Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

Sun Belt Semifinal Preview

March 11, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments




Sun Belt Conference Semifinals Preview

Preview by Zach Van Hart

No. 1 Louisiana Lafayette verses No. 5 Middle Tennessee State
The Blue Raiders will have to hurry up and catch their breath after Sunday’s upset over Western Kentucky as they prepare for top seed Louisiana Lafayette. The Ragin’ Cajuns have the benefit of an extra day’s rest after easily disposing of No. 8 seed South Alabama Saturday, 84-58. These teams only met once during the regular season, as Middle Tennessee State got the best of Louisiana Lafayette, 74-64, in Murfreesboro, Tenn. However, the circumstances are much different this time and all of the differences are in favor of the Cajuns. One, they are on a neutral floor. Two, Mike Dean as mentioned earlier is out with a broken hand. Three, the Cajuns have the look of a team determined on one goal – advancing to the NCAA Tournament.

In light of Dean’s absence, Michael Cuffee, Bryan Smithson and Marcus Robinson all stepped up in Sunday’s win against Western Kentucky. Cuffee scored a season-high 22 points, Smithson’s sixteen points was his highest total in two months and Robinson’s thirteen points was his second highest total of the season. The Raiders will need similar performances Monday, but even more so they will need a monster game from Tommy Gunn. The team’s second leading scorer on the season, he averaged 16.0 points per game, but had six games with 20-plus points. The Cajuns played an all-out team effort Saturday, with six players scoring in double figures and no player breaking the seventeen-point barrier. Their defense forced the Jags to shoot less than 40 percent. Monday expect Lafayette to keep it going and advance to the tournament finals.

No. 2 Arkansas-Little Rock versus No. 3 New Orleans
This could very easily be an Arkansas State vs. North Texas matchup, as both teams advanced with overtime wins. Instead, two of the top three teams in the Sun Belt will duke it out with a trip to the conference finals on the line. The Trojans will have an extra day of rest after playing Saturday night, while the Privateers will have to recover from a double overtime affair Sunday. It became evident during its win against North Texas that freshman Bo McCalebb has become the go-to guy for New Orleans. His 31-point performance was one of the best tournament performances ever by a freshman, but the Privateers may need a similar game to defeat Arkansas-Little Rock.

Their first meeting of the year was a high-scoring affair as the Privateers won in New Orleans, 100-95. Expect another up-and-down game, although the score will probably not reach past the 80s. Saturday’s win was in atypical fashion, as Brandon Freeman took on a heavy scoring load, matching McCalebb’s number of 31 points. Usually the Trojans are very balanced on offense; look for this balance to return. This balance will also be the key for Arkansas-Little Rock. While it should be able to get points from many different people, New Orleans will likely try to rally around McCalebb. But the Trojans are excellent at stopping a high scorer, just ask Arkansas State’s Dewarick Spencer. Look for the favorite Trojans to advance to the finals.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Your Phil of Hoops

Gbinije’s long journey may still have the ending many expected at one time

May 31, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

Michael Gbinije seemingly fulfilled the potential many thought he had, though he traveled a circuitous route to get there. Will it end up in the NBA Draft, or will he have to fight harder to make a roster?

The wait is over for Stony Brook

March 12, 2016 by

stonybrook

Stony Brook is finally going to the NCAA Tournament, and the story of tragic endings – and all that goes with it – is a thing of the past.

Saturday Notes – February 27, 2016

February 28, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

The last Saturday of exclusively regular season play seemed to follow the script of many others. We look at notes from many of the day’s games of consequence.

Hoopville Archives

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

hoopguy-cyan

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

hoopguy-yellow

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

hoopguy-cyan

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

hoopguy-cyan

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.