MBB Practice Report: Oct. 4

Oct. 4, 2017

RUSTON – In the summer, much of the time spent by the Louisiana Tech men’s basketball team was on the pieces with individual talent development and helping each guy become the best version of themselves.

Now four practices into official team workouts, the goal is working on putting the pieces together to form a strong, whole unit.

Head coach Eric Konkol, entering his third season at the helm of the Bulldogs, helped guide the team last year to a 23-win season and a second place finish in the Conference USA standings (picked seventh in the preseason).

Four team practices in, he has been really encouraged on how hard the guys are competing.

“We have a competitive group,” Konkol said. “We have been doing a lot of live situations. We have been putting in the pieces and letting them go at each other. Now, we have to get into those details and really compete individually and collectively, getting better at those fine details and concepts to help us get better.”

A couple of things jump out when looking at the roster. No. 1 is only having one senior in Jacobi Boykins. The sharp shooter is set to have a monster year, improving on last year’s strong numbers – 14.7 points per game, program record 89 made three-pointers, 4.7 boards per game and 65 total steals.

No. 2 is the youth/depth. There are big groups of freshmen and sophomores. Those sophomores got a lot of playing experience though last season, guys like DaQuan Bracey – C-USA Freshman of the Year – and Jalen Harris – C-USA All-Freshman Team.

As for the trio of freshman in Exavian Christon, Anthony Duruji and Amorie Archibald, they are talented and athletic and have been creating a lot of competition in practice.

 

 

“Right now, we are deeper,” Konkol said. “We have more guys, healthier bodies (knock on wood). We have healthier bodies in practice. The competition level has been so high. We have a lot of youth too. We have just one senior so we have had to slow down some of the teaching. I do think this is an athletic group. We have some really good speed, quickness and jumping ability out on the floor.”

Something that won’t show up on the roster but will if you watch practice … communication. This is arguably coach Konkol’s most vocal group with Boykins and other upperclassmen like Joniah White and Derric Jean who look to make even more of an impact this upcoming season.

“We have a driven group,” Konkol added. “We have a lot of outgoing personalities and that is showing out on the court. It is something the coaching staff has emphasized, talking through things. What it all boils down to wanting to compete every day and we have been competing a lot. The guys are really relishing that.”

For the first time since 1978, LA Tech will open the regular season with three straight home games, starting with the season opener against UT Tyler on Nov. 10.

Season tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling 318-257-3631 or emailing TechTickets@latech.edu.

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