Southern Illinois basketball hosted its media day Friday at SIU Arena where head coach Barry Hinson and players were available to talk about the upcoming season with local media.
Although Hinson said this year's team will look different than last year, he said he's more excited for this season than any other in his coaching career.
"Everybody thinks we're not going to be that good because we lost a guy that transferred to a BCS program and a guy with 20 points a game," Hinson said with a smile.
With 22 wins last season, SIU accomplished its main goal of finishing with a winning record.
This upcoming season though, Hinson wants more for the Salukis.
"The next step for this program is to be in postseason play," Hinson said. "And I'm just going to tell you our goal is to win a Missouri Valley (Conference) championship."
Which will be a tall task for the Salukis without the school's third all-time leading scorer, Anthony Beane.
"How are we going to replace Anthony Beane? I don't know. But I will say this I think collectively we can do that... We've got guys that are committed to this program and that's why we are going to be better," Hinson said.
Moments before Hinson's press conference the Saluki players read a statement regarding the national concerns around the national anthem and in the minute-long statement the team said, "...we still stand and place our hand over our hearts for the playing of the national anthem."
Hinson said the initiative was led by his four seniors.