Louisiana Tech 2010 College Insider Tournament Preview
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs - Western Athletic Conference (23-10, 9-7)
Big Wins: 12/15 Murray State (87-81), 1/2 Nevada (77-71), 1/4 Utah State (82-60)
Bad Losses: 1/21 at San Jose State (76-87), 2/25 Boise State (59-72), 3/4 at Fresno State (59-66)
Coach: Kerry Rupp
Probable Louisiana Tech Starters:
DeAndre Brown, Junior, Guard, 10.9 ppg, 3.4 apg
Kyle Gibson, Senior, Guard, 18.4 ppg, 3.0 apg
Jamel Guyton, Senior, Guard, 12.0 ppg, 2.1 apg
Olu Ashaolu, Sophomore, Guard, 10.6 ppg, 1.1 apg, 8.2 rpg
Magnum Rolle, Senior, Center, 14.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.1 bpg
Key Louisiana Tech Roleplayers:
Anson Barlett, Sophomore, Guard, 2.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
David Jackson, Senior, Forward, 5.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Why The Bulldogs Can Surprise:
A year ago Louisiana Tech had a great defense and struggled to score points. This year the defense is not too bad, but the offense has shocked everybody. A year ago this team averaged a mere 63.3 points per game and ended up with a losing record. This time around the Bulldogs average 74.9 points per game. The turnaround can be attributed to the maturation of the guards, but the emergence of a couple frontcourt players have made the biggest difference.
Magnum Rolle, who played at LSU for one season, just keeps getting better. The 6-11 senior is a beast in the paint and averages 14.0 points and 8.6 rebounds. What makes him so intimidating is his shot blocking ability, but Rolle is a great all-around big man who is not afraid to battle with anybody in the country under the basket. The more inspiring story is that of 6-7 wing Olu Ashaolu. The 6-7 sophomore was just a roleplayer last year, but that changed quickly during the 2009-2010 season. He is averaging 10.6 points and 8.2 rebounds and is a nightmare to guard for most teams. He can back down a smaller defender or simply dribble around a bigger, slower defender.
Why The Bulldogs Can Disappoint:
It is certainly not fair to say that Kyle Gibson and Jamel Guyton are the Bulldogs weakness. If it was not for Gibson this team would not win many games and would certainly not even have come close to a .500 record last season. Gibson is the senior leader of the backcourt and will take all the big shots for Louisiana Tech. His 18.4 points per game prove that he can score in a variety of ways. Guyton is not in the same category as Gibson since he is not as effective as getting to the basket as Gibson. Gibson is so aggressive he gets to the line an amazing 7.1 times per game. However, the key to victory for the Bulldogs is often their outside shooting and that falls on the shoulders of Gibson and Guyton.
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Who To Watch for Louisiana Tech:
Gibson and Guyton have to knock down the three-pointers, but it is another upperclassman, DeAndre Brown, who needs to create the opportunities. Brown has been a steadying influence on the team since his arrival from the junior college ranks. He has turned a stagnant offense into one of the most productive in the Western Athletic Conference. His turnover numbers are a little high on the year, but Brown is getting better as he gains more experience playing at this level and as long as he can create opportunities for his teammates, he is doing his job.
Louisiana Tech By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.9 (55th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.8 (207, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.5 (75, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.8 (205, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.0 (188, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.4 (158, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.8 (174, 5)
Rebound Margin: 3.6 (65, 2)
Assists Per Game: 12.4 (213, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.1 (117, 4)