Hilltoppers hit C-USA halfway point in matchup with Southern Miss


There really was no better time for the Hilltoppers to drop their first conference game.

It was the perfect storm. Louisiana Tech wanted to maintain their home winning streak, the preseason favorites knocking off the new kids on the block who seemingly are contenders in year one, and the Tops follow up a disappointing performance with an opportunity to play a team that doesn’t have a whole lot going for them right now. As a Hilltopper fan, you’re licking your chops. I know I was the moment the Tech game went final.

Man oh man has it not been a good year for Southern Miss. Not only are they just not having a good season, but they’ve also banned themselves from competing in post season play amidst an NCAA investigation of alleged rules violations. Then, on Thursday, it was announced that Rasham Suarez and Jeremiah Eason were found to be ineligible by the NCAA and it could, and from the sound of it, things could get worse.

So, with all the dust settled, Southern Miss essentially is playing with six men today and it just wont be fun. For either party. Like a trainwreck. You can’t look, but you can’t look away either.

Anyway, to the good part of our preview! Well, good-ish. Actually, what’s not good is that George Fant will have to start a new double-double streak tonight, since his eight game streak was snapped in Ruston. However, he and T.J. Price can both look to continue their good play from the LA Tech game, as T.J. netted 17 points and George had 15.

Also someone who can use Louisiana Tech as a building block is DJ Clayton, who Marcus all warned us about in the preseason and I continue to like more and more every time he steps on the floor. He was asked to do a lot in a big game, and did. He’s a huge asset off the bench this year, and he’s just warming up for what he’s going to do in the future when guys like T.J., Trency Jackson and Chris Harrison-Docks move on.

The worst thing that can happen tonight is the Tops find themselves in a second-half dog fight. I know it’s conference play, and I know it’s whacky sometimes, but there’s no way the Toppers can want to be considered as a legit contender and lose tonight.

Now that all that’s out of the way, lets see what happens! Tip off is at five. And, with the Lady Tops playing earlier in the day, Fox College Sports and WKYU will have the game. So now you don’t have to tweet at Mr. Bishop. He’ll thank me later.