The Southern Illinois Salukis and the Oklahoma State Cowboys meet Thursday in college basketball action from Gallagher-Iba Arena. Southern Illinois is fresh off a blowout win over Little Rock in their opener game. As for Oklahoma State, they took care of Texas-Arlington in their first outing of the year. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Southern Illinois had a mediocre season in 2021-22, going 16-15 overall with an even 9-9 record in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Salukis finished near the middle of the pack in the standings and went on to lose to Drake in the MVC Tournament.
Southern Illinois got off to a good start in their first game of 2022-23 against Little Rock. The Salukis scored 54 points in the first half and rolled to a 94-63 blowout win. Tops in scoring were Lance Jones and Dalton Banks, each with 14 points.
Over on the Oklahoma State side, they were pretty average last season as well with a 15-15 overall record and an 8-10 Big 12 record. The Cowboys were near the middle of their conference standings as well but ineligible for postseason play.
The Cowboys faced off against Texas-Arlington in their opener on Monday. After a 27-22 edge in the first half, Oklahoma State was able to hold on for a 77-66 win. Bryce Thompson topped the team with 18 points and seven rebounds.
PICK: I might take a stab on Southern Illinois here. The Salukis posted a very nice offensive game in their opener with 94 points and four different players in double-digit points (and another with nine points). That said, this will certainly be an upgrade in opposition talent, as the Cowboys posted a pretty nice effort in their first game as well despite some cold 3-point shooting (6-of-25). Still, if the Salukis can get off to a good start I think they’ll keep the cover pace.