Of Chris Lowery, Marcus Belcher and Other SIU Coaches

West Virginia Mountaineers v Southern Illinois Salukis

Remember when I said Rodney Watson is not walking through that door. Well, that still holds true. Apparently, though, Marcus Belcher will be.

It looks like Chris Lowery will be keeping it in the family by hiring the former Saluki point guard who is expected to be the team's newest assistant coach. Belcher was the starting point guard on the 2002 Sweet Sixteen team and recently assisted Marty Simmons at the University of Evansville.

Let the record show his UE Twitter account is blank and his coach profile page on the Purple Aces Web site has disappeared. Sounds like he's up and moving to me.

In this thread, fans do not seem to be fond of the hire.

It's tough to judge a relatively young coach, but SIU might be playing with fire as it has a relatively young staff for a team that will return a core of youngsters including Freshman of the Year Kevin Dillard and fellow freshmen impact players Anthony Booker and Ryan Hare ... not to mention sparkplug Nick Evans.

But like I said in the lead, Rodney Watson's don't grow on trees. And who's to say Belcher won't be at SIU for 20-plus years? (Conveniently ignores the fact that this is Belcher's fourth assistant coaching job since 2005).

Oh, and do not expect Lowery to just hand the associate head coach title to just anyone. Lowery said several factors went into giving Watson the title a few years ago. Factors including his loyalty to the program, knowledge of southern Illinois and the respect he had garnered in his years at SIU.

Now, the Salukis' longest tenured assistant is Brad Korn (5 years at SIU) and its most experienced assistant is Lance Irvin (16 years at various schools).

Making the post-Rodney Watson transition even more difficult is the fact that Lowery will be traveling to assist Team USA's U-19 team. In his stead, Irvin will take over the operations in Carbondale.


And before you ask, no, SIU is not done on the 2009 recruiting trail according to Lowery. Yes, signing day has come and gone. But there are still guys who have yet to qualify and "quality players" that are still unsigned. But Lowery did say the team does not want to put itself in a position in making a questionable or regrettable signing.


Thumbs up to C-Lo for acknowledged as being on the cusp of being one of the nation's best 25 coaches. Thumbs down for not knowing Lowery does not coach at Illinois State.


Am I the only person who thinks it is cool that SIU women's hoops head coach Missy Tiber is on Twitter? Maybe. Am I the only person who cares she is on Twitter? Probably. Still, I'm fond of the social networking tool.

Heck, it's on our sidebar. Damn right I'm fond of it.

I think this is a brilliant brain child of marketing guru Mark Gadzik. Marketing SIU is a tough job, but anytime you can put your name out there it has got to be a good thing.

In chats with Tiber, I feel as if she is doing a good job of selling the program thus far. Whether it has been keeping key recruit Kat Garcia and bringing in the talented Teri Oliver or going out and doing meet-and-greets.

All in an effort to bring some sunlight to a program she said has been 'living in a box' in recent years.


Is it football season yet? I'm just dying to know what Dale Lennon, Phil Longo and Bubba Schweigert have up their collective sleeves for the 2009 Saluki football team.