Don’t you dare think I am going to write an entire article on Southern Mississippi without mentioning Brett Favre. He is still a saint and can do no wrong in my eyes. By the way, the college Favre used to attend could be a serious sleeper this season.
The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” ranks the 72 power conference college basketball teams and top 27 mid-majors. Our countdown will lead right up to the start of the season and provide you will all the in-depth information you need to know about your team. Click here for teams #56-#99.
By: David Kay
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (6th, 8-8 in CUSA, 20-14 overall)
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Torye Pelham (Sr)/Josimar Ayarza (Sr)
F: Gary Flowers (Sr)/Ahyaro Phillips (Jr)
G/F: Sai’Quon Stone (Sr)/Maurice Bolden (Jr)
G: R.L. Horton (Sr)/D.J. Newbill (Fr)/Trency Jackson (Fr)/Cedric Jenkins (Fr)
PG: Angelo Johnson (Jr)/Kody Williams (Fr)/Lashay Page (So)
Gone: SG-Buchi Awaje, PF-Andre Stephens, C-Gustavo Lino, PG-Kenneth Ortiz (transfer-Wagner)
After Memphis, Conference USA is pretty wide open. Southern Mississippi has an experienced group returning and could be poised to make their first NCAA Tournament in twenty years.
The Golden Eagles return their top six scorers and seven of their eight rotation guys. Leading that group is former JUCO transfer Gary Flowers who had a huge impact in his first season at Southern Miss. Flowers averaged 15 points and 8.3 rebounds per game and is a C-USA Player of the Year candidate. USC transfer Angelo Johnson was also impressive in his first season with the Golden Eagles and will be back to run the point.
Larry Eustachy has options around Flowers and Johnson. R.L. Horton and Sai’Quon Stone figure to start at the two and three with 6-10 wing Maurice Bolden seeing plenty of playing time off the bench. Torye Pelham and Josimar Ayarza will compete for minutes alongside Flowers inside. All seven of those players were a part of Eustachy’s rotation and figure to be counted on heavily this season.
Southern Miss welcomes in six newcomers, five of whom are guards. The Golden Eagles don’t need to rely on any of them to play major roles this season, but it would definitely be an added bonus and only make them a more competitive team if the new faces can contribute off the bench.
Player to Watch: Maurice Bolden, G/F
Bolden is a very unique talent. At 6-10, he is the tallest player on the Southern Miss roster, but is listed as a guard. His length allows him to be an effective rebounder but he can also stroke it from the outside. Eustachy’s most talented line-up is probably when the Golden Eagles go “small” with a four-guard line-up putting Bolden in off the bench and having Flowers play the five. Bolden’s versatility is a major asset and if he can build off a solid sophomore season, it will only make Southern Miss a more dangerous squad.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/12 at South Florida
12/4 at Mississippi
12/12 at California
12/23 vs. St. Louis/Northeastern (Cancun’s Governor Cup)
12/24 vs. Mississippi/Texas State/Colorado State/Appalachian State (Cancun’s Governor Cup)
Other 99 in 99’s:
#56 St. Mary’s
#57 Texas A&M
#59 Arizona State
#60 Northern Iowa
#64 Texas Tech
#65 Miami, FL
#68 Ole Miss
#69 George Mason
#71 Weber State
#74 Central Florida
#75 Wake Forest
#76 Georgia Tech
#78 Oklahoma State
#82 South Carolina
#86 Penn State
#87 South Florida
#89 Boston College
#93 Oregon State
#97. Iowa State