@LATechHoops Opens Much-Anticipated 2014-15 Season at Southern

Nov. 13, 2014

GameDay Central | Game Notes

RUSTON - The much-anticipated 2014-15 college basketball season is finally here with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs tipping it off on Friday night at Southern at 8 p.m. inside the F.G. Clark Activity Center.

The Last Meeting
Southern (DH)50
Louisiana Tech69
December 7, 2013
Thomas Assembly Center (Ruston, La.)
Bulldogs Wear Down Jaguars in 69-50 Win
It was a similar offensive performance by Louisiana Tech as the last game but with a different outcome. The Bulldogs shot only 37 percent from the field for the contest but caused major havoc on defense in the form of 23 turnovers to wear down Southern in the 69-50 victory on Saturday night inside the Thomas Assembly Center.

For LA Tech, this day and this moment has been a long time coming especially considering the team has been preparing since the summer when they took a foreign tour to the Bahamas.

"It is an exciting time, not only for us, but for everyone in college basketball," head coach Michael White said. "We have a lot of work under our belt and we still have a ways to go, but we are excited to tip it up live and to see where we stand."

Getting to know the Bulldogs and the dependability of the players will be the challenge in the early going. The four starters - Kenneth Smith, Raheem Appleby, Alex Hamilton and Michale Kyser - are easily recognizable and dependent as they have a combined 369 games of experience.

For the rest of the roster it will be extra special and somewhat of an unknown with this being their first action in a Division I regular season game donning the blue and red uniforms.

"I have seen a lot of progress, but there is still much needed progress," White said. "On any given night I feel comfortable with what we are going to get, good or bad, out of our four vets. With our other nine, it is kind of hit or miss. It is highlights and lowlights. We are looking for more consistency, predictability and dependability."

Even though this is a brand new team, there is not a brand new goal. Making the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991 is still the end game which is why the key word for this season is finish.

In 2012, the `Dogs lost in the WAC tournament championship. In 2013, they were upset in the WAC tournament as the No. 1 seed and lost the last three games to miss out on an at-large bid. And last season, they lost in the C-USA tournament championship.

The journey starts Friday night in Baton Rouge in what is the first of six true non-conference road games starting against intrastate foe Southern who won the SWAC tournament title in 2013 and the SWAC regular season crown in 2014.

"To win championships and put yourself in position in February to be considered for an at-large, we need to continue to improve a lot and we have to win some road games," White said. "[Southern's] backcourt is very good. They are going to be very sound defensively in their man. They have it going and they are a very good program. It is going to be a very tough test for us."

LA Tech broke the 2-2 tie in the series last season with a 69-50 win in Ruston. The offense struggled in that game, shooting just 37 percent from the floor, but the defense caused havoc by forcing 23 turnovers.

The Bulldogs are 22-7 all-time versus current members of the SWAC and have won five straight.

The contest can be heard live on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM. The "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will call the play-by-play and Jack Thigpen will provide analysis. Fans can also access live audio of the game via the Internet by subscribing to LA Tech All-Access at LATechSports.com.

Twitter users can also receive live in-game updates by following @LATechHoops.

Links to live stats and a live video stream can be found on the schedule page.
 

 

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