For the past few years, I make it to Drake University to watch their once a year home game against my alma mater Southern Illinois University.
SIU is ranked in the middle of the conference while Drake is ranked near the bottom. SIU has had an up-and-down year which doesn't do much to prove they're much more than middle of the pack- with occasional flashes of brilliance but not quite there. While Drake, with a new coach actually looks like they are better than predicted, though this is a University better known for turning out doctors and lawyers than NBA players (I know, right?).
This was an exciting game which looked like SIU should win, but they ended up losing in OT. You can't shoot 60% from the free throw line and expect to win. SIU lost two of it's best players- Anthony Beane graduated and an injury made him have to reevaluate his choices. It looked like he was going to wind up in the NBADL but ended up in Bulgaria playing pro ball there. Bola Olanyian transferred to Alabama.
The OT win meant Drake has won five in a row now. SIU had been down by 12 and fought back, and with a minute to go in regulation, it looked like they would win.
The 2016-7 Salukis are led by senior Sean O'Brien who will have over 1000 points in his college career, and Thik Bol, a 6-8 junior from the Sudan via Omaha. He was one of the leading blockers in the NJCAA at Iowa Western Community College. O'Brien had an offnight but Point Guard Mike Rodriguez stepped up with 24 points. Sophmore Armon Fletcher has been a steady scorer and had 17, while Sean Lloyd, another sophmore with a promising future had 17.
- 2017 Southern Illinois Salukis