Eagles Flying High

Eagles Flying High

There was a buzz created by new coaching staff Donnie Tyndall and his staff about basketball even before the season started. The energetic, fiery Coach promised to bring a new style of basketball to Hattiesburg. He's certainly delivered, and the Eagles have already shown us several things that have ignited a once sleepy fan base. Here are several things we know about the 4-0 Golden Eagles.

Southern Miss is off to a very hot start at 4-0, and three of those games have been on the road. Contrary to season's past, these wins have not come against four cupcakes either. The Eagles have defeated four solid teams, two on their home court, that will certainly aid in the ever important RPI rankings.

Perhaps the most encouraging aspect is not just THAT they are winning, but equally as important is HOW they are winning.

Here are several observations:

--The NCAA's least experienced team is playing with poise.

Certainly, in a close game, a team with only four players with any experience at this level would fold, right? To steal a line from ole Lee Corso, "Not so fast, my friend."

Southern Miss is getting key contributions from players who are still feeling their way at this level. From Jerrold Brooks nailing threes late in the game in a win at Georgia, to Dwayne Davis carrying the team late against UC-Irvine, guys are making big plays in tight spots. Confidence seems to be sky high from a team that has every reason to question itself from lack of experience.

Enter Coach Tyndall.

The major reason these guys believe they are going to win is their Coach simply wills them to win. He's instilled a growing confidence in this bunch, and has believed in his players from day one. Combine that with the surprising athletic ability from a guy like Michael Craig and you have a 4-0 start.

--The match-up zone is a great equalizer

When your tallest player is 6'6, it takes creativity to be able to compete in the post. The extended match-up zone has done just that.

Southern Miss has not surrendered more than 65 points so far this season. The three quarters court match-up zone has utilized the strengths of this team, quickness and athleticism, and has neutralized the inside presence of opponents. Coach Tyndall is forcing teams to play faster than they want, and it has led to turnovers and has taken them out of their game plan.

-- Southern Miss is off to a very hot start at 4-0, and three of those games have been on the road. Contrary to season's past, these wins have not come against four cupcakes either. The Eagles have defeated four solid teams, two on their home court, that will certainly aid in the ever important RPI rankings.

Perhaps the most encouraging aspect is not just THAT they are winning, but equally as important is HOW they are winning.

Here are several observations:

--The NCAA's least experienced team is playing with poise.

Certainly, in a close game, a team with only four players with any experience at this level would fold, right? To steal a line from ole Lee Corso, "Not so fast, my friend."

Southern Miss is getting key contributions from players who are still feeling their way at this level. From Jerrold Brooks nailing threes late in the game in a win at Georgia, to Dwayne Davis carrying the team late against UC-Irvine, guys are making big plays in tight spots. Confidence seems to be sky high from a team that has every reason to question itself from lack of experience.

Enter Coach Tyndall.

The major reason these guys believe they are going to win is their Coach simply wills them to win. He's instilled a growing confidence in this bunch, and has believed in his players from day one. Combine that with the surprising athletic ability from a guy like Michael Craig and you have a 4-0 start.

--The match-up zone is a great equalizer

When your tallest player is 6'6, it takes creativity to be able to compete in the post. The extended match-up zone has done just that.

Southern Miss has not surrendered more than 65 points so far this season. The three quarters court match-up zone has utilized the strengths of this team, quickness and athleticism, and has neutralized the inside presence of opponents. Coach Tyndall is forcing teams to play faster than they want, and it has led to turnovers and has taken them out of their game plan.

--conditioning is the key.

Practices were built around knowing the value of being able to finish games. All summer long we were told how tough and physical the practices were. Coach Tyndall brought in a guy he trusted as strength and conditioning coach, and he's paid off.

Once Watson and Jenkins are full strength, even more depth will be available for conference season.

--they are learning to overcome adversity.

As impressive as 4-0 is, when you consider the turnovers and foul troubles it is even more amazing. The way this team has not folded in the face of difficulty has demonstrated a will to win that is typical of donnie Tyndall coached teams. They are winners, they are fighters, and they have given Southern miss fans eager for a winner. reasons to believe again.

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