Challenging end to exhibition play

The Lions basketball team faced a tougher task against LSU-Alexandria compared to their previous game where a resilient defense helped them to squeeze out a victory. Despite the victories in the exhibition game, the Lions have much work to do ahead for the game against Millsaps College.

The Lions basketball team faced a tougher task against LSU-Alexandria compared to their previous game where a resilient defense helped them to squeeze out a victory. Despite the victories in the exhibition game, the Lions have much work to do ahead for the game against Millsaps College.   
Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion's Roar

The Lions basketball team finished their exhibition round undefeated with a 59-53 victory over LSU- Alexandria. The win was sealed by a solid defensive performance which compensated for a lackluster offensive display.

“I don’t think we would be sitting here with a win had our defensive effort not been there,” said Head Coach Jay Ladner. “I think our defense, at this point, is much ahead of our offense. I was really proud of the way we defended. That’s the second game in a row we’ve held a lead under 30 percent.”

With 10 points, four assists, four defensive rebounds and five steals, Ladner was happy with guard Marlain Veal’s performance. Last Wednesday, Ladner was particularly impressed by Veal’s defensive display.

 

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“I think we got an incredible weapon out there in Marlain,” said Ladner. “His ability to pressure the ball 94 feet and do it for a long time is really something to see. To play with that type of effort over that length of the floor, that’s where our defense starts, with him pressuring the ball.”

Veal was just happy to help the team and wanted to contribute to the team’s performance in any way possible. 

“It’s kinda like a chip on my shoulder,” said Veal. “For my size, I gotta make up somewhere. I’m making it up on defense.”

Despite the efforts on the defensive side, the team could not replicate the same kind of performance on the other side of the court.

“Offensively, we got some work to do,” said Ladner. “I was very disappointed on our shot selection. I was very disappointed by our lack of movement of the basketball. If we continue to shoot some of the shots that we had, which to me might as well be a turnover, we will never reach our potential.”

Davon Hayes, a guard and forward for the team, also expressed the struggles in the offensive half. 

“When I started the game, it was tough,” said Hayes. “I forced a couple of shots instead of just having fun. Like coach said, there was a lot of bad shots. We just got to get better.”

Ladner credited the opposition for making it difficult for the team to play offensively, but assures a better performance from the team in the next game. 

“LSU- Alexandria is a very talented team,” said Ladner. “Their frontline, size wise all of them, are Division I players. They’re very, very good. I told the players you’re playing a conference level type of team. The players, they’re gonna do what the coach allows. I assure you, you won’t see some of those shots next Friday night. We’re gonna do a better job running offense.”

A change in the defensive strategy seemed to be the reason for this impressive outing.

“Last year, when we had all our injuries, we ended up having to do a lot of zoning and we kind of finished the year playing zonal defense which is not necessarily our mentality,” said Ladner. “We want to be more aggressive. It’s not my personality to sit back. I had to kind of teach myself how to teach zonal defense last year, but we worked really hard in the off-season and on our preseason on our man-to-man defense.”

Since the season begins next week, Ladner expressed his goal for the upcoming season.

“Our first goal is the commitment to excellence,” said Ladner. “Be the best team player that you can be but as a team. We want to go to the post-season part. We wanna play in a post-season tournament, NCAA tournament or the NIT, CIT or CBI.”

The season opener is against Millsaps College on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. at the University Center.

 

The Lions basketball team faced a tougher task against LSU-Alexandria compared to their previous game where a resilient defense helped them to squeeze out a victory. Despite the victories in the exhibition game, the Lions have much work to do ahead for the game against Millsaps College.

The Lions basketball team faced a tougher task against LSU-Alexandria compared to their previous game where a resilient defense helped them to squeeze out a victory. Despite the victories in the exhibition game, the Lions have much work to do ahead for the game against Millsaps College.   
Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion's Roar

 

 

 

The Lions basketball team faced a tougher task against LSU-Alexandria compared to their previous game where a resilient defense helped them to squeeze out a victory. Despite the victories in the exhibition game, the Lions have much work to do ahead for the game against Millsaps College.

The Lions basketball team faced a tougher task against LSU-Alexandria compared to their previous game where a resilient defense helped them to squeeze out a victory. Despite the victories in the exhibition game, the Lions have much work to do ahead for the game against Millsaps College.   
Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion's Roar

 

 

 

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