Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson is a journalist’s dream. But after a MVC Tournament quarterfinal defeat Friday, the quote machine could be shut down until the 2016-17 season.
Although the Salukis are 22-10 and will likely be offered a spot in a lower-level postseason tournament, Hinson said the program may not participate in any postseason tournament where it has to pay to play because of the Illinois government’s budget situation. They would only play if they “know that we can be on the positive side of the ledger” or if they raise the money privately.
So in case we won’t be getting any more classic Hinson quotes this season, here is a compilation of his best lines from the 2015-16 campaign, in no particular order.
Hello from the other side
Hinson cut back on practice time a bit prior to a February matchup with Indiana State, and it sounds like his players appreciated that.
“I like to work. I love practice,” Hinson said. “Just because I love practice doesn’t mean those players love it as much as I do. Instead of going two hours and fifteen minutes, yesterday we went an hour. You’d have thought I was Adele and just finished singing ‘Hello’. They gave me a standing ovation. Did it strike a cord, I don’t know. I think the guys welcome it.”
Exodus from Little Egypt
At Wednesday’s Coach of the Year luncheon, Hinson joked about having five players transfer out of the program last spring.
“We had a mass exodus,” he said. “I thought Moses was coming back to Little Egypt there.”
For those who don’t know, Little Egypt is the nickname for the southern region of Illinois, providing the source for the Saluki mascot as Southern Illinois.
What does Barry Hinson fear? I’m glad you asked!
“Fear paralyzes you,” Hinson said prior to a January matchup with Illinois State. “It would be like putting me up in front of a lot of people and saying you need to sing a song. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get a note out. I fear onions, I fear my wife and I fear singing in front of a group of people.”
And the Oscar goes to…
In Southern Illinois’ 71-59 win Feb. 17 against Bradley, the Salukis led by only five points late in the second half before Anthony Beane hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give them a comfortable advantage.
“If we don’t score there, whew, man, it’d be like me and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant,” Hinson said. “We’d of [sic] been in a bear fight.”
Hinson’s Huddles: A new reality TV series airing next fall
“We just couldn’t get them going, tried everything we could to get `em going — timeouts, huddles, all that,” Hinson said after a loss at home to Loyola. “They shut me out tonight, they didn’t want to listen to me. You should have seen the timeouts. This is one of the times where I wish we had reality TV where you could sit in my chair, and guys are just staring at you like zombies. Whatever you’re saying, it ain’t getting in there. It’s an empty skull.”
Putting a winning season in perspective
After being picked to finish ninth, Southern Illinois clinched its first winning season since 2007-08 on Jan. 20 with a 79-66 victory against Indiana State.
“I don’t think our kids understand the magnitude of tonight,” Hinson said after the game. “We can get E.coli and not win another game and still have a winning season. The eight-year drought is over. Come on in boys, the water is fine.”
Hinson had to use a larger front line against Kent State’s taller lineup in a Nov. 18 matchup. He subbed freshmen Austin Weiher and Rudy Stradnieks into the game.
Weiher shot 1-of-3 from the field with two fouls and two turnovers in 17 minutes. Stradnieks only got three minutes of playing time.
“There’s not a human-maturation microwave out there,” Hinson said. “I looked on the internet today, because I’d like one. I’d like to put the freshmen in there and say, ‘mature really quick.'”
At Wednesday’s Coach of the Year luncheon, Hinson deadpanned that Wichita State guard Ron Baker had accepted a pro offer, just not in basketball.
The coach said; “I’m really exceptionally proud of Ron. Ron has not announced this, but he is going to sign a six-figure deal upon graduation with the Chippendales in Las Vegas.”
Don’t worry, Barry. Everyone cries at the end of “Marley and Me.”
Hinson’s Coach of the Year acceptance speech was a gold mine for classic Hinson quotes. What else would you expect when you give this man a microphone for five uninterrupted minutes in front of a large crowd?
Hinson teared up as he accepted the award but handled it with grace.
“Shoot, I cried at the last 15 minutes of “Marley and Me.” I’m sorry, I’m a passionate guy,” Hinson said. “I’m extremely humbled and honored. The first person to win this award was Mr. Iba, and I worked for Mr. Iba, so this makes it extremely special for me.”
Hinson the Author
When asked what the key is to getting each of his players competing at his highest level at the same time, Hinson said:”Hopefully, I’ll figure that out by this time next year, and you can help me write the book, and we’ll just get out of this coaching game and just make money hand over fist. Me, you, and Tony Robbins.”
After Friday’s MVC Tournament loss, Hinson commented somewhat randomly on the coaching job of Brian Wardle in his first year at Bradley. Wardle’s roster had 10 freshmen.
“Brian had daycare,” Hinson said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. You never come into a tape room and see diapers. There’s Pampers, there’s tape. The youngest team I’ve ever seen.”