Skip to content

Saluki offense makes an amazing transformation

January 8, 2012

By Tom Weber
Saluki Media Services

The Saluki offense has undergone an amazing transformation in the past three weeks.

In the team’s first seven games, it was statistically ranked among the worst offenses in the country. Against a modest schedule, the Salukis averaged 56.4 points per game, while shooting .356 from the field and .222 from 3-point.

In the last eight games, against a far tougher schedule, SIU is averaging 72.9 points, while shooting .447 from the field and .314 from three. Clearly, the addition of Kendal Brown-Surles and Davante Drinkard, and the return of Dantiel Daniels, have made an impact. Also bolstering the offense has been improvement by T.J. Lindsay and freshmen Treg Setty and Josh Swan. All six players have posted career-highs in scoring during the last three weeks.

************************

The defense has been another story. In the first eight games of the season, SIU did not allow an opponent to score 65 points. Since then, the defense has given up 83, 83, 87, 78, 71, 65 and 83 points. You can’t win consistently without a good defense, and if Southern is to contend for a spot in the upper half of the division, it will have to make significant improvement in this area.

The Salukis appear especially vulnerable to slasher-driver guards. SIU’s guards get beat off the dribble too often. That observation shows up in the number of free throws opponents have attempted (207 in the last seven games) and in the number of wide-open kick-outs for 3-pointers (opponents shooting .430 from 3 in the last seven games).

************************

Of all the players who have made improvement recently, Lindsay’s play is perhaps the most remarkable. He’s a JUCO point guard who was brought in to run the team. He started the first two games at the point and played poorly, making just 3-of-11 shots and turning the ball over five times.

In the next two games, he barely saw the court, playing four total minutes against Northeastern and Chicago State. It appeared Lindsay would go the way of Troy Long, last year’s JUCO prodigy who struggled early and was rarely heard from again.

Then something strange happened. Lindsay was moved to the two-guard spot, and he suddenly started making shots. Against Western Kentucky and Western Michigan, he hit 5-of-7 combined from 3-point. After the WMU game, Lowery referred to him as “Lazarus” for the way he resurrected his season.

In the last 11 games, Lindsay has scored in double figures six times. He’s 20-of-44 (.455) from 3-point range in that span, while the rest of the team has shot .241. Nothing in Lindsay’s background suggested he could become a 3-point marksman. He averaged 7.4 points last season at Monroe College.

Lindsay has also earned praise for his defensive play recently. You have to admire how he’s re-made himself into a key member of the team.

************************

Wichita State is a senior-laden team that looks like it will be among the elite clubs in the MVC this season. Five players average double figures, the front court is big and physical, and their guard play has been excellent. With quality wins over Colorado and UNLV, the defending NIT champions could be headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006. The only question mark is whether they have enough depth. They primarily use a seven-man rotation.

************************

Here are some statistics that demonstrate how high a level Mamadou Seck is currently playing. Last week, he averaged 15.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists. For two years, he’s been the central focus of every opponent’s scouting report. Now that he’s getting support from his teammates, Seck is putting up even better numbers.

Where Seck has really improved this season is as a passer. He leads the team in assists with 43. We’re not even at the midway point of the season and he’s just four shy of his season assist total from last year. His assist-to-turnover ratio is +1.53. The last power forward at Southern to have a positive A-to-TO ratio was Brad Korn in 2005. His was +1.08.

************************

Former Saluki guard Jamaal Tatum would like you to know that his company, One Couture, has a new line of men’s and women’s art-based graphic t-shirts. You can check them out on the company website, which is http://www.onecouture.net.

Advertisements

From → Men's Basketball

One Comment
  1. Dereth Maxey permalink

    Thanks for letting us know about One Couture, with Jamaal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: