Nov. 3, 2015
THE FLATS – Each week up until the beginning of basketball season, Ramblinwreck.com takes a look at an opponent on Georgia Tech’s non-conference schedule. This week, we look at Southeastern Louisiana, an opponent that Tech will play for the first time on Dec. 21.
Date: December 21, 2015
Location: Hammond, La.
Conference: Southland Conference
Home arena: University Center (7,600)
2014-15 Record: 9-23 overall, 6-12 in the Southland (11th place), 331st in NCAA RPI
Post-Season: Southland Conference Tournament First Round, lost to McNeese State 62-60
NCAA Championship Appearances: 1 (2005)
All-time series record: Series tied 0-0 (No previous meetings)
Head coach: Jay Ladner (entering 2nd season, 9-23)
Starters returning/lost: 2/3
Top scorer returning: Zay Jackson (15.4)
Top rebounder returning: Zay Jackson and Daniel Grieves (4.5)
Quick preview for 2015-16
In Jay Ladner’s first season at Southeastern Louisiana, the Lions were 14 games under .500 and struggled in the Southland Conference. Back in 2005, the Lions made their first and only NCAA Tournament appearance as a program. Southeastern Louisiana has not had a winning season since 2010-11. To reverse this streak of four consecutive losing seasons, SE Louisiana will look to rising senior guard Zay Jackson, who led the Lions in scoring last season (15.4 ppg). The Lions also have two of their top three rebounders back from last year in Zay Jackson and Daniel Grieves (4.5 rpg). Coach Ladler will need his six upperclassmen to step up in order to have a higher win total in 2015-16.
Quick recap of 2014-15
Last year SE Louisiana lost eight of its first 10 games and lost five in row to finish the regular season. The Lions finished the season with a 62-60 heartbreaking loss to McNeese State in the first round of the Southland Conference Tournament. The 2014-15 Lions ranked in the bottom half of the conference in scoring offense, scoring defense, three-point field goal percentage, free throws, and rebounding. Of the bright spots in 2014-15, Southeastern Louisiana’s field goal shooting ranked fourth in the Southland Conference. Ultimately, the Lions lack of consistency on both ends of the floor proved too much for the team to overcome.
Greatest program accomplishment
2005 NCAA Tournament Appearance and Back-To-Back Southland Champions – Southeastern Louisiana basketball began in 1947, joined the Southland Conference in 1999, and has made one NCAA Tournament appearance. In 2005, SE Louisiana made it to the NCAA Tournament for the first and only time in school history. The Lions’ magical season ended with a 63-50 loss in the first round to Oklahoma State. Billy Kennedy coached the Lions to 24 wins that year, the most wins in school history. The Lions went 13-3 in the Southland and won the conference outright. Southeastern Louisiana has two Southland Conference Championships (2003-04 and 2004-05).
Greatest player in program history
C.A. Core (1964-68) – C.A. Core is the most decorated basketball player in Southeastern Louisiana program history. He was inducted into the Southeastern Louisiana basketball Hall of Fame in 1974 and is the only men’s basketball All-American in school history. He was also a two-time NAIA All-American. After over five decades, he remains Southeastern Louisiana’s all-time leader in points (2,046) and rebounds (1,475). Core also holds the single season school records for highest scoring average (22.3 points per game) and rebounding average (18.5). He is a member of the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame and is the only Lion men’s basketball player to have his jersey number retired.
Place to visit on campus or in the city
Kliebert’s Turtle and Alligator Farm, Hammond, La. – A family owned business, the Kliebert’s Turtle and Alligator Farm is a must-see for the whole family. The Kliebert family takes visitors on an hour long guided walking tour through the world’s first and largest alligator farm. The farm is open from March to October, and is a great place for adults and kids to learn about turtles, alligators, and other critters.