2006 Southern Illinois Salukis Basketball Preview
2006 Southern Illinois Salukis Basketball Predictions
Southern Illinois (21- 11 overall and 12- 6 in MVC), which tied for second last season in their conference, looks even better than they did last year. All five starters are back as are the eight top players from last year’s team. It’s been five straight NCAA Tournaments for the Salukis. This season, they’ll make it an even half-dozen.
This is not a big backcourt but it is a talented one. Senior guard Jamaal Tatum (15.0 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 3.3 APG), a pro prospect, is dynamic on defense and offense. Tony Young (11.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.9 APG) is an expert at three-pointers and a tough defender. He’s the point man along with sure handed backup Bryan Mullins (5.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 3.2 APG). Sophomore Wesley Clemmons (3.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.5 APG) uses his athleticism to create turnovers, while freshman Joshua Bone is a fine long-ball shooter.
Inside, the club has forward Matt Shaw (10.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.2 APG), forward Randall Falker (9.1 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.4 APG) and center Jamaal Foster (2.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 0.3 APG). Although this is not a big frontcourt, they are tough and able to turn back opponents.
Head coach Chris Lowery (49- 19 in 2 years) has a young but talented team. Although the club got off to a tough 2- 3 start last season, Lowery got them focused and by the second half the Salukis were headed to another 20-win season. The strength of this team has been on defense, but this season should reveal improvement in the offensive area.
This is a team that gained important experience last season, learning and improving until they became an efficient unit. This year more players should be in the mix and that will certainly help sustain this club in a very long season. They will vie for the conference championship and should land a NCAA berth.
If you want more info on the 2006 Southern Illinois Salukis College basketball team check out the NCAA's official basketball team page of the program or check view other mid major previews from MadduxSports.com of universities like the UAB Blazers and Toledo Rockets.