COLORS: Maroon and white.
ARENA: SIU Arena, capacity 10,000.
CONFERENCE: Missouri Valley.
PRESIDENT: Dr. James Walker.
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR: Paul Kowalczyk.
STARTED PLAYING BASKETBALL: 1912.
GREATEST MOMENT: Behind Walt Frazier, Dick Garrett, Salukis won '67 National Invitational Tournament.
NCAA TOURNAMENT APPEARANCES: 1977, '93, '94, '95, 2002.
NIT APPEARANCES: 1967, '69, '75, '89, '90, '91, '92, 2000.
What's with the nickname?
The team was the Maroons until 1951, when the student body approved Salukis 536-144 over the Rebels. A saluki is the world's oldest pure-breed with records dating to 3600 B.C. It was an ancient Egyptian hunting dog and was regarded as the finest animal a family could own. Imagine a meaner-looking greyhound with long hairy ears.
Well, natives of Southern Illinois are aware that the region frequently has been referred to as Egypt. Historian Baker Brownwell explained why in his book The Other Illinois: There was a drought in the northern counties (of Illinois) in the early 1800s the wheat fields dried up, the streams died in their beds. But in Southern Illinois, rain fell and there were good crops, and from the north came people seeking corn and wheat as to Egypt of old. Thus the name Egypt.
The drought supposedly parallels a biblical account of Egypt, in which the "earth came to Egypt" for its food because the rest of the world was steeped in famine.
Who are some famous alumni?
According to the school's Alumni Association Web site, the NBA's Walt Frazier is the most famous athlete to come out of SIU, and quarterback Jim Hart, who later was the school's athletic director, is close behind. The biggest name away from sports is theater major Dennis Franz of NYPD Blue.
Saluki Marcia Bullard is the president and CEO of USA Weekend, a Sunday magazine insert. And those Chicken Soup for the Soul books? Mark Victor Hansen (and partner Jack Canfield) came up with that idea in 1993.
Former chief U.S. representative to the United Nations and President Carter cabinet member Donald McHenry is a Saluki alumnus and graduated in 1959 with Roland Burris, who served as Illinois attorney general.
+ Darren Brooks, So., G, 6-3, 205, St. Louis, Mo. (Jennings)
+ David Carney, Sr., G, 6-0, 170, Tell City, Ind. (Tell City)
+ Jermaine Dearman, Sr., F, 6-8, 220, Indianapolis, Ind. (Warren Central)
+ Stetson Hairston, So., G, 6-3, 200, Fairview Heights, Ill. (Belleville East)
+ Brad Korn, Jr., F, 6-9, 195, Oswego, Ill. (Plano)
+ Blake Schoen, Fr., F, 6-4, 200, Oxford, Ind. (Benton Central)
+ Bryan Turner, Jr., G, 6-1, 185, St. Louis, Mo. (Beaumont)
+ Ryan Walker, Fr., G, 6-3, 200, Galesburg, Ill. (Galesburg)
+ Josh Warren, So., C, 6-8, 250, Washington, Mo. (Saint Francis Borgia)
+ Kent Williams, Sr., G, 6-2, 185, Mt. Vernon, Ill. (Mt. Vernon Township)
+ Sylvester Willis, Jr., C, 6-7, 225, Calumet City, Ill. (Thornwood)
+ Tony Young, Fr., G, 6-0, 190, Schaumburg, Ill. (Schaumburg)
_ Player and coach profiles and SIU facts compiled by John C. Cotey.