▪ How the Valley’s top scorers fare against Wichita State:
Avg. vs WSU this season
16 (two games)
11-36 (30.5 percent)
15 (one game)
7 (one game)
14 (two games)
14 (one game)
24 (one game)
Of the Valley’s top five scorers, WSU held four under their season average and under their usual shooting percentage. In total, WSU held the Valley’s top five scorers to 34-percent shooting.
▪ Why are the Salukis so improved from last season?
They no longer rely on Beane for so much on offense.
Transfer guards Mike Rodriguez and Leo Vincent take some of the ball-handling and scoring burden off Beane. SIU went 4-0 in a stretch of games in which Vincent scored 24 and 18 off the bench and center Bola Olaniyan scored 17. Only once did Beane lead the team in scoring.
Olaniyan’s impact is largely connected to fouls — sound familiar for a big man? He has fouled out of five games this season and averages 22.6 minutes. At SIU Arena, he played 30 minutes (something he’s done three times this season) and scored 11 points in a 83-58 loss to the Shockers.
▪ At SIU, the Shockers so totally disrupted the offense that the Salukis finished with two assists, 17 turnovers and 17 baskets. Beane went 1 for 5 as the Shockers built a 12-point lead.
That was SIU’s first big game of the season and at sold-out SIU Arena. Its schedule had not prepared the Salukis to face WSU. A month later, it will be interesting to see if SIU can adapt.
“Coach (Barry) Hinson’s teams always play hard,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “They’ve got a number of guys that can really shoot the bal. We jumped on them early at their place and took the wind out of their sails. I anticipate a much closer game this time.”
The Shockers are 10-0 in the MVC and cleared a major hurdle with Sunday’s win at Evansville.
“We’re coming off that emotional win, big win at Evansville,” Marshall said. “We’ll have to put (that game) behind us.”
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AT NO. 21 WICHITA STATE
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Koch Arena
Records: SIU 18-5, 7-3 MVC; WSU 16-5, 10-0
Radio: KEYN, 103.7-FM
TV: Cox 22; also Fox Sports Midwest outside Cox Kansas and KC markets