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
CHN: Talk about one or two of your guys that stands out
as being an unheralded leader and contributor?
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
CHN: What should
we expect out of the incoming players. Who will make the biggest impact?
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?
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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