Game #9-502: Southern Illinois Salukis vs. Missouri State BearsMarch 7, 2013 9:35 pm
St. Louis, MO
One of the most rewarding parts about traveling the country for the Mid-Majority is the opportunity to see teams on multiple occasions. I envy my teammate, Ray Curren, for the amount of basketball games he's seen this season. I haven't approached his record, but I've been to several different venues in the Midwest. In November, I made my first trip to Edwardsville, Ill., to see the Southern Illinois-Carbondale Salukis play the SIU-Edwardsville Cougars. The two teams hadn't met in Edwardsville in years, and I had a blast
watching the two teams play.
The game featured an all-out brawl in the second half, which led to multiple ejections on SIUE. It was physical, brash and intense, and I got to see all of it from right behind SIU-Carbondale's bench.
This is where I got my first look at The Madman, aka Barry Hinson.
He's certifiably insane, as Seth Greenberg might say. At one point, one of his players threw the ball out of bounds off an inbounds pass, and Hinson was so angry he heaved the ball baseball-throw style about 50 feet across the court. Everybody laughed. It was hilarious, because Hinson is hilarious.
He's also a great coach. Hinson is in his first season at Southern Illinois, but he's no stranger to the Valley. He used to coach at Missouri State before the school fired him. Since the two teams played twice this season, that wasn't much of a storyline in this particular game at Arch Madness, but I once again had the privilege to sit right behind the Southern Illinois bench to observe The Madman.
On this night, The Madman was in rare form. It was do-or-die for his last place Salukis, who've been playing much better lately but still aren't very good right now. As the game wore on, he began to get more and more frustrated. He's always animated about something -- whether it's a positive reaction or negative reaction -- and his most memorable moment came with official John Higgins. He was screaming at Higgins about god knows what, and Higgins turned to him and yelled, "The defender's straight up! Cool it, Barry!" That's why I love John Higgins. He always fights back.
Southern Illinois lost, but this program is in capable hands. Barry Hinson will always be angry about something, but that's why we love him.