A year after having to leave Frisco, Texas with no conclusion to the Conference USA Tournament, the Louisiana Tech men’s basketball team is back at the Ford Center at The Star for some unfinished business.
All is good to go this time around, with no sign of a pandemic pause. Saturday night, the Bulldogs hope to be dancing, fully immersed in March Madness with a tournament championship.
At Tuesday’s weekly press conference, newly-named C-USA Coach of the Year Eric Konkol talked about his West Division champion Bulldogs and their preparation for postseason play. With a league bye in the final week of the regular season, Tech tuned up with a non-conference rout of Our Lady of the Lake last Wednesday, then began focusing on Frisco.
“We have had a chance to regroup and recover and also have great anticipation,” said Konkol. “Friday, we found out we were the West Division champions and the number one seed in the west. We had great cause for celebration.
“Then we got back to practice on Saturday, worked on some things that we have been aiming to get better at, special situations, skill development. We really started our game prep for both Florida Atlantic and UTEP today before we take off for Frisco.”
They also paused to enjoy the news that Konkol was rewarded by the league’s voters for taking a team predicted for a seventh-place finish to the West Division crown. They enjoyed celebrating Kenneth Lofton Jr.’s C-USA Freshman of the Year honor.
With a first-round bye, the Bulldogs will have to wait until late tonight to figure out if they will face Florida Atlantic or UTEP in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. in a game available to watch on Stadium. Tournament semifinals (Friday, 2 p.m.) and finals (Saturday, 8 p.m.) will be carried by CBS Sports Network.
The Miners they are very familiar with, having faced them twice in El Paso. However, the staff has had to dive into the film to learn about the Owls, who they did not play this season.
“With Florida Atlantic in particular, having not played them and really have not seen them on film all that much, it has been important for us to really watch a good bit of video and take a look at their tendencies both offensively and defensively,” said Konkol.
Quick turnarounds are standard when it’s tournament time.
Let the Madness begin.
Photo: photo by Darrell James