Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spartan hoops on the road Thursday at Louisiana Tech

It's a showdown in Ruston, Louisiana (sort of like the one in that area involving authorities and Bonnie and Clyde that resulted in the demise of B and C back in 1934). But this one involves San Jose State University and host Louisiana Tech, with both teams needing to get off the schneid in WAC play.

The game will begin at 5 p.m. Pacific time.

Kerry Rupp heads the Bulldog program, one minus graduated stars Magnum Rolle and Kyle Gibson from last season. Olu Ashaolu, the WAC leader in rebounding, remains a bulwark upfront and it's DeAndre Brown leading the backcourt but it primarily newcomers trying to coalesce.

As for personnel, here's Ethan Conley of The News Star in a recent article:

"An inexperienced Louisiana Tech men's basketball team is suddenly looking even younger.

Sophomore swingman Brandon Gibson, one of just four Bulldogs who entered the season with any previous experience in Division 1 basketball, will miss the remainder of the team's 2010-11 campaign after undergoing surgery on Thursday to repair a torn left ACL...

...Gibson had started 12 games for the Bulldogs (9-8 overall, 0-3 WAC) and was one of their most productive players. He was third on the team in scoring (9.2 points per game), second in rebounding (5.1 per game) and first in blocks (14 on the season)...

...Darius Redding was one of Tech's four returnees at the start of the season. In early December, Tech announced that Redding, a sophomore forward, had been ruled academically ineligible for the winter quarter, and he will not be eligible to return until the team visits San Jose State on Feb. 26...

...Tech averages 68.3 points per game this season but just 54.3 points in its three games against Western Athletic Conference competition, and Brown and Ashaolu have scored 60 percent of the team's points in those games."

LT managed an 8-5 non-conference record but it's been tough going comes WAC play -- losing by 11 at Boise, by 30 at Idaho and seven after hosting Fresno State.

But at home, the Bulldogs do own a 5-1 record.

Louisiana Tech Starting Five

* 6-7 junior Olu Ashaolu -- 15.3 ppg., shooting 55% overall, 112 foul shots in 17 games, 9.2 rpg., very good offensive rebounder

* 6-1 freshman Kenyon McNeaill -- 6.9 ppg., shooting 35% overall, 33% from three, 44/44 assist-to-turnover ratio

* 5-11 senior DeAndre Brown --16.4 ppg., shooting 41% overall, 39% on threes, 47/59 assist-to-turnover ratio, a team-leading 21 steals

after this trio, it's anyone's guess who will start

Off The Bench

* 6-10 junior Romario Souza -- shooting 53% but prefers facing the basket and not necessarily playing in the paint

* 6-7 freshman James Johnson -- also shooting 53% and an inside-the-paint player

* 6-5 freshman Lonnie Smith -- 6.3 ppg., shooting 38% overall, 39% from three and 49 of his 80 shot attempts have been treys

* 6-9 junior Antwond Roshell -- has played little but has size and bulk, shooting 56%

The Bulldogs are -32 in steals on the season and -52 in turnovers.

LT's schedule to date

11/10/10 at Texas L, 89-58

11/17/10 vs. Houston W, 60-54

11/19/10 vs. Seattle University (Irvine, CA) W, 85-72
11/20/10 vs. Navy (Irvine, CA) W, 80-65
11/21/10 at UC Irvine W, 76-72

11/26/10 at UALR L, 74-65

12/01/10 vs. SMU W, 69-64

12/04/10 vs. Louisiana-Monroe W, 67-58

12/07/10 at Northwestern State L, 85-78

12/11/10 at McNeese State L, 80-70

12/14/10 at Houston Baptist W, 80-57

12/18/10 vs. UT Arlington W, 62-61

12/21/10 at Iowa L, 77-58

12/29/10 at Boise State L, 71-60
12/31/10 at Idaho L, 77-47
01/06/11 vs. Fresno State L, 63-56

The Louisiana Tech Roster (alphabetized, by position)

DeAndre Brown 5-11/160 G SR
Brandon Gibson 6-5/225 G SO (injured)
Tevin Hall 5-10/155 PG SO
Cordarius Johnson 6-5/215 G FR
Kenyon McNeaill 6-1/185 G FR
C.J. Scott 6-1/225 G JR
Lonnie Smith 6-5/185 G FR

Olu Ashaolu 6-7/220 G/F JR

Stojan Gjuroski 6-7/195 FR HS (redshirting)
James Johnson 6-7/250 F/C FR
J.L. Lewis 6-8/240 F/C SO
Darius Redding 6-4/205 F SO (ineligible)

Romario Souza 6-10/245 F/C JR

Antwond Roshell 6-9/250 C JR

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