Tag:Southern Illinois
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:09 am
Edited on: March 9, 2012 10:29 am
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Posted on: March 2, 2012 11:53 am
Edited on: March 2, 2012 12:43 pm

Southern Illinois parts ways with Lowery

By Jeff Goodman

Chris Lowery was one of the hottest names in the country just a few years ago. Now Southern Illinois has decided to part ways with its head coach. 

A news conference is scheduled for Friday at 3:30 p.m. 

Sources have told CBSSports.com that Lowery was fired Friday after eight years that produced a 145-116 record. The Salukis went to three NCAA tournaments in Lowery's first three seasons but have struggled over the past four seasons and failed to reach the postseason each time. Southern Illinois was 8-23 this season. The Salukis lost Thursday night to Indiana State in the opening round of the Missouri Valley conference tournament. 

Lowery, 39, had two years remaining on a seven-year contract worth more than $5 million.

A source told CBSSports.com that SIU will target Illinois' Bruce Weber if Illinois parts ways with its coach after this season. The Illini have lost seven of their past eight games, which has brought Weber's job security into question. Weber coached Southern Illinois from 1998-2003.

Posted on: November 13, 2011 10:40 am
Edited on: November 13, 2011 12:24 pm

Southern Illinois' Lowery was once hot name

By Jeff Goodman

Four years ago, Southern Illinois' Chris Lowery was about as hot a name as there was among up-and-coming head coaches. 

He had gone to the NCAA tournament in each of his first three seasons, racking up 76 victories in that span and making a Sweet 16 appearance in 2007.

He was just 34 years old at the time.

Lowery nearly had the Oklahoma State head job (Travis Ford narrowly beat him out), but the consensus remained that it was just a matter of time before he got a high-major job.

Now, after three consecutive disappointing seasons and a season-opening loss to Division II Ohio Dominican on Saturday, he may be fighting for his head coaching life.

Lowery inked a seven-year extension worth $750,000 annually back in 2007.

But the last three seasons have resulted in a total of 39 victories - which just isn't enough in Carbondale, given the string of success the Salukis enjoyed.

It was Ohio Dominican's first win against a current Division 1 program. Previously, the Panthers had been 0-for-8 against D-1 foes.

I'm not certain exactly what's gone awry for Lowery in Carbondale recently. For a while, he got away from recruiting the type of hard-nosed, chip-on-their-shoulder kids that helped make the Salukis the most feared team in the Missouri Valley.

But he went back to recruiting his type of kid after realizing his mistake.

The last time that Lowery dropped a game to a Division II squad was back in 2006 when Alaska Achorage beat the Salukis. Southern Illinois went onto win 22 games and advance to the NCAA tournament.

Much has changed since then.
Posted on: May 4, 2011 9:06 am
Edited on: May 4, 2011 9:08 am

Big-time schools seek help from Valpo transfer

Posted by Eric Angevine

We've talked recently about the practice of grabbing grad students as transfers for one-year tours of duty. North Carolina and Tennessee did it with, respectively, Justin Knox (formerly at Alabama) and John Fields (formerly at UNC-Wilmington). Both players had completed their degrees but retained a year of eligibility due to sitting out a season along the way. As prospective grad students, both players became free to pursue immediate playing time elsewhere, as long as they chose a course of study that was unavailable at the institution they had been attending.

Those two big men provided depth and little else, but that hasn't stopped programs in need from pursuing similar situations when they arise. I suggested last week that N.C. State might look at Ole Miss grad Trevor Gaskins as an experienced gap-filler this season. Another case has come up at Michigan State, where Tom Izzo is battling three other big-time programs for the future services of a Valparaiso graduate. The Detroit Free Press has the story:

Tom Izzo rounded out his coaching staff April 20 with 31-year-old Dane Fife, who left his head coaching job at Indiana-Purdue Ft. Wayne. Now Izzo might fill out his roster with Brandon Wood, a 6-foot-2 guard who led Valparaiso in scoring last season.

Because Wood will receive his degree in sports marketing May 15, he can transfer to another Division I school and play right away, so long as it offers a graduate program Valparaiso doesn't. He said he also has interest from Purdue, Connecticut and Florida State.

Prior to Monday's meeting, Wood had discussed the possibility of a transfer in phone conversations with Izzo, assistant coach Mike Garland and MSU senior forward Draymond Green.

Wood initiated the contact with MSU because he thinks he could benefit from a year at the highest level of college basketball.

Wood retains his year of eligibility because he started out at Southern Illinois and sat out a year before playing two for Homer Drew at Valpo. He stayed on track academically while also becoming the team's leading scoring option, which brings him to this point, where he is eligible to play for a third school, this time one in the sport's highest collegiate echelon.

Wood's approach actually seems very smart. He's built a reputation as a strong player and done well academically. He has put his name in the NBA draft pool, but has already announced that he plans to gather information and withdraw, presumably to attend one of the four schools listed by the Free Press. That's four NCAA tourney schools, including the national champs, by the way. In fact, Wood scored 20 on Purdue - one of his suitors - just last season.

Each of those programs could obviously use a dynamic and level-headed player like Wood, as well. Michigan State has suffered from a rash of injuries and defections over the past two years, and some very public personality conflicts have arisen between the head coach and some of his players. Wood won't be the antidote to that kind of thing, but he seems like a lock not to add stress to the mix of his own accord. Whether his presence will incite rebellion amongst players who want more PT or not... who knows?

Brandon Wood has nothing but good choices here. He is likely to succeed wherever he transfers, he has his degree and he can likely amp up expectations for any school he joins. 

Wood may not have had the smoothest ride thus far, but it's nice to see a true student-athlete with a bright future ahead of him, making sound decisions. We'll keep an eye on where this kid ends up.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com