Louisiana Tech Men's Basketball 2014 NIT Tournament Capsule

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Conference USA (27-7, 13-3)


We have not had many opportunities to see how Louisiana Tech plays against top notch competition. But one of their tough non-conference games was at Oklahoma, where they won 102-98 in overtime. The Bulldogs rode that momentum to a great showing in C-USA play. They only lost three times in conference play and all were on the road.

Big Wins: 12/30 at Oklahoma (102-98), 2/6 Tulsa (66-61, 2/27 Middle Tennessee State (55-39)
Bad Losses: 12/4 LA Lafayette (80-89), 1/30 at UTEP 79-89), 2/20 at East Carolina (68-75)
Coach: Michael White (3 seasons at Louisiana Tech)

Why They Can Surprise:
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Louisiana Tech’s run in conference was the fact that they did most of it without Raheem Appleby. The star guard played just 12 minutes in the conference opener before suffering a hand injury and did not return until late February where he saw limited action in the final three games of the regular season. While Appleby was out, Alex Hamilton, Kenyon McNeail and Chris Anderson picked up the slack. Hamilton does an amazing job attacking the basket and is always up for the big game. He dropped 31 on Oklahoma. Kenneth Smith is often overlooked with so many other scorers on the team, but the point guard is one of the best passers in the country and makes life quite easy for everybody else on the team.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Despite the guard oriented offense, Louisiana Tech does not shoot particularly well from beyond the arc. The return of Appleby will certainly help, but McNeail has been the only relatively consistent long range shooter on the team. The rest of the team, even the big men, will hoist up three-pointers, but without much success. With the Bulldogs taking so many three-pointers, some of them have to go in. All it takes is one below average shooting day and Louisiana Tech is likely going home.

Probable Starters:
Kenneth Smith, Junior, Guard, 7.5 ppg, 7.9 apg, 2.5 spg
Alex Hamilton, Sophomore, Guard, 14.6 ppg, 2.9 apg
Raheem Appleby, Junior, Guard, 12.3 ppg, 1.6 apg
Chris Anderson, Senior, Forward, 12.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg
Michale Kyser, Junior, Forward, 6.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.9 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Cordarius Johnson, Senior, Guard, 7.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Jaron Johnson, Senior, Guard, 9.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Isaiah Massey, Junior, Forward, 3.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Kenyon McNeail, Senior, Guard, 10.8 ppg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.3 (14th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.1 (58, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.8 (96, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.6 (44, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.5 (62, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.1 (251, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.1 (229, 6)
Rebound Margin: 3.2 (75, 5)
Assists Per Game: 16.1 (14, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.5 (97, 2)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    NIT        First Found win over Florida State
2013    NIT        Second Round loss to Southern Mississippi
2010    CIT        First Round win over Southern Miss
2010    CIT        Second Round loss to Missouri State
2006    NIT        First Round loss to Clemson
2002    NIT        Opening round win over Louisiana
2002    NIT        First round win over Vanderbilt
2002    NIT        Second round loss to Villanova
1992    NIT        First Round loss to New Mexico
1991    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Wake Forest

*all team stats through 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules