White Confident in Progress Despite Preseason Prognostications

Junior guard Brandon Gibson's experience will be counted on with a very young team

Oct. 18, 2011

DENVER - Louisiana Tech head coach Mike White isn't worried about preseason polls or prognostications as the Bulldogs are only weeks away from the Nov. 13 opener against Mississippi College after beginning official fall workouts Friday.

Despite being picked eighth in both the preseason Western Athletic Conference coaches and media polls which were released Tuesday, White is focusing his attention on the hardwood and what he and his young team can control.

 "Being very new to the conference and as a head coach, we have hit the ground running," said White. "Even though we lost our top two scorers from last season, we will find offensive production and hope to be competitive as we implement a new style of play."

The Bulldogs are coming off a season that saw the program win only 12 games, but with the addition of White - who spent the past seven years as an assistant at Ole Miss - and a nice mix of returners and newcomers, Louisiana Tech basketball fans have plenty to be excited about.

Tech returns six letter winners from last year's team including starting guards junior Brandon Gibson (Marianna, Fla.) and sophomore Kenyon McNeaill (Conway, Ark.) while eight new players enter the mix, including SEC transfers senior guard Trevor Gaskins (Alpharetta, Ga.) and freshman forward Isaiah Massey (McDonough, Ga.) and six high school prep stars.

White isn't making any promises to the Bulldog faithful except that he and his staff and players are working hard towards changing the culture by implementing a fast-pace, dribble-drive offensive and high-pressure defense.

"We are going to pride ourselves on playing pressure basketball defensively and offensively we want to play up-tempo," said White. "With all the running we did in the preseason the players have gotten into really good condition and in order to play fast we have practiced fast."

The Bulldogs host 15 home games this year - tied for the most in 10 years - as Tech fans can purchase season tickets by calling 318-257-3631, emailing techtickets@latech.edu or logging onto www.latechsports.com.


WAC Coaches' Preseason Poll

Rank Team (First Place Votes) Points
1 Nevada (5) 46
2 New Mexico State 41
3 Utah State (3) 38
4 Hawaii 32
5 Idaho 24
6 Fresno State 18
7 San Jose State 14
8 Louisiana Tech 11

Media Preseason Poll

Rank Team (First Place Votes) Points
1 Utah State (13) 174
2 Nevada (5) 162
3 New Mexico State (3) 150
4 Hawaii (3) 126
5 Idaho 89
6 San Jose State 66
7 Fresno State 59
8 Louisiana Tech 38

Preseason All-WAC Coaches Teams

First Team

Deonte Burton, So., G, Nevada

Vander Joaquim, Jr., C, Hawaii

Zane Johnson, Sr., G, Hawaii

Wendell McKines, Sr., F, New Mexico State

Brockeith Pane, Sr., G, Utah State

Second Team

Kyle Barone, Jr., C, Idaho

Dario Hunt, Sr., F, Nevada

Hernst Laroche, Sr., G, New Mexico State

Brady Jardine, Sr., F, Utah State

Malik Story, Jr., G, Nevada

Coaches Preseason Player of the Year: Deonte Burton, So., G, Nevada

Media Preseason All-WAC Team

Deonte Burton, So., G, Nevada

Dario Hunt, Sr., F, Nevada

Zane Johnson, Sr., G, Hawaii

Wendell McKines, Sr., F, New Mexico State

Brockeith Pane, Sr., G, Utah State

Media Preseason Player of the Year: Brockeith Pane, Sr., G, Utah State

Media Preseason Newcomer of the Year: Shaquille Stokes, Fr., G, Hawaii

For the latest and most current information on Bulldogs' basketball, visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com and follow sports information contact Phillip Pongratz on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LATechPPongratz.




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