In today's Saluki Basketball 5@5, SIU coach Bryan Mullins looks back on the program's 2007 win at Butler, Foster Wonders' season gets pushed back, and Marcus Domask works through shooting slump.
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No. 1 — Historic win: SIU's 68-64 win at Butler in February 2007 was part of the program-record 27 during the 2006-07 season. It was also the Salukis' first true road win against a top-25 team ever, as they were 15th in the country and Butler was 12th.
"Just an unbelievable atmosphere," said Mullins, who had four points and three assists in front of a sold-out Hinkle Fieldhouse crowd of 10,827 fans. "Packed crowd. Two teams that played extremely hard. Two teams that were extremely physical. Possession-by-possession game. Obviously, Jamaal Tatum making that big step-back, and celebrating in that tiny locker room that they had us in after the game. It was cold out. I think our bus got stuck in the parking lot for about 45 minutes, but it was a great experience, and definitely a great memory."
Tatum, a Hall of Fame guard, scored a game-high 20 for SIU, which went on to the Sweet 16 that season. Forward Matt Shaw added 15 and forward Randal Falker had five points and seven rebounds. Mike Green had 18 points for the Bulldogs, who were coached by current Evansville leader Todd Lickliter then. Guard A.J. Graves, who was averaging over 17 points per game entering the contest, went 1 of 8 from the field and finished with five points before fouling out.
Graves hit a 35-foot shot to beat SIU the following season at the Banterra Center, which was then known as the SIU Arena.
SIU (5-0) is at Butler (1-2) tonight at 6:30 p.m. in its first game at Hinkle Fieldhouse since its 68-64 win in 2007.
No. 2 — Michigan pushes back high school hoops: SIU recruit Foster Wonders, a senior guard at Iron Mountain High School in Michigan, will have to wait until at least January to start his last prep season. The Michigan High School Athletic Association considered starting boys and girls basketball in December, but announced earlier this year it was pushing their seasons back until at least Jan. 15, 2021. The association is supposed to announce an update on the schedule for that truncated season Tuesday.
Wonders, a 6-foot-5 guard is ranked as a top-10 player in the state of Michigan and was a first team all-state selection by The Associated Press as a junior. A two-time Upper Peninsula Mr. Basketball, he averaged 27.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game.
The Mountaineers are a combined 64-4 since Wonders joined the program. They lost in the state title game in 2019 and were 21-1 last season before it was cut short.
No. 3 — Domask in slump: SIU is scoring at a big-time clip, and that's without one of its best players shooting very well from the 3-point line through five games.
Sophomore guard Marcus Domask, the Salukis' top 3-point shooter last season, has had good looks so far, but enters Monday's game at Butler just 4 of 18 from behind the arc. Domask was the MVC Newcomer and Freshman of the Year last season, leading the Salukis in scoring, 3-point shooting and grabbing the second-most rebounds. Domask went 0 of 5 behind the arc against Murray State, didn't take one in the first of two games against North Dakota Thursday, and canned 1 of 5 Friday against the Fighting Hawks.
A 47.4% shooter from the field this season, Domask said he hasn't lost confidence.
"Every time I shoot I want it to go in, but it's basketball. People go in slumps," he said. "I just take in day by day and play with confidence every day."
Domask has found other ways to score. He's 22 of 25 at the free-throw line and has 18 assists against 11 turnovers. SIU is averaging 81.2 points per game, fourth-best in the MVC entering Monday's games.
No. 4 — Cam Bacote steps away from Indiana State: Junior Cam Bacote left the Sycamores for what the team described as personal reasons, Indiana State announced Sunday, but could return this season.
Bacote has played in three of the Sycamores’ first four games, scoring two points in 13 minutes of playing time. Bacote played in all 30 games last season, averaging 2.6 points and one rebound per game. The Sycamores (2-2) host Southeast Missouri State Tuesday.
No. 5 — Butler guard out: Aaron Thompson, Butler's second-leading scorer and starting point guard, will miss Monday's game against SIU with that knee injury that caused him to miss Saturday's game against Indiana.
The Bulldogs announced Thompson would miss the game earlier today. Thompson is one of three seniors/graduate students in Butler's starting lineup, normally. He is seventh in school history with 396 career assists, and scored a career-high 21 points in the Bulldogs' only win this season, against Western Michigan.
On Twitter: @THefferman