USM Basketball looks to make turnaround with new, but familiar faces

HATTIESBURG, MS – Southern Miss Men’s basketball has found new life this year that they have not had in years past. The Golden Eagles ran past Loyola (New Orleans) for a 3-0 start to the 2022 campaign. This new-look team has looked exceptionally different than past Ladner teams.

“Credit to Loyola, not exactly what we expected,” said Head Coach Jay Ladner. “They were scrappy, and a small ball team. They play a lot of guard players, and skill guys that can shoot it. I was very impressed with them. It wasn’t our best game, but it was a good workman like game.”

The first 10 minutes of the first half was a balanced game on both sides of the ball for teams. Both teams were able move the ball around and get shots up, but neither side was converting those shots consistently.

Southern Miss was being plagued with missed free throws early and fouls early. Sometimes Ladner and Juan Cardona’s high-paced, on-ball pressure of a defense works, but the fouls it has a chance of giving up is a significant downfall. Southern Miss had seven team fouls within the first 10 minutes of play, which put Loyola in the bonus.

“Their point guards are quick, and they got guys that can really shoot it,” Ladner said. “I thought we were a little tentative. But after the second media timeout, we made adjustments Coach Juan said the heck with this we are going back to our bread and butter. That is when you saw the pressure get ignited a bit.”

The Golden Eagles were also being bullied in the paint early. At the under eight timeout, Southern Miss was outscored in the paint 18-10, not ideal when they were already not shooting well. Still, their defense had kept them in the game.

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