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Five Southern Illinois basketball players are leaving the program

There is an exodus of players from the Southern Illinois men's basketball team
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Two more players will transfer out of the Southern Illinois Salukis men's basketball program, the schoolannounced Monday, bringing the total number of departures from the program in the month of March to five and casting questions about the future of coach Barry Hinson's program. 

Freshmen Deion Lavender and Jordan Caroline informed Hinson they would leave the program Monday, blindsiding the third-year coach. 

Hinson said the transfers "hurt and bothered him," according to the Southern Illinois student newspaper, The Daily Egyptian. 

Each transfer decided to leave the program on his own, Hinson told the newspaper. Three of the transfer decisions revolved around playing time. 

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"Certainly, I have had better days as a college basketball coach and I don't mind telling you that I am incredibly saddened and disappointed with the decision of two of our student-athletes to transfer from SIU," Hinson said in a statement.

Hinson called out the "epidemic of college basketball student-athletes transferring right now," labeling the number of off-season transfers across the sport "huge."

Southern Illinois finished with a 12-21 record this season, including a 4-12 mark in the Missouri Valley Conference. They were the 22nd youngest team in the country, according to 

The basketball team's website lists its roster for the 2015-16 season before the 2014-15 national championship has been played. That roster includes only eight players. 

The school announced on Mar. 16 that a pair of freshman guards, Chaz Glotta and K.C. Goodwin, would transfer. On Mar. 24, the school announcedJalen Pendleton, a sophomore, would leave as well. 

Hinson has three more years left on his contract. 

- Will Green