HPNM

Southern Miss basketball programs enter first season in Sun Belt Conference

Southern Miss’ basketball programs are gearing towards the start of the season in November but also have their eyes fixed on further down the schedule to gauge what competition they will face as new members of the Sun Belt Conference. 

Joining the SBC has a different impact on the women’s and men’s basketball teams, but one common element persists: the excitement to compete against new teams all while competing against some familiar faces. 

“We needed a reset…so I think in the terms of getting back to where we want to be as a basketball program and setting some goals, it’s all wide open because we don’t know what Georgia State [for example] has- we haven’t played against them. There are a few teams in the league that we have some experience with, but there’s a number of them that we haven’t and it just gives us a breath of fresh air and gives us a restart,” Golden Eagles Head Coach Jay Ladner said. 

Women’s basketball Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis shared the excitement and said that the team will have to adjust to a different style of play in the Sun Belt. 

“I don’t know much about them, but what I can say is that I think the league will be different,” Lee-McNelis said. “We’ve watched some film from the past year and just on their flow, it’s a much more guard-oriented league. The pace of their game is a lot quicker and a lot of shooting the ball in seven seconds. Lots of the teams play four guards and one post player and we are a bit more traditional where we play the two post players, so we have worked on that throughout the summer and we’ll continue

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