Name: Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
Location: Edwardsville, IL
Honestly, I don’t know where that is. Essentially, the far northeast suburbs of St. Louis.
Enrollment: 14,152, with 11,781 undergrads
Isn’t there a regular SIU? Yes, in Carbondale, which is about a two hour drive southeast from Edwardsville. So, yes, SIU is actually much further S than SIUE. The Carbondale school was founded in 1869, while the Edwardsville school was opened nearly 90 years later as an extension of the Carbondale campus.
Demographics: Amazingly, even though SIUE is so close to Missouri, only 11% of their students are from somewhere other than Illinois.
Why “Cougars?” Well, the school was founded by a bunch of 40 year old single women, so..... [presses finger to ear] I’m being told that is not true. Apparently the cougar was chosen as the school mascot in 1966, which was a year before they started sponsoring athletic teams. From 1968 through 1987, SIUE actually had a live cougar mascot, with two different cougars serving in the role. You can read the whole story of Chimega and Kyra on this page from SIUE’s website. WARNING: People are stupid.
Notable Alumni: Ken Flach & Robert Seguso, who won Wimbledon, US Open, and Olympic double tennis titles together; Ed Hightower, former college basketball referee; Fernando Aguirre, former president of Chiquita; Gail Lininger, co-founder of RE/MAX; Thelma Mothershed-Wair, member of the Little Rock Nine; Los Angeles Times sportswriter Bill Plaschke; Pulitzer Prize winner Paige St. John; Gilbert “Gib” Singleton, a sculptor who fashioned the staffs (known as crosiers) carried by each of the last two popes as well as Pope Francis; and Jeff Tweedy, lead singer of Wilco.
Last Season: 6-22, with a record of 3-13 in the Ohio Valley Conference.
This Season: 4-8, including a win over IUPUI, and also a 49-44 loss to a non-D1 team.
Final 2015-16 KenPom Ranking: #312
Current KenPom Ranking: #304
Points: Tre Harris, 12.2 ppg
Rebounds: Keenan Simmons, 8.3 rpg
Assists: Christian Ellis, 3.4 apg
A Small Note: As of December 17, Tre Harris was taking a leave of absence from SIUE’s team. He hasn’t been dismissed from the team, as he was from Kansas State in 2015, but he has not played in either of SIUE’s last two games. There’s no news stories that I can find that say he has returned, so I will presume he’s not going to play on Wednesday. Jalen Henry is second on the team in scoring at 12.1 points per game.
Big Man? Not really. Jalen Henry at 6’8” and 220 pounds will be their biggest rotation guy, although they do have little used junior Glen Pierre, who checks in at 6’11” and 230 pounds.
Shooters? Jalen Henry and Tre Harris can both knock it down with a three point shooting percentage over 43%. However, Henry attempts less than one per game, while Harris lets it fly nearly six times per contest. As a team, SIUE is third to last in the country when it comes to how many of their shots come from behind the arc. Perhaps not coincidentally, they’re second to last in the country in assist rate with a helper on just 38% of their shots.
Head Coach: Jon Harris, in his second season at SIUE and overall. A native of Edwardsville, IL, Harris has a record of 10-30. You might remember Harris from his time in a Marquette uniform from 1998-2002. He was also a graduate assistant on the 2003 Final Four team.
All Time Series: This is the first ever meeting between the two teams.