This is where Kyle Gibson shines. He is money when the game is on the line. Gibson wants the ball in this situation and he knows he can put his team over the top. Kyle calmly gets in the lane and most of the time he will get fouled or hit the shot. Gibson is shooting 87.5% at the free throw line and he routinely knocks down free throws at the end of the game.
Against ULM, when Gibson got in the lane, something different happened. ULM sent a trap and Gibson spun away from the double team. A defender got a hand on the ball and Gibson tapped it to David Jackson. Jackson is a 6'8" senior forward who can knock down 15 foot jumpers from the elbow. With Tech fans screaming for Jackson to shoot it with under five seconds to go, Jackson found Gibson in the corner. Gibson calmly set his feet and let it fly.
After the game, I heard "lucky shot" called in the direction of Tech fans that were on their way to the parking lot. Every Tech fan in the arena knew that when Kyle got the ball, he was not going to miss. That was no lucky shot, Kyle Gibson is money. What was unlucky for ULM fans was that the ball bounced Kyle Gibon's way in the final seconds.
Louisiana Tech improved to 6-1 on the season with the 76-73 win. The Bulldogs have only played one game at home and return to the TAC on Saturday against Northwestern State.
Northwetern State will bring a unique challenge to Louisiana Tech head Coach Kerry Rupp. The Demons have 12 players averaging over 9 minutes a game and 11 of them average over 13.5 minutes per game. Former Bulldog Mike McConathy will routinely sub in 5 players at a time. The Demons play a style somewhat similar to that of the Arkansas teams of the late 1980's and 1990's.
McConathy will usually play a 6'8" forward and a 6'5" forward with three guards and run up and down the court. Will Pratt and Damon Jones will share the four spot for the Demons, while Jones will play a little at the three spot. The 6'4" Jones is a Winnfield native that is more of a fourth guard. Pratt is a 6'5" 225 pound foward from New York. Jones and Pratt combine for 23.4 points in 37.4 minutes per game.
Northwestern State will play several guards. Devon Baker leads the team with 13.2 points per game in just 19.2 minutes per game. Baker has hit 13 of 27 from long distance. Jones is second on the team nine three pointers made on 21 attempts.
Four players in the roation are 6'7" or 6'8". The four players combine for 56.8 minutes per game, so you will see two of them in the game together on occasion. William Mosley and Charles Clark both start and they combine for 38 mintues played. The two big men combine for 8.6 points and 9 rebounds inside. The 6'7" Mosley leads the team with 10 blocked shots.
Louisiana Tech played nine players against ULM, but only eight played significant minutes. DeAndre Brown had his best game as a Bulldog. The junior point guard had 16 points and 6 assists. Freshman Darius Redding played 17 key minutes off the banch and David Jackson came off the bench with 10 points and 6 rebounds in 26 minutes.
Against Northwestern State, Brown and Yonas Berhe will have to play well at point guard. The Bulldogs will have to protect the ball and not gett hurried into quick shots. Olu Ashaolu and Magnum Rolle should be able to have success inside. Jackson and Redding will be counted on again to provide quality minutes off of the bench and you will probably see solid minutes from Anson Bartlett as well.
Louisiana Tech will look to go to 7-1 and 3-0 against teams from Louisiana. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.