Men's Basketball prepares for home finale, Senior Day Saturday
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Thirty regular-season games down, one to go for the Southern Miss men's basketball team, and the final round is Saturday at 4:30 p.m. CT versus LA Tech.
The game serves as the nightcap of a doubleheader with the women's team (Lady Eagles play FIU at 2 p.m.). Fans unable to make it to the coliseum can tune in via CUSA.tv and the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network (Rock 104.5 in Hattiesburg/Laurel), with John Cox on the call for both. The USM Gameday app will also carry the action via audio.
– Southern Miss will honor D’Angelo Richardson pregame during its Senior Day ceremony. This is the first Golden Eagle team with one or no seniors since 2006-07. The walk-on transfer from Holmes CC has five double-digit scoring games in his career, and Southern Miss has won all of them. All five of his starts for the Black and Gold have come this season as well.
– LA Tech got the best of the Golden Eagles back on Jan. 27, racing out to a 57-27 halftime lead en route to the 89-66 victory. Southern Miss is also looking to bounce back from a Senior Day loss last season (94-82 versus FAU), its first-such defeat since 2011.
– One more league victory would continue the trend of Doc Sadler improving the team’s C-USA win total in each season he has been in charge (3-5-6-6). The 13 overall victories are the most by a Golden Eagle team since the 2012 NCAA Tourney squad.
– The Golden Eagles will enter next week’s C-USA Championships (March 7-10 in Frisco, Texas) anywhere from a No. 9-12 seed depending on Saturday’s outcomes around the league.
– Cortez Edwards’ 63 steals put him two away from capturing the single-season school record (Neil Watson (64), 2012-13). The last three players he passed on the list were Casey Fisher (1985-86), Curtis Green (1982-83) and Kenny Smith (1979-80). His 2.1 steals/game against C-USA foes ranks third.
– Edwards, a junior, now has 861 points for his career. He is seeking to become the 37th member of Southern Miss’ 1,000-point club, and the first to have played under Sadler. Neil Watson was the most recent addition (1,157 points from 2011-14).
– Southern Miss made some of its best defensive adjustments of the year last Thursday night, rebounding from the slow start to hold UTSA to its lowest scoring output for a home game on the year (64 points). The 36.7 defensive field goal percentage was also Southern Miss’ best since Dec. 16 against William Carey. It was, however, the team’s first loss when getting 20 or more free-throw attempts (won previous seven) and just its second when gettng more foul shot attempts than its opponent.
– As it stands now, Kevin Holland (.448) has the highest three-point percentage in a season since David Haywood (.452) from 2002-03. The master’s student has upped his mark seven and 10 points each year he has played.
– With at least two games remaining, Tyree Griffin already has 174 assists (sixth-most in single-season history). With four more dimes, he will have the most by a Golden Eagle since Dallas Dale’s 222 in the 1991-92 season. Griffin is currently No. 11 against C-USA foes for scoring (16.1 ppg), sixth in assists (5.8 apg) and third in steals (1.9 spg).
– LA Tech leads C-USA with a 38-percent three-point percentage against league foes. Southern Miss counters with a 49.3 percent field-goal mark at home this season, including 36 percent from long-range.
– Southern Miss ranks fourth and ninth nationally for fewest turnovers per game (9.6) and assist-turnover ratio (1.56). Southern Miss’ 23 assists versus Rice were its most against a Division I team since Nov. 27, 2004 versus McNeese State (26). It also had 32 versus Rust on Dec. 3, 2017.