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Dunkin’ ’Dogs aim for finish

March 26, 2015

FROM THE SPORTS DESK

With JARED KING

Louisiana Tech’s men’s basketball team’s mantra this season has been “finish” and though they were not invited to the NCAA tournament, the senior trio of Raheem Appleby, Michale Kyser and Kenneth (Speedy) Smith has an opportunity to do just that.

KING

KING

 

Men’s basketball head coach Michael White has won more than 100 games in his four seasons at Tech, but despite the number of wins on his resume, White has been unable to take the Bulldogs to the NCAA tournament.

 

The Bulldogs have won three consecutive regular season conference championships, two as a member of Conference USA and one as a member of the Western Athletic Conference, but their regular season success has not translated to the postseason.

 

The Bulldogs have been invited to play in the National Invitation Tournament each of the past three seasons, but the NIT is not the grand prize and hanging another NIT banner in the rafters of the Thomas Assembly Center is not what these players wanted to accomplish.

 

While it is nice to see your team compete in the postseason, White has had four chances to get Tech into the NCAA tournament and has failed to do so.

 

Complain all you want about how teams do not want to come to Ruston for fear of losing to a “mid-major” program, but Tech had opportunities this season it simply did not capitalize on.

 

The Bulldogs took on the Owls of Temple University to start the season in a game Tech led at halftime but was unable to finish strong and lost. Tech’s out-of-conference road woes continued when the Bulldogs lost to the Syracuse Orange by two points at the buzzer before blowing an 18-point second half lead at North Carolina State in another close loss.

 

Despite the regular season woes, Tech still had an opportunity to advance to the NCAA tournament but a late rally against UAB was stymied in overtime when the Bulldogs could not finish the rally.

 

Tech’s mantra this season may have been to “finish” but it certainly have not done a good job of doing so.

 

Jared King is a senior journalism major from Jena who serves as sports editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to jki008@latech.edu.

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