CARBONDALE — Southern Illinois University Carbondale men's basketball coach Barry Hinson addressed the media on Monday afternoon, shortly after the program announced that freshman guard Deion Lavender will be the fifth player to transfer since the season ended.
A native of Alton and graduate of Marquette Catholic High School, Lavender came on strong at the end of last season, earning a starting job and scoring double figures in seven of the last 11 games. He averaged 6.6 points and 2.5 rebounds on the year, but emerged as the team's third-leading scorer in conference games (8.6 points). He started 13 games and scored in double figures 10 times.
The Salukis began the year with six freshmen on the roster. Two of them (Austin Weiher and Armon Fletcher) redshirted and are expected to return next season. The remaining four (Lavender, Jordan Caroline, Chaz Glotta and K.C Goodwin) are transferring. Also transferring is junior guard Jalen Pendleton.
Hinson said during the press conference, "Deion's reasoning was just that he was unhappy here in Carbondale. I go back once again, we tried to do everything we could do to paint the picture for each and every one of these individuals to show them what we thought about their future at SIU. We tried to do that in as honest and transparent a way we can. Obviously, these guys made their own decisions."