Southern Miss 2010 College Insider Tournament Preview
Southern Miss Golden Eagles - Conference USA (20-13, 8-8)
Big Wins: 2/6 at Houston (57-55), 2/20 UCF (68-58), 3/11 vs UAB (58-44)
Bad Losses: 12/22 vs Canisius (56-59), 12/23 vs North Florida (46-53), 3/12 vs Houston (66-74)
Coach: Larry Eustachy
Probable Southern Miss Starters:
Angelo Johnson, Sophomore, Guard, 10.0 ppg, 2.6 apg
R.L. Horton, Junior, Guard, 9.2 ppg, 2.0 apg
Sai’Quon Stone, Junior, Guard, 5.2 ppg, 1.1 apg
Torye Pelham, Junior, Forward, 3.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Gary Flowers, Junior, Forward, 15.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.8 bpg
Key Southern Miss Roleplayers:
Buchi Awaji, Senior, Guard, 5.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Maurice Bolden, Sophomore, Guard, 8.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg
Why The Golden Eagles Can Surprise:
Southern Miss does not have much of an offense, but they have one of the best defenses in the nation. And it all starts under the basket with Gary Flowers. The 6-8 junior college transfer stepped onto campus and immediately became the go-to-guy for the Golden Eagles. Not only is he an intimidating shot blocker, but Flowers also leads the team in points and rebounding.
Flowers is only 6-8 and fellow frontcourt starter Torye Pelham is only 6-6, but this is still a great rebounding team. Coach Larry Eustachy will not let anybody get away with being weak on the glass. Pelham is not much of a scorer, but he will always hit the glass hard. Maurice Bolden is listed as a guard, but he is 6-10. On this team that makes him a power forward at times, but he can also be a match-up nightmare when he is on the wing and make Southern Miss even better on the glass.
Why The Golden Eagles Can Disappoint:
The offense can be very sluggish at times. This is not a team that will run up and down the floor and they often have trouble creating shots in the half-court offense. Angelo Johnson and R.L. Horton are both decent scorers, but those two have to also create shots for their teammates. On a team that lacks any semblance of an outside shooter, it is extremely important for Johnson or Horton to get to the basket and create shots for themselves or for their teammates. If they fail to do so, the Golden Eagles offense will go nowhere. Yet, many times the offense does go nowhere, but the defense is good enough for the team to squeak out a win.
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Who To Watch for Southern Miss:
The Golden Eagles have a few other scoring options. Sai’Quon Stone usually finds a starting job, but he rarely puts up a lot of points. However, Stone is a good slasher and he can attack the basket and finish above the rim. Maurice Bolden is a capable outside shooter and averages 8.8 points per game. If his shot is falling, Southern Miss can get an immediate spark to their offense. The same can be said for Buchi Awaji. Awaji is not as dangerous or as dynamic of a scorer as Bolden, but he is the team’s best outside shooter and will occasionally come in off the bench and spark the Southern Miss offense with a three-pointer or two.
Southern Miss By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 65.4 (251st in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.1 (14, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.5 (215, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.3 (49, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.6 (301, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: na
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.3 (64, 1)
Rebound Margin: 6.7 (12, 1)
Assists Per Game: 10.2 (318, 12)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.0 (114, 4)