As if it weren't depressing enough to be involved in the NIT last season, it was even more of a disgrace to not be invited to either the CBI or the collegebasketballinsider... oh nevermind.
But even if SIU did meet whatever requirements exist for the CBI or otherwise I hope to God it would decline an invitation.
Have a little dignity please.
This was a team that essentially went through a moderate-dynasty after the turn of the century that was capped with a Sweet 16 berth and a close loss to Kansas in 2007.
I can't believe entering into a tournament would do anything but hurt the program.
Oh sure, I'll bet all the blue chip prospects are clamoring for their one shining moment in the CBI.
There is a time and a place for tournaments like these because teams like Oakland rarely do anything after the regular season outside of providing a punching bag for a No. 1 seed such as a team like North Carolina.
But for a team like the Salukis to participate in something like that? My have the mighty fallen.
Perhaps I'm just not ready to admit the dynasty is over but I couldn't get excited about an NIT berth last season, certainly not after the hype the team received beforehand.
It's too early to tell when SIU will become what we thought it was again but I'd say that if there's not a slew of helpful JUCO players coming in, we may have another year of growing pains on our hands.
The key is going to be the junior and senior years of the current remaining cogs of the "fab five" freshmen: Justin Bocot, Kevin Dillard, Anthony Booker and Ryan Hare.
With Torres Roundtree off in the abyss it comes down to those four players to get the program back on track in 2010. Nick Evans will be a junior and Carlton Fay will be a senior and it will be judgement time for not only those players but coach Chris Lowery in general.
But success in the coming seasons will be judged by four-letter tournament invites, not three-letter ones.