CARBONDALE — SIU athletic director Jerry Kill might not have to go too far to find the next head coach of the Salukis' marquee program.
Bryan Mullins and Anthony Beane Sr., two potential candidates to succeed Barry Hinson, are in his state, and a third is right across the Mississippi River in St. Louis. Mullins, the associate head coach at Loyola that checks all the boxes Kill laid out at his Monday press conference, was a two-time Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete Team pick and a two-time league defensive player of the year. Beane, the father of incoming sophomore guard Darius Beane and SIU's third all-time leading scorer, Anthony Jr., has been with the Salukis since 2012.
Kent Williams, the second all-time leading scorer in SIU history behind Charlie "Chico" Vaughn, now coaches DeSmet Jesuit High School in St. Louis. Williams, a four-year starter, was inducted into the MVC Hall of Fame Friday morning.
Kill believed the job would attract a lot of candidates.
"I don't want to mention names and put them in a bad spot but I've talked to a lot of people that have been here, a lot of people that haven't been here," Kill said. "Do I lean a little bit toward people I know and trust? Certainly. In basketball, everybody knows everybody. It's a tight fraternity, just like football. I've gotten a lot of emails. This job is a good job and people know it's a good job. That's a good thing."
One former Saluki that very publicly reached out to Kill was former NBA guard Troy Hudson. Hudson posted on Facebook that he felt like he could talk to any recruit in their living room and pitch how they could be successful at SIU. Hudson posted Tuesday that Kill reached out to him.
"Thank you all for supporting me and thank you Coach/AD Kill for respecting the voice of the Carbondale community," Hudson said. "SIU is in great hands with Coach Kill. I don’t know how I will contribute to the future success but I believe I will be in there somewhere."
SIU could return two starters from this season's 17-15 squad that finished 10-8 in the MVC (third place), incoming senior guards Aaron Cook and Eric McGill. Hinson and his staff signed three players and redshirted four, and have two open scholarships.