The Bulldogs return two veteran post players in senior Romario Souza and junior J.L Lewis. The two combined for 5.5 points and 5.3 rebounds last season. Both players can turn and face the basket and both can knock it down from 12 to 15 feet with consistency.
Ole Miss transfer Isaiah Massey was declared eligible to compete this season when the NCAA granted a waiver for transfer of residence. Massey gives first year Louisiana Tech Head Coach Michael White a physical presence at power forward.
The Bulldogs will play a fast paced game and fans will likely see 6'5" 225-pound Brandon Gibson or 6'5" 215-pound Cordarius Johnson on the court at times with three other guards. Without Massey, Coach White might have had to go with a four guard lineup more often. Now, Coach White has the flexibility to play with a three guard lineup with Massey on the floor.
Johnson and Gibson give Coach White a lot of versatility and the ability to play several different lineups. Gibson averaged over 9 points per game in 15 contests while Johnson scored in double digits in four games last season. They will both see time at small forward, as will sophomore guard Lonnie Smith (6'5" 185.) Smith was good for 39.8% from long range and averaged 6.1 points per game a year ago.
The Bulldogs are just as flexible in the backcourt. Coach White's system will rely heavily on the strengths of his guards. Kenyon McNeaill returns after averaging 8.7 points and 2..4 assists. Ole Miss transfer Trevor Gaskins also brings experience to the backcouurt after averaging 6.1 points and 1.9 assists.
McNeaill and Gaskins will be joined in the backcourt by three exciting true freshmen. Raheem Appleby is a scoring guard from Jacksonville, AR. Alex Carr is a shooter from the Birmingham, AL area. Both Appleby and Carr should see time at shooting guard. Kenneth Smith is a dynamic point guard from the Tampa, Fl area. Smith will really help Tech push the ball up the court. The frontcourt will also have some freshmen to help out. Michale Kyser is a 6'9" post player from Lancaster, TX. Kyser should help out at both the four and the five positions. Robby Price is a 6'8" walk-on from Anacoco, LA. Stojan Gjuroski is a 6'7" redshirt freshman forward with a nice outside shot.
Coach White has a young, energetic team that will feed off of his intensity. The Bulldogs will be fun to watch this year and having Massey in the mix will give the Bulldogs some much needed muscle inside. It will be interesting to see how this team evolves and to see what kind of lineup configurations Coach White comes up with. The good thing is, he has plenty of options.