Brutal weather strands SIU basketball team

Brutal weather strands SIU basketball team
January 5, 2014, 10:15 pm
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Tony Andracki

Southern Illinois' basketball team has once again caught the attention of the nation.

But again, it was not for their play on the court.

A few weeks after SIU-Carbondale head coach Barry Hinson made headlines for his postgame tirade, the Salukis fell victim to the crazy Midwest weather and are stranded on their team bus.

SIU athletic director Mario Moccia announced Sunday night the SIU men's basketball team was stranded on Interstate 57 in their trek back to campus after a matchup with Illinois State in Normal, Ill.

Thanks to the whipping wind and snow, the bus driver pulled over to wait out the snowstorm, but when the worst of the weather passed, the bus was stuck. With I-57 closed down, state troopers could not send a tow truck to rescue the bus immediately, and Moccia confirmed the team may have to spend the night on the bus.

"They're warm,'' Moccia said. "They've got enough gas and food on the bus. The worst-case scenario is they will be there until the highway opens. They'll have to wait for a tow truck to pull them out."

Hinson and two assistant coaches were recruiting and were not on the bus, though the SIU head coach told USA TODAY Sports he was also stranded.

SIU's players seemed to be in good spirits despite the adversity they faced, tweeting out pictures and clever messages providing a glimpse of the mood on the bus: