From Southern Miss winning the 1987 NIT championship to St. Stanislaus winning the 2011 4A state title to Jones College winning the 2014 NJCAA Tournament, USM Head Coach Jay Ladner has seen just about everything on a basketball court.
Yet Ladner still hasn’t seen a year quite like this one.
Having already lost primetime non-conference games against Ole Miss and TCU, the Golden Eagles are also part of an entirely new league schedule format as a result of COVID.
Just yesterday, the NCAA extended the off-campus recruitment ban from January until April. Now they’re talking about playing the NCAA Tournament in one central location, which at the end of the day beats the alternative. “You know what, I hope this is the one time in our lives that we have to deal with something like this. But certainly not having an NCAA Tournament last year, so when you don’t have one and then now they’re saying, hey, we’re going to play it all at one site, let’s play it. And kind of like our back-to-back games, if that’s the way that we have to play it to play it – if that’s what has to be done for us to play it – then I’m all for it.”
Tonight, the basketball program celebrated its annual Hardwood Club event at Sunkist Country Club in Biloxi, leading up to USM’s season opener on November 28th.