HATTIESBURG – Southern Miss males’s basketball head coach Jay Ladner spent the offseason giving a forthright pitch.
At 7-26, the Golden Eagles hadn’t put collectively a very good season in 2021-22. 5 of their high six scorers had departed through the switch portal after the season. Acknowledging these info throughout discussions with potential additions, Ladner bought them on alternative.
Eight incoming transfers have been prepared to purchase. The Golden Eagles accomplished an in depth rebuild over the span of just some months, retaining solely 5 scholarship gamers from final season’s roster.
“We have to win,” Ladner stated. “My boss hasn’t informed me that. We will make all the justifications on the earth, I am not into excuses. We’re going into our fourth season and we’re coming off two fairly tough seasons. The primary 12 months was what it was, we obtained in right here late. The final two years have been robust when it comes to win-loss report, and that is not acceptable. ”
The headline addition for Ladner this offseason is Mercer switch Felipe Haase. Listed at 6-foot-9, Haase scored 14.8 factors per recreation final season and shot 40.6 p.c from 3-point vary.
He arrived at Southern Miss due to his relationship with new assistant coach Juan Cardona, who additionally got here from Mercer.
“Actually, actually shoots it at a excessive degree,” Ladner stated. “To have a [6-foot-9] man who has the flexibility to stretch the protection at his measurement is only a weapon that we have not had. ”
Guard Neftali Alvarez is one other addition from Mercer. He posted 12.6 factors per recreation and averaged 3.4 assists final season, and was a third-team All-Southern Convention choice the 12 months earlier than that.
Ladner additionally added Nick Williams to his workers this offseason, and he helped the Golden Eagles land Ole Miss switch guard Austin Crowley. As soon as a four-star prospect, Crowley began 11 video games for the Rebels final season and contributed just below 5 factors per recreation.
“We simply type of obtained fortunate,” Ladner stated. “I might say, it is a mixture of luck and possibly some strategic luck in the truth that that they had relationships with guys within the portal.”
Donovan Ivory, a 6-foot-6 double-figure scorer from Inexperienced Bay, is becoming a member of the fold, too. Six-foot-eight FIU addition Victor Hart will present some necessary measurement. Guard Cobie Montgomery has joined the Golden Eagles from the junior faculty ranks, whereas guards Nico Aguirre and Marcelo Perez will make the step up from Division II.
Ladner made it clear that he would not look after the brand new faculty basketball panorama created by the one-time switch rule. He would like to construct his program with a basis of highschool prospects.
However, adjusting to the brand new circumstances, the Golden Eagles have made scouting Division I transfers their first precedence, Ladner stated.
“I am not saying we do not recruit highschool gamers, nevertheless it needs to be a particular scenario,” he stated. “If we recruit a highschool participant, they usually are available and do actually, very well, whether or not they’re within the portal or not, they’re getting recruited. That is a actuality. It is a unhappy actuality, nevertheless it’s a actuality, and we’ve to simply accept that. ”
The Golden Eagles misplaced high scorer and main rebounder Tyler Stevenson to the portal after he was elected to maneuver onto UIC. A handful of different key contributors departed, too.
Among the many seven outgoings, Ladner stated there have been some contributors who he’d prefer to have again and others who doubtless wanted a recent begin because the Golden Eagles sought to vary issues up following a 1-17 exhibiting in Convention USA play.
Scouring the portal to fill out his roster, Ladner prioritized expertise. Every participant he introduced in has a minimum of two seasons of faculty basketball underneath his belt. The 2022-23 roster is not going to function a single freshman.
“There could be occasions we have been warming up, and I might look down at our group and I might look down there on the different group and suppose, ‘Gosh, they’re males,’ and we simply had a bunch of young- wanting guys for essentially the most half, ”Ladner stated. “We’re coming off of a troublesome season that was unacceptable and I believe a part of us getting previous was to offer us some extra expertise, and let’s examine if we are able to get this factor circled.”
Attain Southern Miss author David Eckert at email@example.com or on Twitter @ davideckert98.