Bulldogs Prepare For Season Opener


Posted Nov 1, 2002 15:18:49
Bulldogs Prepare For Season Opener

The Louisiana Tech men?s basketball team achieved a great deal of success last year when the Bulldogs marched to a 22-10 record and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NIT.

However, the Bulldogs can?t rest on last season?s success with a Nov. 19 matchup against No. 7 ranked Florida looming in the season opener. The two teams will square off in the first round of the Preseason NIT in front of a national audience on ESPN.

?Everything that I think about in our preparation for the season has been with the Florida Gators in mind,? said Louisiana Tech head coach Keith Richard. ?They are a very uptempo team, both offensively and defensively and our practices have been geared with that in mind.?

The Bulldogs have scrimmaged twice so far this season and have two exhibition games scheduled in the next couple of weeks.

Louisiana Tech takes on Spirit Express at 8 p.m. on Nov. 6 and VASDA at 7 p.m. on Nov. 12, both at the Thomas Assembly Center.

?In preparing for Florida and their uptempo transition game, I think we need to scrimmage and play exhibition games,? Richard said. ?A weakness of teams early in the season is usually changing ends of the floor and we?ve been trying to work on that so we don?t get caught a step behind. I?m ready to play these exhibition games to practice changing ends of the floor in live action.?

Because Louisiana Tech returns five seniors from last season and nine lettermen with game experience, the Bulldogs have progressed quickly during the preseason workouts.

?We?re pretty far along for our preparation for this season because we?ve got so many guys back from last year,? Richard said. ?We?ve changed gears now in our preseason workouts to look at different combinations of players before we move into our exhibition games and our season opener against Florida.?

The combination of talent and experience should present an exciting version
of basketball for local fans.

?I think our fans can expect a team that will compete with just about anybody on our schedule,? Richard said. ?These seniors are going to play hard and that should be exciting once again for our fans to see. We have good enough players returning that our fans can expect another year of exciting and competitive basketball in the Thomas Assembly Center.?