*** Please do note that the men's game begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Oh how Louisiana Tech Coach Kerry Rupp wishes for a do-over this season. If such was possible, he possibly would have the availability of wings and most likely starters Darius Redding (out due to academic ineligibility) and Brandon Gibson (out with an injury), plus possibly the services of his most talented backcourter, DeAndre Brown (out due to a recent suspension).
But that's all pixie dust at the present although one report indicated that Redding, if his academics are now in order, would be eligible again as of Saturday's game.
Rupp is currently having to make do with a bevy of newcomers, a number of freshman, plus mainstay in the middle, Olu Ashaolu. The positive of such a situation: newcomers are gaining major experience but this is a team badly in need of greater basketball talent.
These two teams met back on January 13 -- here is our game report:
San Jose State tops LT 79-74
Minus Adrian Oliver, out with concussion-like symptoms suffered in practice during the week, it was 'a babe shall lead them' situation
Freshman Keith Shamburger's streak of nine straight points --a pair of free throws, a dribble-drive basket, a top of the key trey and two more from the foul line -- brought San Jose State University from behind in the second half and it was close until the wire before the Spartans prevailed over Louisiana Tech 79-74. He finished with 21 points.
LT endured a veritable offensive no-show by star Olu Ashaolu who managed just four points on 2-4 shooting. He did grab 11 boards however. DeAndre Brown and Tevin Hall, with 17 points apiece, led the Bulldogs, who collectively made just 4-11 from the foul line, content with firing away from long distance (12-27).
SJSU was paced by Shamburger's point total and also Justin Graham's 21 points. Wil Carter contributed 14 and Calvin Douglas 13 (6-8 shooting). The team shot 57% on the evening.
The score was 38-37 in favor of the Bulldogs at the half, an ever-evolving 20 minutes of play. SJSU took a 12 point lead at one point but an LT 17-4 run, powered by seven treys, closed out the play and put Coach Kerry Rupp's team ahead. Carter had 12 points at the half aided by a trio of dunks, Graham 11 and Douglas 10.
For the game, the Spartans shot 57% to the Bulldogs' 52% but LT was successful on 44% of 27 trey attempts.
The (expected) Louisiana Tech Starting Five (using WAC stats)
* 6-10 junior college transfer Romario Souza -- prefers facing the basket over playing in the paint, not much of a factor besides being a catch-and-shoot player
* 6-7 junior Olu Ashaolu -- coming off an 18/11 double-double, he's averaging 13.5 points and 10.1 rebounds a game, uses bulk and athleticism well inside
* 6-foot-5 freshman Cedarius Johnson -- 6.5 points per game, shooting 36% overall, 29% from distance, 49 of his 80 shots have been treys
* 6-5 freshman Lonnie Smith -- 4.8 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, shooting 32% overall, 32% from beyond the stripe, 30 or his 50 shots have been treys
* 6-1 freshman Kenyon McNeaill -- 7.8 points and 2.5 rebounds a game, 33% and 32% respectively, 41 of his 85 shots have been treys
Off The Bench
* 6-7 freshman James Johnson -- an inside-the-paint player, not a factor thus far this season
* 6-9 junior Antwond Roshell -- 3.3 points and 3.8 rebounds a game, has played little but has the size and bulk to have an effect against SJSU
* 6-foot-8 sophomore J.L. Lewis -- another reserve who has played a miniscule amount
* 5-foot-10 sophomore Tevin Hall -- 3.3 points per game, shooting 50% on 28 attempts, 3-7 on treys
The Bulldogs are in the minus in steals, blocked shots, assists, ahead in turnovers (not the position Coach Rupp wishes) plus shooting 40% overall to 45% for opposing teams.
LT's schedule to date
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
01/13/11 San Jose State L, 79-74
01/15/11 Hawai'i L, 56-48
01/20/11 at Utah State L, 74-57
01/22/11 at Nevada L, 66-58
01/27/11 Idaho W, 71-56
01/29/11 Boise State W, 70-60
02/05/11 at Fresno State L, 72-64
02/07/11 at New Mexico State L, 75-57
02/12/11 New Mexico State L, 50-49
The Louisiana Tech Roster (alphabetized, by position)
DeAndre Brown 5-11/160 G SR(suspended)
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