As the only common denominator between the only two collegiate basketball national championships in the state of Mississippi, Jay Ladner was a hot topic in his first year as the head coach at Southern Miss, especially here on the Gulf Coast where he spent 20 years at St. Stanislaus.
The first season in Hattiesburg has since come to a close with the Golden Eagles posting an overall record of 9-22 and a league mark of 5-13.
That leaves the Black and Gold on the outside looking in of the Conference USA Tournament which will now be played without fans in the stands due to the threat of the Coronavirus.
That same ban has also been applied to the upcoming NCAA Tournament which Coach Ladner describes as shocking. “It shows you the seriousness I think of what the potential of that is that we’re going to that length to disrupt an event that is part of the American fabric like March Madness, to get to the point where people aren’t involved in terms of spectators. Obviously, I’m so glad they’re going to continue the games and so forth. But I think it shows you the magnitude of what can happen.”
The first confirmed case of the Coronavirus came out of Forrest County where Southern Miss is located.