting on a show.”

You can watch Lloyd and the rest of the Salukis put on a show Dec. 5 in their home game against Saint Louis University. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

Sports reporter Tamar Mosby can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @mosbytamar.

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