Louisiana Tech entered the season as one of the nation’s trendiest mid-majors, but thanks to an opening night loss at St. Mary’s and disappointing results against Louisiana-Lafayette and Oklahoma State, a lot of people forgot about the Bulldogs.
Mike White’s club picked up a 102-98 win at Oklahoma on Monday night. They erased a 14-point first half deficit on the road, bouncing back after Cameron Clark hit a ridiculous, buzzer-beating three to force the extra frame.
Winning on the road isn’t easy. Beating Oklahoma after being down 14 points on the road isn’t easy. Bouncing back from a momentum-killing three at the end of regulation isn’t easy.
No matter how you slice, this was a very impressive win for Louisiana Tech.
If you’ve never seen the Bulldogs play, they are reminiscent of VCU. They like to press, they like to trap, they like uptempo basketball. But like VCU, when they struggle, it’s on the offensive end of the floor. They are not a particularly good shooting team.
On Monday night, however, Louisiana Tech got 31 points from Alex Hamilton and 22 points from Raheem Appleby. Cordarius Johnson chipped in with 17 points, hitting five of LTU’s 10 three-pointers. When they are hitting their threes and when they are putting up more than 100 points, this Louisiana Tech team is going to be a tough out.
This win probably won’t be enough to get them an at-large bid is the struggle at all in Conference USA play. But it is a sign that their length and athleticism in that press can cause anyone they would draw in a potential tournament trip a lot of issues.
(h/t Nordy for the video)
Florida Gulf Coast redshirt junior forward Demetris Morant is expected to miss the next 3-4 months after undergoing surgery last week to repair a stress fracture in his right shin, the school announced on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 4.5 points, 4.4 blocks and 1.3 blocks per game in 33 appearances (18 starts) for the Eagles during the 2014-15 season.
“This is obviously an unfortunate setback for Demetris, but it was a procedure that needed to be done,” Florida Gulf Coast head coach Dooley said in a statement. “We decided it would be best to have it completed now to hopefully get him back for A-Sun play. It’s an opportunity now for other guys to step up in his absence, and I have confidence they’ll get the job done.”
The Eagles have the top frontline in the Atlantic Sun, one that returns Marc-Eddy Norelia and Filip Cvjeticanin, a 3-point shooter who missed all of last season recovering from back surgery. VCU transfer Antravious Simmons becomes eligible in the second semester.
Florida Gulf Coast begins the 2015-16 season on Nov. 14 against Ohio.
Cheick Diallo is currently practicing with Kansas, but his eligibility still remains in question.
On Monday, Kansas head coach Bill Self appeared on “The Border Patrol” on WHB-AM 810 and was asked to update the status of his freshman big man.
“He’s been cleared to practice,” Self told hosts Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty. “(His status) is depending on what they find throughout from the information we submit to them whenever we get it all together.
“A lot of people think, ‘Well, why wouldn’t it all be together?’ Well there’s a lot of reasons why. It’s because they told us recently some things that they just wanted. Instead of just throwing it to them piece by piece, they requested we to just submit it all together, so it may be a couple of more weeks before we’re able to submit everything when you’re talking about getting information from schools in Mali and everything like that.
“But we hope in two weeks, maybe three weeks, before we have a definite answer. But right now, Cheick is like everybody else. He’s practicing.”
Diallo, a 6-foot-9 forward from Mali is allowed to practice with the Jayhawks, but has been waiting to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center despite enrolling in classes over the summer and earning six credits. Self anticipated this would be a long process, but has remained confident Diallo, the top-5 recruit in Class of 2015, will eventually be cleared to play this season.
For three years, Diallo attended Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York, which is currently under NCAA review. In September, Pitt freshman Damon Wilson, Diallo’s teammate at OSNA, was cleared to play.
Kansas opens the season on Nov. 13 against Northern Colorado.