It’s a bittersweet day for coach Barry Hinson.
While Southern Illinois announced in a release that the Salukis will get back Diamond Taylor on Jan. 15 after he spent the first half of the season suspended following a DUI arrest on Sept. 22, the program also announced that sophomore Antonio Bryer is leaving the team and will transfer at the end of the spring semester.
Bryer, a 6-6 sophomore, averaged 2.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in nine games this season. He left the team briefly earlier this season but returned. As a freshman, the Norview. Va. native played in 12 games and scored six total points. It’s kind of obvious he’s probably looking for more playing time, at least on the surface.
Taylor, on the other hand, is bigger news. The junior guard averaged 4.3 points in 14 minutes per game last season. He’ll be a key back-up to guards Kendal Brown-Surles and Jeff Early for the Missouri Valley Conference slate in a league where depth is key.
Bryer leaving is a major blow to the depth of SIU, but nothing they can’t overcome. But Taylor is a welcome addition for Hinson and the Salukis.
David Harten is a sportswriter and college basketball blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.