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Dantiel Daniels to Return for Southern Illinois on Saturday

Dantiel Daniels will return to the lineup for Southern Illinois when they take on Benedictine-Springfield on Saturday night. The sophomore had been out with a groin injury to begin the season.

Saluki Media Services

Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson gave Southern Illinois fans a little more hope for Saturday's game against Benedictine-Springfield. Not that the Salukis should have worried about their opponent anyway, but whatever doubts existed may have evaporated with this news:

Dantiel Daniels will return to the lineup.

Hinson said that Daniels will play despite not being 100 percent. The injury still is affecting his movement on the defensive side of the ball. That shouldn't be a problem against the lower division squad, but could come back to hurt them against more physical opponents.

The coach is glad to have the sophomore back to energize the offense:

"I think he makes us better as a team. He is going to drive us nuts defensively, because he's got nowhere near the athleticism or the east-west quickness that he needs right now. He could not guard anybody on the floor, because he's just not ready to put tension on that groin. At the same time though, just having him down on the low post and being an offensive threat helps us."

Hinson did shy away from saying how much Daniels will see the floor, but he will play and spend his down time keeping loose behind the bench.

"You know what, I don't know. I really don't. I think what we will do is play him off and on, but we can't let him sit very long. If we do, we risk the injury with cold. So we have to make sure when he's out of the game, we put him right on the bike, and that's kind of a problem on the road. We have to make sure we can have a bike on the road like we did at New Orleans. We would have played him at New Orleans if we felt like we actually had to have him, but when it comes to our players, I am extremely cautious when it comes to their health."

After Benedictine, Southern Illinois travels to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Saint Louis during the week of Thanksgiving.