Lance Jones struggles to finish at the rim, the Salukis dominate in another victory, and Saint Louis wins its first true road game. All in today's Saluki Basketball 5@5.
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No. 1 - Jones struggles to finish: Jones did the hard part against North Carolina Central, penetrating among some trees Tuesday night at the Banterra Center. The freshman from Evanston struggled to finish at the rim, going 1 for 8 from the field and having two attempts blocked.
"Coach has emphasized playing off the jump-stop, so I would just have to get to the basket, jump-stop in the paint and make better decisions, and not forcing shots," Jones said.
SIU coach Bryan Mullins said the 6-foot-1, 200-pound righty needs to keep his eyes up. Jones had two assists, four turnovers, four steals and three rebounds in just over 26 minutes.
"He's just gotta get his eyes to the rim earlier. Sometimes his eyes are still down when he comes up to finish, and then when he gets to the paint, he usually draws a crowd," Mullins said. "If he's got a 6-9 guy in front of him, look to kick it, but he's got a great change of speed and is able to get to the paint, which is a key thing for a point guard."
SIU (3-4) had 16 assists on 23 buckets and matched the Eagles (2-5) with 27 rebounds.
No. 2 - Salukis dominate in another victory: SIU never trailed in its 64-48 win over NCCU, and hasn't trailed in any of its three victories.
The Salukis jumped on Division III Illinois Wesleyan 10-0, went up 11-0 on UTSA in Florida and hit their first seven 3-pointers against the Eagles. SIU led by as much as 20 before winning by 14.
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No. 3 - Whatever you ask, Domask: Freshman guard/forward Marcus Domask is used to playing multiple positions.
Tuesday night he scored nine of his 18 points from behind the 3-point line and six inside the arc. Domask added three free throws in as many attempts for his first double-digit scoring output since getting 11 points against Oakland. Domask made 6 of 10 from the field, including 3 of 5 from the 3-point line, and added five rebounds and five assists in just under 32 minutes.
Asked where he felt most comfortable in SIU's offense, Domask said everywhere.
"I probably get the most reps in practice at the 4, but ever since I've been young I've been playing multiple positions," said Domask, the son of a longtime basketball coach. "I'm really kind of used to it. On the court would be my best answer."
No. 4 - New guys, new defense: SIU's opponents shot 42.7% from the field last season, its best effort in 11 years.
NCCU shot 35.3% from the field against the Salukis, becoming the fourth team this year to shoot under 40% from the field. SIU is holding opponents to 38.9% from the field through seven games. If it stayed for the season, it would be the best mark of all-time (OK, it would be the best since the 1960-61 season, when there was no 3-point line). The Eagles shot 28.6% from the field in the second half (8 of 28).
No. 5 - Saint Louis wins: SIU's next opponent, Saint Louis (6-1), won Wednesday at Boston College by the count of 64-54.
Belleville Althoff High School grad Jordan Goodwin, a former teammate of SIU forward Brendon Gooch, scored seven of his 20 points during a 21-0 Billiken run midway through the second half. Saint Louis outscored Boston College 40-28 in the second half.
Goodwin added 14 rebounds and Gibson Jimerson scored 11 points for the Billikens.