Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson regrets singling out one of his players in a postgame diatribe that has gone viral.
And that’s about it.
After the Salukis’ 73-65 loss at Murray State on Tuesday night, Hinson called his players “uncoachable,” ”a bunch of mama’s boys” and compared the disciplining of his young team to housebreaking a puppy. Hinson also called starting point guard Marcus Fillyaw “absolutely awful.”
“It was wrong of me to single out a specific player. I apologized to Marcus and team. I stand by the rest of my comments. Go Dawgs!” Hinson tweeted Wednesday ahead of a regularly scheduled news conference. Athletic director Mario Moccia did not immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press.
Long known for being blunt, Hinson appeared calm at the start of his news conference after the Salukis (2-8) lost their fourth straight game. He became more wound up the longer he discussed a performance in which his team shot 42 percent, committed 18 turnovers and were out-rebounded 40-29.
“They won’t let me coach them,” Hinson said. “Any time I coach somebody they put their head down. We’re soft. We’ve been enabled for whatever reason. I got a bunch of mama’s boys right now. And we just won’t buck up and bow our necks, and we’ve got to get through that.”
Hinson added, “I’m tired of coaching a guy and having him roll his eyes, or put his head down or feel sorry for himself. I’m tired of that. This is big time. … We’ve got men and women serving our country. They don’t get to take days off. We’re going to college and getting it paid for.”
Several media outlets reported that senior center Davante Drinkard later tweeted, “I can’t believe the little man had the nerve to call us mama’s boys. Smh. I guess this is where Our team learns to point the finger.”
The tweet was removed, according to media reports. As of Wednesday afternoon, Drinkard’s Twitter account was allowing access only to confirmed followers.
Jay Bilas, a standout at Duke and now an ESPN broadcaster, and Creighton coach Greg McDermott both said Hinson only wants the best for — and from — his players.
“On one hand, we want our coaches and subjects to be candid with us and tell us the truth, and then when they do we want to criticize them for that, too,” Bilas said. “I have no problem with coaches that want to perhaps motivate their teams through the media at times. I didn’t think any of it was over the top. We’ll see if it works.”
McDermott has known Hinson since the early 2000s, when he was coach at Northern Iowa and Hinson was at Missouri State.
“Barry is a great coach and better person,” McDermott wrote in a text message. “He wears his passion on his sleeve, which was evident in the interview. If his players listen to him, they will be better because of it.”
Fillyaw, the player Hinson called out, was scoreless with three fouls, two turnovers and one assist in 14 minutes against Murray State.
“Marcus was absolutely awful,” Hinson said. “That’s about as PG-rated as I can say it. He was awful. Our guards were awful. Our three starting guards had one assist and seven turnovers. They must think it’s a tax credit. It’s unbelievable how our starting guards played.”
Hinson added, “We made three turnovers tonight where we just came down and threw them the ball. I swear I thought one time that one of our players said, ‘Merry Christmas.’”
Hinson also blasted his big men, who combined to go 2 for 11.
“My wife can score more than two buckets on 11 shots, because I know my wife will at least shot-fake one time,” Hinson said, his voice rising. “But those guys aren’t listening. They’re uncoachable right now.”
Hinson suggested that he will make a point of having his players do push-ups or run on a treadmill if they don’t do as they’re told.
“To me, when you’ve got a young team, it’s a lot like house training a puppy dog,” Hinson said, rolling up a piece of paper and swatting the table in front of him. “You know what, when the dog does something wrong, ‘Bad dog.’ Well, I’m not going to hit ‘em. I’m not going to swat ‘em. But, ‘Bad dog, get on the treadmill.’ That’s probably what we need to do.”
Hinson, 52, is in his second season at Southern Illinois. He went 14-17 after inheriting a program hamstrung by academic problems and personnel issues. He had spent the previous four seasons in an administrative position with the Kansas basketball program. He’s 221-165 in 13 seasons as a head coach at SIU, Oral Roberts and Missouri State.