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Southern Illinois 2007 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Southern Illinois Salukis - Missouri Valley (27-6, 15-3)

Seed: #4 - West Region

Big Wins: 11/26 vs Virginia Tech (69-64), 1/20 at Creighton (58-57), 2/17 at Butler (68-64)

Bad Losses: 11/23 vs Arkansas (53-61), 1/6 at Northern Iowa (61-66), 1/17 at Evansville (68-75)

Last NCAA Appearance: 2006, First Round loss to West Virginia

Coach: Chris Lowery (1-2 in 2 NCAA appearances)

Probable Southern Illinois Starters:

  • Bryan Mullins, Sophomore, Guard, 6.2 ppg, 3.6 apg

  • Tony Young, Senior, Guard, 9.8 ppg, 2.1 apg

  • Jamaal Tatum, Senior, Guard, 15.0 ppg, 2.4 apg, 3.0 rpg

  • Matt Shaw, Junior, Forward, 11.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg

  • Randal Falker, Junior, Forward, 12.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.1 bpg


Key Roleplayers for SIU:

  • Joshua Bone, Freshman, Guard, 2.2 ppg, 1.0 rpg

  • Wesley Clemmons, Sophomore, Guard, 3.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg

  • Tyrone Green, Junior, Guard, 1.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg

  • Tony Boyle, Sophomore, Forward, 2.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg


Why SIU Can Surprise:
The Salukis play tremendous suffocating man-to-man defense. Besides giving up just 56.5 points per game, Southern Illinois does not do anything else exceptionally well, except win.

Randal Falker and Matt Shaw may be undersized forwards at 6-7, but they are both solid scorers. Falker has dominated the MVC in the paint. He will get on the glass and score from the post. Falker gets to the line a lot, but since he shoots just 54.9% from the charity stripe, that may be the best way to defend him. Falker is also a solid defender and can block shots and will even occasionally defend the opposing point guard. Shaw will bang bodies on the inside as well, but he can also step out and hit the outside shot.


Why Southern Illinois Can Disappoint:
Besides point guard Bryan Mullins and Jamaal Tatum, the rest of the eight players who see quality minutes average more turnovers than assists. As a team, the Salukis commit 2.3 more turnovers per game than assists. For a team that averages 63.2 points, losing out on 14 possessionsper contest is huge. In his second year as a starter, Mullins has cut down on his turnovers, but the rest of the team needs to follow. The other concern is depth in the frontcourt. Falker and Shaw often find themselves in foul trouble and Tony Boyle is the only option off the bench. However, Boyle is nowhere near the offensive threat that the starters are.

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Who To Watch for SIU:
Sharp shooting Tatum is the main scoring threat for SIU. With the scoring threat in the paint, Tatum will find a lot of open looks from long range and makes 2.0 per game. He is not just a catch and shoot guy though. Tatum can get to the basket and will take the big shots for the Salukis.


By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 63.2 (275th in nation, 9th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 56.5 (3, 1)

Field-Goal Percentage: 45.1 (134, 7)

Field-Goal Defense: 41.5 (70, 3)

Free-Throw Percentage: 69.3 (163, 8)

Rebound Margin: 1.7 (119, 6)

Assists Per Game: 11.6 (269, 9)

Turnovers Per Game: 14.0 (118, 9)


Joel’s Bracket Says: Elite Eight loss to Pitt


> Check out the 2008 NCAA Tournament preview from College Sports Fans.

> Find more coverage of the 2007 NCAA Tournament online from College Sports Fans.


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