Missouri State Set to Open League Slate on Sunday Night Against Southern Illinois
Bears open 23rd season in Missouri Valley with visit from rival Salukis at 5:35 p.m. on Sunday
Missouri State Bears (2-10, 0-0) vs. Southern Illinois (7-4, 0-0)
Dec. 30, 2012, JQH Arena (11,000), Springfield, Mo., 5:35 p.m.
The Ten Count
- Marcus Marshall (Fr., St. Paul, Minn.) is averaging 12.3 points over the Bears’ last three games, tops on the club.
- In this week’s NCAA rankings, the Bears rank 22nd in turnover margin (+4.3), while the Salukis rank 28th (+3.7).
- Only 134 Division I players have more double-doubles than MSU’s Drew Wilson (2), including SIU’s Jeff Early (4).
- MSU’s freshmen have now produced 45.7 percent of the team’s points, while its underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores) now account for 65.2 percent of the team’s points and 68.4 percent of the team’s individual rebounds.
- The Bears lead the MVC and rank 17th nationally in 3-point FG percentage defense (.277).
- The Bears have held five straight opponents under 34 percent from 3-point distance and held all but two opponents this season under 40 percent from three. No MSU opponent has made more than eight 3-pointers in a game.
- Missouri State has committed fewer turnovers than 11 of its 12 opponents this season and has had the same or fewer turnovers than 28 of its last 32 foes, dating back to last season.
- Anthony Downing (Sr., Atchison, Kan.) has scored in double figures in 14 straight home games.
- SIU assistant coach Terrance McGee scored 887 points in two seasons (2001-03) under Barry Hinson at Missouri State. McGee led the Bears in scoring (14.9) and assists (3.7) in 2002-03 while earning All-MVC first-team honors.
- MSU head coach Paul Lusk earned his bachelor’s degree from SIU in 1995 and master’s degree from MSU in 2000.s.
Setting the Stage
The Bears return to JQH Arena Sunday night at 5:35 p.m. when they entertain the Southern Illinois Salukis to open MSU’s 23rd season in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Southern Illinois has lost two of its last three games after a 6-2 start under new head coach Barry Hinson. The Salukis rank 41st nationally in steals per game (9.1), which accounts for 68 percent of the turnovers committed by SIU’s opponents. SIU is 3-3 on the road this season, most notably with a 72-70 win at Green Bay on Dec. 15.
Missouri State has won six in a row in a series that dates back to 1957 when the clubs first met at McDonald Arena. The Salukis lead the all-time series, 38-32, but the Bears are 20-13 in Springfield against SIU, including a 3-1 mark at JQH Arena.
Head Coach Paul Lusk
Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 18-26 (.409) in his second season at MSU and 20-49 (.290) in his third season overall as a head coach. He is 9-9 in the MVC (4-5 at home), 9-16 in non-conference play (6-6 at JQH Arena, 3-6 away and 0-5 at neutral sites). Overall, he is 10-11 in home games, 8-10 on the road, and 0-5 at neutral sites. He is 2-0 against his alma mater.
The 41-year-old Lusk took the reins as MSU’s 17th head coach on April 1, 2011. He came to Springfield after seven seasons at Purdue (2004-11), including his last three as associate head coach there. Now in his 15th season in the coaching profession, Lusk has previous assistant coaching stops at Southwestern Illinois (1996-97), Missouri Southern (1999-2002) and Southern Illinois (2003-04) in addition to a one-year head coaching stint at (Div. III) Dubuque (2002-03). Lusk has played or coached in 10 NCAA Tournaments.
He returns five lettermen and six squad members from a 16-16 club that tied for third place in the Missouri Valley standings a year ago. His Bears were picked sixth in last year’s preseason MVC poll, but finished three spots higher, earning him CollegeSportsMadness.com MVC Coach of the Year.
MSU has won six in a row in a series that dates back to 1957 when the clubs first met at McDonald Arena. The Salukis lead the all-time series, 38-32, but the Bears are 20-13 in Springfield against SIU, including a 3-1 mark at JQH Arena.
Last season, the Bears completed the season sweep of SIU for the second year in a row with a 77-65 win at JQH (Jan. 10) and narrow 56-54 win in Carbondale that featured a key bucket by Kyle Weems with 43.6 seconds left and a monumental rebound by Jarmar Gulley as time expired and the Salukis pressing for the potential tying basket.
MSU is 4-4 at neutral sites against SIU and 8-21 in Carbondale with two straight wins there.
SIU head coach Barry Hinson (Oklahoma State, 1983) returns four starters and eight lettermen from an 8-23 squad that was 5-13 (9th) in the MVC a year ago. Hinson is 212-144 in his 12th season overall and 7-4 in his first year at SIU.
Dantiel Daniels (So., F, Wentzville, Mo.) headlines the quartet of SIU returning starters and is currently averaging 11.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting an amazing 67.2 percent from the field. Wyoming transfer Desmar Jackson (Jr., G, Warren, Ohio) leads SIU with 16.1 points per game to go with 6.4 rebounds and a team-high 17 3-pointers. Also having a great 2012-13 season is Jeff Early (Sr., G, Glasgow, Va.) who scores 13.5 points and snags a team-high 7.2 rebounds per game.