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Southern Illinois Salukis vs. Ball State Cardinals - 12/21/13

Ball State Cardinals (2-6) at Southern Illinois Salukis (2-8)

College Basketball: Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 3:05 pm (SIU Arena)

The Line: Southern Illinois Salukis -6.5 -- Over/Under: TBD See the Latest Odds

TV: None

The Ball State Cardinals head to Carbondale, Illinois to face the Southern Illinois Salukis on Saturday afternoon.

The college hoops world was entertained by head Coach Barry Hinson’s rant about his crew’s lackluster performance at Murray State on Tuesday night. He was very candid about his teams’ unwillingness to carry out Barry and the other coaches’ plans and said that the group is uncoachable at this point. College basketball fans, especially those who follow mid-major teams, are familiar with Coach Hinson’s style, which usually ignites a fire in his team to play better.

Southern Illinois Salukis vs. Ball State Cardinals - 12/21/13

USA TODAY Sports

The Salukis really are not that talented and Barry knows this, as he is in a rebuilding process in his 2nd season at the helm. It takes a team effort every night to have a chance to win and that is where the frustration sets in. They lost by single-digits to a decent Murray State team on the road, but it’s the little things that his guys have apparently not bought into…yet.

One player with loads of talent is senior guard Desmar Jackson (20 ppg). He wasn’t mentioned in the post-game conference, so you know he must have had a good game (28 points), though he has been in Barry’s doghouse before.

Ball State does have multiple scoring threats, though they struggle from the field at 40% and just 65% on free throws. They also turn the ball over more than most teams. All of these stats have resulted in about 11 points per game fewer than their opponents. Granted some of them were quality opponents, such as Valparaiso and Marquette, but they got blown out by both. Senior Majok Majok could present a problem on the glass for the Salukis as he cleans up nearly 10 per game. Freshman Zavier Turner is a little guy (5’9”) but may become a big-time scorer, as he leads the Cardinals at about 14 points per game.

Nobody knows, and probably not even Barry, how SIU will respond from what transpired last game (and after the game). But if the Salukis drop this one to Ball State, then the SIU ticket office may either have a recall on game tickets or be a really lonely place in the coming months. Look for Southern Illinois to rebound (literally) and cover the spread over a winless Ball State team (0-4) on the road...though it's hard to feel confident about SIU with only 2 wins on the season.

Southern Illinois -6.5

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