Saint Louis Hoops: Decade In Review

BillikenReport.com takes a look back at the last decade in Saint Louis University basketball, spanning allegiances with two conferences under three different coaches and including three postseason appearances, and a quick look at the future of the Billikens.

The highlight of the last decade in SLU basketball came in the first few months of 2000.

That's when coach Lorenzo Romar's Billikens pulled off the Miracle in Memphis, winning the Conference USA Tournament — after going 7-9 and finishing seventh in league play — and advancing to the NCAA Tournament only to lose a first-round game against Utah and coach Rick Majerus.

The decade came to a close with Majerus in the middle of his third season as the Saint Louis University coach and Billikens fans anxiously awaiting the arrival of prized power forward recruit Cody Ellis from Australia.

Season By Season

Lorenzo Romar (51-44 .537 three seasons)
1999-2000: 19-14 C-USA Tournament champs NCAA Tournament
2000-01: 17-14 C-USA
2001-02: 17-14 C-USA

Brad Soderberg (80-74 .519 five seasons)
2002-03: 16-14 C-USA NIT
2003-04: 19-13 C-USA NIT
2004-05: 9-21 C-USA
2005-06: 16-13 A-10
2006-07: 20-13 A-10

Rick Majerus (43-33 .566 three seasons)
2007-08: 16-15 A-10
2008-09: 18-14 A-10
2009-10: 9-4 A-10

Postseason Play

The Billikens made three postseason appearances during the decade.

Saint Louis U. made the NCAA Tournament in 2000, during Romar's first season, after winning the Conference USA Tournament in Memphis. The Billikens made the National Invitation Tournament in 2003 and 2004, which were Soderberg's first two seasons.

SLU has not made a postseason tournament since 2004.

Lone 20-Win Season

Saint Louis had just one 20-win season in the decade (20-13 in 2006-07), which was Soderberg's final season at SLU.

The Billikens had four 20-win seasons in the 1990s (1989-90, 1993-94, 1994-95, 1997-98), two in the 1980s (1986-87 and 1988-89), none in the 1970s, one in the 1960s (1960-61) and four in the 1950s (1950-51, 1951-52, 1954-55, 1958-59).

Top players

Marque Perry (1999-2003)

The guard from Chicago averaged 12 points per game in his four-year career, including 17.1 points per contest as a senior, and currently ranks 12th on the school's career scoring list with 1,358 points.

Ian Vouyoukas (2004-07)

The big man from Greece was one of the top post players in the Atlantic 10 Conference during his junior and senior seasons, when he averaged 13.9 and 12.4 points per game, respectively. He finished his career with 1,046 points and a school-record 135 blocked shots.

Kevin Lisch (2006-09)

After an impressive high school career at Althoff High in Belleville, Ill., Lisch averaged double figures in scoring for all four of his years at SLU, which were split between playing for Brad Soderberg and Rick Majerus. He ranks sixth on the school's career scoring list with 1,687 points, second in 3-pointers made with 259 and ninth in assists with 325.

Tommie Liddell III (2006-09)

The East St. Louis, Ill., native will forever be linked with Lisch as the two Metro East standouts spent their entire SLU careers playing together for four years. Like Lisch, Liddell averaged in double figures in each of his four seasons. Liddell ranks seventh on the career-scoring list with 1,547 points and is also seventh in career rebounds with 740.

Other Notables

Justin Love (1999-2000)

The California native averaged 18.2 points per game during the 1999-2000 season and his 16.3 points per game for his career ranks eighth in school history.

Maurice Jeffers (2000-01)

After averaging 6.6 points per game during the 1999-2000 season, Jeffers' scoring average jumped to 16 points per contest the following year.

Kwamain Mitchell (2009-)

The point guard from Milwaukee had an outstanding freshman season in 2008-09 when he averaged 11 points per game and set the school's freshman class record with 113 assists.

C-USA to the A-10

The conference affiliation for the Billikens is always a hot topic.

After switching from Conference USA to the Atlantic 10 Conference following the 2004-05 season the Billikens have, as they did in C-USA, struggled to make their mark and compete with the top teams in the league.

That has caused some to question whether or not Saint Louis should make another switch — the idea of moving to the Missouri Valley Conference has its share of both passionate fans and critics — with some people thinking the best option could possibly a conference that hasn't even been formed yet.

Whatever the case, the subject will continue to be an important one for SLU fans going forward.

The Future Of The Program

There's no denying that excitement is building in the third season with Majerus in charge of the Billikens, though that comes with the caveat that many fans question how much longer he can or will want to coach at SLU.

The .566 winning percentage for Majerus at Saint Louis exceeds that of his two predecessors, but his 43-33 record through his first two and a half seasons obviously does not include what figures to be a difficult stretch run during the early months of 2010.

Majerus and associate head coach Porter Moser, the former Illinois State head coach, have had success on the recruiting trail.

Mitchell, the sophomore point guard and the team's leading scorer at 16.3 points per game, and sophomore forward Willie Reed (13.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.2 blocked shots per game) appear on their way to becoming two of the better players in the A-10 Conference.

Ellis and freshman guard Christian Salecich give SLU two players from Australia with international experience who can help open up doors for future recruiting in that country. Fall signee Mike McCall, a guard from Chicago Foreman High School, has the coaching staff and fans excited about his career as a Billiken.


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