March 17, 2010
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team will open the 2010 CollegeInsider.com in the first round at Louisiana Tech. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 18.
Southern Miss is making its 11th postseason appearance and is 6-9 all-time in postseason play. However, five of those wins came in the 1987 National Invitation Tournament, when the Golden Eagles won the NIT Championship. In fact, the six wins came consecutively, as they then won the opening game of the 1988 NIT against Clemson. However, since that game, Southern Miss has lost seven straight postseason games, all of which came away from Reed Green Coliseum.
Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech will meet for the 69th time, with the Golden Eagles holding a 39-29 advantage. In games played in Ruston, the Bulldogs lead 23-9, including having won the last 10 meetings. Southern Miss has won the last two games and seven of the last ten.
Southern Miss enters the 2010 CollegeInsiders.com Tournament with a 20-13 record. The Golden Eagles went 2-1 in the GMC Sierra Conference USA Tournament, falling in the Semifinals to eventual conference champion Houston, 74-66.
Junior Gary Flowers recorded his third straight double-double and 11th of the season, scoring 24 points and grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds. Junior R.L. Horton scored 12 points and sophomore Angelo Johnson dropped in 11. Junior Torye Pelham and sophomore Maurice Bolden added seven rebounds apiece.
Flowers is in ninth-place in Conference USA with 15.0 points. He is also tied for 12th in field goal percentage, connecting on 46.5-percent of his shots, sixth in rebounding with 8.3 boards per game and fourth in blocks (1.8).
Johnson is second on the team with 10.0 points per game. He is also third in the league in free throw percentage, connecting on 81.8-percent of his shots from the charity stripe. Horton is scoring 9.2 points, while sophomore guard Maurice Bolden is also contributing 8.8 points.
As a team, Southern Miss is scoring 64.9 points per game, while allowing 59.6, tops in the conference. The Golden Eagles are third in the conference in rebounding, pulling down 37.7 boards per game while giving up just 30.7 to the opposition, which is second in the conference. The Black and Gold are connecting on 41.8-percent of their shots, while their opponents are hitting just 40.0-percent. Southern Miss is also second in the league in three-point percentage defense, as opponents are hitting just 30.1-percent from beyond the arc.
Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his sixth season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. He has compiled a 95-93 (.505) record during his time as head coach. In 18 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 355-238 (.599).
Louisiana Tech will be making its 14th Division I postseason appearance and first since 2006. The Bulldogs enter the 2010 CollegeInsiders.com Tournament with an overall record of 23-10, including a 9-7 record in the Western Athletic Conference. LTU finished fourth in the WAC and made it to the semifinals of the WAC Tournament before falling to Utah State, 85-55.
The Bulldogs are led by a pair of All-Western Athletic Conference performers in senior guard Kyle Gibson and senior center Magnum Rolle. Gibson is fourth in the WAC with 18.4 points per game. He is also fifth in the league in free throw percentage, connecting on 84.0-percent from the charity stripe.
Rolle is equally as important. He is second on the team with 14.0 points and a 51.1 field goal percentage. He is also third in the conference, grabbing 8.6 rebounds per game and leads the WAC with 2.1 blocks.
Senior guard Jamel Guyton is third on the team with 12.0 points and junior guard DeAndre Brown is scoring 10.9 points. Sophomore forward Olu Ashaolu is scoring 10.6 points and is fourth in the league with 8.2 rebounds per game.
As a team, Louisiana Tech is averaging 74.3 points per game and is allowing 70.2, both of which are third in the league. LTU is connecting on 45.2-percent of its shots, while allowing the opposition to score 44.1-percent of the time. The Bulldogs are grabbing a league-high 37.3 rebounds, while their opponents are pulling down 34.2.
Head coach Kerry Rupp is in his third season at the helm of the Louisiana Tech basketball program and his fourth season as a head coach. He boasts a record of 44-52 (.458) at LTU and a 53-56 (.486) mark overall.
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