RUSTON, La. -- Expect to see a different team on the court this year for the Dunkin Dawgs. First year Head Coach Mike White is bringing a new style of basketball to the city of Ruston. Coach White is trying to get his team ready for a new era in Louisiana Tech basketball. Not only is there new motivational symbols to give the team motivation; i.e. putting 91 on their shoes (last time Tech made the NCAA tourney). But some new faces that fans can see make an impact this year on the court.
Pending eligibility the two Ole Miss transfers Trevor Gaskins 6-2 215lbs guard and Isaiah Massey 6-8 220lbs will make a difference in the team's season. Gaskin's showed why he was as highly recruited point guard coming out of high school with his textbook ball handling skills in drills and being the floor general in the offensive part of practice. He is rehabbing from a leg injury and was kept out of most of practice to ride the bike, but was still able to knock down the mid range jump shot consistently. Massey was easily noticed with his massive upper frame that will remind Bulldog fans of Olu Ashaolu. Massey showed a nice high soft touch around the rim, and was a vocal leader for the freshman class.
Other newcomers to the program such as Alex Carr, Kenneth Smith, Raheem Appleby, and Michale Kyser showed why they were recruited by Coach White, but also why they are freshman. It didn't take long for fatigue to set in which resulted in their shots coming up short and lazy passes. But this is expected in the first few practices of the year for the freshman. The newcomer that stuck out the most was Kyser. He is very fluid in his ability to get up and down the court and dunk the ball with authority with the basketball reaching up to the top of the backboard. A important fundamental to his game fans will enjoy his ability to keep the ball high off of rebounds and being able to finish off of put backs, something Tech had trouble with last year. When he develops a post game and adds some pounds to his Magnum Rolle type of body to get more physical inside he can be a force to be reckoned with.
With all of these new players a different style of offense will be put on the court. Last year Tech had a flex based offense and players were to make plays and decisions based off of the defense. This year the offense has more of a dribble drive feel to it, and getting into it off of high ball screens and double down screens. With this offense, players will be able to makes plays on their own instead of the defense making their decisions.
Fans can look for the up tempo offense to be carried over from the gridiron to the hardwood. Fans, coaches, and players hope to see that scoreboard light up to bring the Dunkin Dawgs victory.
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