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College Preview | Top 144 Previews | More Interviews

By Shawn Siegel

October 15th, 2006


Southern Illinois Head Coach: Chris Lowery


49-19 overall. 27-9 in conference play.  Most coaches dream of starting their head coaching careers with such gaudy numbers.  For Southern Illinois head coach Chris Lowery, other coaches' dreams are his reality.  Now, in Lowery's third season, SIU has the talent to perhaps go farther (Sweet Sixteen?) than ever before.


Shawn Siegel (CHN): What will the strengths & weaknesses of this year’s team to be?

Chris Lowery (CL): I expect the strengths to be our maturity. We're a year older now, and that's something that obviously should help us late in the game. Having so many guys back is obviously a big thing. I think our weakness is the fact that we didn't score a lot from the bench last year. We have to have more scoring from our bench players.

CHN: Talk about one or two of your guys that stands out as being an unheralded leader and contributor?


CL:  Outside of our two seniors, you have to look at Matt Shaw and Randal Falker as our unsung guys. They do a lot of the dirty work and now they're juniors so we expect a lot more out of those two.


CHN: What should we expect out of the incoming players. Who will make the biggest impact?

CL:  Out of our new guys, it's kind of wait-and-see.  We never really put that much pressure and say which one is going to be the best. But we are excited with who we have as freshman, and we also have a Junior College transfer too. So, we're kind of a wait-and-see.

CHN: How does this year's schedule compare to recent seasons in terms of difficulty?

CL:   It's our toughest schedule, with who we play on the road. We have very tough opponents on the road. We have a chance to play in a very tough Thanksgiving tournament. So it'll be our toughest schedule.


CHN: Are you pretty well settled with your starting lineup? If not, what should we expect to be the biggest battles for a starting position?

CL: When you have everybody back, things aren't set in stone, but then you'll at least have a blueprint of things, a layout for the upcoming season.  As far as everyone being penciled in as a starter for sure-no, but it's good to have so many guys back from the NCAA Tournament team.


CHN: Realistically, discuss what your goals and hopes are for this season.

CL: Obviously, our goal is to win the Missouri Valley Conference. We start there, and if you do that then you have a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament. So we obviously set our goals within our conference and we never talk about number of wins, we never talk about who's going to be player of the year, or who's going to be first-team. We set everything as a team, and when you strive for that you have a
chance for success.

CHN: Thanks Coach.  Good luck this season!

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