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Barry Hinson steps down from Southern Illinois after seven seasons

And he did it in Barry Hinson fashion.

NCAA Basketball: Southern Illinois at Minnesota Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

At least for the time being, college basketball will be without one of its greatest quotes.

Barry Hinson stepped down from Southern Illinois following the Salukis’ 61-58 loss to Northern Iowa in the Missouri Valley Tournament quarterfinals on Friday night. In typical Hinson fashion, he did so in a candid and interesting way.

Hinson spent seven seasons at SIU, going 116-111. The Salukis went 10-8 in MVC this season, earning the third seed in the league tournament. While this was in line with preseason expectations — which pegged SIU at third — the Salukis were one of the bundle of up-and-down teams in the league, but did finish the regular season on a three-game winning streak.

Notably, SIU dealt with a suspension to star guard Armon Fletcher early in the season, though he did play in the final 17 games.

The veteran coach has long been associated with the Valley. He spent nine seasons in charge at Missouri State, taking over from Steve Alford when the program — then known as Southwest Missouri State — was fresh off a Sweet 16 appearance. He would reach the NIT four times over his tenure in Springfield, and spent time on the staff at Kansas before getting the SIU job in 2012.

He generally fielded competitive teams in Carbondale, finishing .500 or better in the MVC in five out of his seven seasons. He didn’t, however, make any postseason trips during that time, and that appears to be part of the reason he resigned.

SIU becomes the highest profile mid-major job open in the early stages of the 2019 coaching carousel. The Salukis are just over a decade removed from their most recent Sweet 16 appearance under Chris Lowery, but haven’t able to replicate that stratospheric level of success under Hinson, or the latter years of Lowery.

That program pedigree, as well as close proximity to fertile recruiting grounds in St. Louis and Southern Indiana and wide-open nature of the MVC should put it in high demand.

As for Hinson, college basketball media and fans alike can only hope that this was not his last head job.