#128 Southern Miss Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Southern Miss Golden Eagles

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #128
Conference Rank: #6 C-USA

Southern Miss Team Page#128 Southern Miss Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Southern Miss Basketball Tickets

After a couple of near NCAA Tournament misses, Southern Miss lost head coach Donnie Tyndall to Tennessee. Doc Sadler may not be the sexiest hire of the offseason, but he is an experienced coach who can keep the Golden Eagles towards the top of the pecking order in Conference USA. Coach Sadler was most recently an assistant at Iowa State, but did lead UTEP to the NCAA Tournament back in 2005 and took Nebraska to the NIT three times during his six year tenure in Lincoln.

2013-14 Record: 29-7, 13-3
2013-14 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Doc Sadler
Coach Record: 0-0 at Southern Miss, 149-107 overall

Who’s Out:
Southern Miss has some serious rebuilding to do from their 2013-2014 team that went 13-3 in conference play. Four of the top five scorers were seniors last year and replacing Michael Craig, Neil Watson, Jerrold Brooks and Daveon Boardingham would be tough for any coach. Craig led the squad with 11.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. The 6-5 wing always played tough and Southern Miss will not find another wing who can attack the basket and the glass as effectively as Craig. Watson was the point guard and most prolific outside shooter on the team. As much as his numbers will be missed, his leadership will be even tougher to replace. Brooks started beside Watson and provided Southern Miss with a secondary ball handler who could also score. Boardingham was the second best rebounder on the team and was particularly tough on the offensive glass. He ended his senior season averaging 10.4 points and 4.8 rebounds.

Who’s In:
Three junior college transfers will immediately bolster the Southern Miss roster. The most important may be Rasham Suarez, a 6-3 point guard from the College of Central Florida. Dallas Anglin, a spring signee by Coach Sadler, can play anywhere on the perimeter and will be given a shot at running the show as well. Edson Avila, a 6-8, 220 pound forward, is widely considered the most talented of the newcomers. This team needs depth and competition for starting jobs and Avila will be right in the mix. Shooting guard Kevin Holland is the lone incoming freshman, while Davon Hayes and Shadell Millinghaus are both expected to see their first action with the Golden Eagles this year as well. Hayes has missed the last two seasons, but he is a big wing who can play a little like Craig…eventually.

Who to Watch:
While all of the newcomers will compete for minutes, the competition will be stiff with five players returning who started at least five games. Aaron Brown is the only full-time starter back and the 6-5 forward will emerge as a leader on the floor. He is a great outside shooter and plays the tough defense that Coach Sadler prefers. Chip Armelin, Jeremiah Eason and Deonte Houston, who will battle for the starting point guard spot, are also seniors who are ready to step up their game. Armelin, who played at Minnesota for a couple of years, has yet to reach his full potential. On occasions he is a good shooter and athlete on the wing. Eason will be asked to pick up much of the rebounding slack after averaging 5.6 points and 4.0 rebounds as a junior. Matt Bingaya, another big 6-5 wing, is a decent slasher who could turn into a very dangerous offensive weapon with a better jump shot.

Final Projection:
Coach Sadler is unlikely to have the quick success that Coach Tyndall did at Southern Miss, but with this group even Coach Tyndall would struggle to make the NIT. The good news is that the new coaching staff does want to play some offense these days. During his days at UTEP and Nebraska, Coach Sadler wanted to slow the game down a lot. These days, after his stint at Iowa State, now he will get up and down the floor more. People who don’t play defense will still find themselves on the bench, but there will be an attempt to score as much as this team did last year. And there are the athletes to do it. Any postseason tournament will be a nice rebuilding step for Southern Miss with more success to come in a Conference USA that should remain up for grabs for the foreseeable future.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Deonte Houston, Senior, Guard, 3.9 points per game
Matt Bingaya, Sophomore, Guard, 5.9 points per game
Aaron Brown, Senior, Forward, 9.9 points per game
Jeremiah Eason, Senior, Forward, 5.6 points per game
Edson Avila, Junior, Forward, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.1 (133rd in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.3 (34, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.3 (62, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.6 (118, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.6 (237, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.9 (144, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.9 (241, 7)
Rebound Margin: 6.5 (13, 2)
Assists Per Game: 14.1 (73, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.4 (275, 13)


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