Sam Cooke once sang, "Don't know much about history." It's a great song, but it turns out some basketball recruits do know history, and it's convincing them to sign with the Saluki hoops team.
SIU's golden days in basketball from 2001 to 2008, and even when Walt Frazier led the 1960s Salukis to an NIT National Championship, convinced Wisconsin prep star Marcus Domask to sign with new SIU head coach Bryan Mullins last week.
"I love the league (MVC) they are in. Every game is going to feel big," Domask said in a wisnet.com article. "There is not a pro or bigtime college team in the area so they are the big ticket, sports wise."
Domask had signed last fall with an up-and-coming Northern Kentucky team led by coach John Brannen. But Brannen decided to skip the rather rural North Kentucky-area school and head to the bright lights of Cincinnati to head the Bearcats' program. So Damask got his release and got into Saluki basketball lore, knowing not only about
Walt Frazier but also about recent MVC Final Fours (Loyola in 2018 and Wichita State in 2013) and that the Valley is the second-oldest conference in the United States.
After Domask was released and started looking for a new home, Mullins noticed his availability immediately and signed him to a letter of intent last Wednesday, May 8.
Domask was named the Wisconsin Coaches Association "Mr. Basketball" after averaging 26.1 points 10 rebounds and six assists per contest last season. But he's not a one-shot wonder.
Marcus averaged 21.1 points per game in 96 career games with Waupun High. Although WHS enrollment is but 600 students, those stats would catch any coach's attention. But it's Domask's personality that impresses Mullins most.
"Marcus will have a great impact on our program the next few years," noted Mullins. "He has versatility and most of all, a winning attitude."
And the feeling's mutual between coach and signer.
"Coach Mullins is a new coach and he's shown me a lot of love during the recruiting process," said Domask. "I also love their campus and facilities."
Domask also was impressed with already-rostered players like Aaron Cook and Eric McGill, plus the six signees Mullins has bagged in the last two weeks this spring.
"I think, along with my teammates here (because I will have some great ones), we will be able to do something special," said Domask. "We're going to fill the arena."
Those are heady predictions, but reasonable ones if we keep picking up guys like Domask. Mullins will have at least three more scholarships left to do so.
Look for forwards and centers to be at the head of the table for those scholarships since the Dawgs only have two guys taller than 6-foot-7 on the current roster.