GM1 // UALR (1-0) at Louisiana Tech (0-1)
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 • 7 PM (CST)
Ruston, La. • Thomas Assemby Center (8,000)
Radio: KHLR - 106.7 FM
Radio Talent: Ray Tucker (PXP)
Live Video: LATechSports.com
Live Stats: LATechSports.com
2012-13 Record: 1-0
Road Record: 0-0
Head Coach: Steve Shields (10th year)
Record at UALR: 148-128
Career Record: Same
Points: John Gillon (22.0)
Rebounds: Will Neighbour (13.0)
Assists: Gillon/Isler/Neighbour (3.0)
Steals: Leroy Isler (3.0)
Blocks: Michael Javes (2.0)
LOUISIANA TECH BULLDOGS
2012-13 Record: 0-1
Home Record: 0-0
Head Coach: Michael White (2nd year)
Record at Tech: 18-17
Career Record: Same
Points: Raheem Appleby (20.0)
Rebounds: Kenneth Smith (8.0)
Assists: Kenneth Smith (6.0)
Steals: Kenneth Smith (3.0)
Blocks: Michale Kyser (4.0)
• The UALR Trojans improved to 1-0 and won the program's 13th straight home opener with an 84-68 win over UT Martin on Friday, Nov. 9 to improve to 4-0 all-time against the Skyhawks.
• Head coach Steve Shields improved to 10-0 all-time in home openers in his time at UALR.
• Freshmen John Gillon (22) and James White (18) combined for 40 points off the bench to lead the Trojans to the 16-point victory.
• Preseason First Team All-SBC selection Will Neighbour produced the third double-double of his career with 13 points and a career-best 13 rebounds.
• Gillon's 22 points were the most by a UALR freshman in his debut since the Trojans made the move to Division I in the 1979-80 season. Records prior to the 1979-80 season are largely incomplete.
• Sophomore Taggart Lockhart played a team-high 35 minutes and chipped in 10 points to give the Trojans four players in double figures.
• Thanks in large part to the 40 combined points from Gillon and White, the UALR bench outscored the UT Martin reserves by a 30-point margin, 46-16.
• The Trojans played 13 players, including six newcomers, in their season opener.
• Gillon, White, freshman Casey Wilmath, junior Leroy Isler and sophomore Gus Leeper all played 10+ minutes off the bench for UALR.
UT Martin Recap
• UALR led by as many as 17 in its 84-68 win over UT Martin on Friday, Nov. 9 at the Jack Stephens Center.
• In addition to the Trojans' 46-16 lead in bench points, UALR held the advantage in points in the paint (28-18), points off turnovers (21-14), second-chance points (12-6) and fast break points (6-0).
• The Trojans secured a +7 margin on the glass, outrebounding the Skyhawks, 39-32.
• In addition to Will Neighbour's career-best 13 boards, freshman James White grabbed six rebounds and had a game-high six offensive boards.
• The Trojans knocked down six three-pointers in the contest, led by John Gillon's 2-for-5 performance from long range.
• UALR led 39-32 at halftime, thanks to a 15-7 run over the final 4:26 of the first half.
About Louisiana Tech
• Louisiana Tech dropped its season opener at Texas A&M on Friday, Nov. 9, by a final score of 59-71.
• The Aggies held Louisiana Tech to just 35.7 percent shooting from the field, including 27.3 percent (6-of-22) from behind the three-point line.
• Raheem Appleby, the 2012 WAC Freshman of the Year, led three Bulldogs in double figures with 20 points on 9-of-22 shooting.
• Kenneth Smith led Louisiana Tech in rebounds (8), assists (6) and steals (3) on the night.
• The Bulldogs return nine letterwinners and three starters off last year's 18-16 squad.
• Appleby won WAC Freshman of the Year honors a year ago while leading the team in scoring (13.9 ppg).
• Second-year head coach Michael White returns after guiding Louisiana Tech to the WAC Tournament final for the first time in school history a year ago.
• Prior to taking his post at La Tech, White spent seven years as an assistant coach at Ole Miss.
All-Time Against the Bulldogs
• Louisiana Tech leads 25-13 in the all-time series between the two teams.
• Head coach Steve Shields in 3-2 against the Bulldogs since the two teams began a home-and-home series in the 2007 season.
• The home team has won the last six meetings between the two teams. The last road victory for either team in the series came when Louisiana Tech won in overtime, 75-70, in Little Rock on Jan. 7, 2001, in the Bulldogs' final season in the Sun Belt Conference.
• Last year, Raheem Appleby scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half to help Louisiana Tech overcome a 13-point second-half deficit in a 71-68 victory over UALR at Thomas Assembly Center.
• Freshman John Gillon led the Trojans with 22 points off the bench in his UALR debut against UT Martin.
• Gillon's 22 points are the most by a UALR freshman playing in his first game since the Trojans moved to Division I in 1979.
• That record was previously held by UALR's all-time leading scorer, James Scott, who scored 19 in a 88-102 loss to Purdue to start the 1987-88 season.
• Gillon's 22 were helped by a 10-of-11 performance from the foul line and knocking down 2-of-3 shots from three-point range.
• Gillon also grabbed three rebounds, dished out three assists and came up with one steal to fill out his stat line for the night.
• Junior Will Neighbour tallied the third double-double of his career with a 13-point, 13-rebound performance against UT Martin (11/9).
• Neighbour's 13 boards (2 offensive, 11 defensive) were a career best.
• Neighbour got off to a slow start offensively against the Skyhawks, going just 1-of-6 for two points in the first half, but scored 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting over the final 20 minutes.
• Neighbour was named Preseason First Team All-Sun Belt in a vote of the league's coaches.
• Neighbour earned Second Team All-Sun Belt honors as a sophomore in 2011-12 despite battling a torn labrum in his shoulder throughout the second half of the season.
• The 6-10 forward played in 29 games with 18 starts during the 2011-12 season, ranking second on the team in scoring (10.5 ppg) and rebounding (5.3 rpg), while leading the Trojans in three-point shooting (41.3 percent) and made three pointers (43).
• Neighbour ranked seventh in the Sun Belt in three-point field goal percentage (41.3) and free-throw percentage (81.5) in 2011-12.
• The Grayshott, England-native was named Sun Belt Player of the Week on Jan. 2, 2012 after averaging 18.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in road wins at North Texas and Denver.
• Had two double-doubles on the year: an 11-point, 12-rebound effort at Michigan State (11/20/11), and 19 points and 11 rebounds in a win at North Texas (12/29/11).
• Has now scored in double figures 16 times in his career and has led the Trojans in scoring on nine separate occasions.
• Sophomore Michael Javes blocked two shots in UALR's season opener against UT Martin for the 12th multi-block game of his career.
• Javes ranked sixth in the Sun Belt and led the Trojans with 44 blocked shots (1.5 bpg) in the 2011-12 season.
• The Cali, Colombia-native had six games with three-or-more blocked shots in 2011-12, including a season-high five against IUPUI (Nov. 15) and Arkansas State (Jan. 14).
• Javes played in 30 games with 23 starts as a true freshman, averaging 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.
• He made 14 starts in league play and saw his numbers rise to 5.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game over 21.9 minutes against conference opponents.
• Sophomore Gus Leeper was one of five UALR players off the bench to play at least 10 minutes in Friday's opener against UT Martin.
• Leeper returns to the Trojans' lineup in 2012-13 after sitting out all of last season with a knee injury suffered in an offseason pickup game.
• Leeper played in 29 games with eight starts as a true freshman, averaging 1.7 points and 1.7 rebounds over 10.0 minutes per game.
• Took on a larger role at the end of the season, starting eight of the team's final nine contests, including all four games at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
• The Austin, Texas-native averaged 4.8 points and 2.5 rebounds per game with a 47.1 field goal percentage and a team-high four blocks (1.25 per game) in the Trojans' 2011 SBC Tournament run.
• Leeper averaged just 6.2 minutes per game over his first 20 appearances, but saw that number rise to 18.6 minutes per game over the final nine contests of the 2010-11 season.
Size to Spare
• In addition to Neighbour, Javez and Leeper, all of which stand 6-10, the Trojans' roster features three more players standing 6-7 or taller.
• Freshman Andrew Poulter (6-11, 282 lbs.), redshirt freshman James White (6-8, 215 lbs.) and freshman Mareik Isom (6-7, 193 lbs.) give UALR a total of six players that measure 6-7 or taller on their current roster.
• Sophomore Taggart Lockhart started and played a career-high 35 minutes in UALR's season opener against UT Martin.
• Lockhart appeared in 29 games and averaged 15.5 minutes per contest as a true freshman in 2011-12.
• Lockhart also set new career highs in free throws made (5) and attempted (8) against UTM.
• Sophomore Ben Dillard tied a career high with four made field goals against UT Martin, and set a new career best with 10 field goals attempted.
• Dillard appeared in all 31 games, made six starts and scored in double figures on six occasions as a freshman.
The Small Screen
• The league office unveiled its television package for the 2012-13 season, which includes a potential ESPN2 game for the Trojans.
• UALR's game at North Texas on Jan. 26 has been selected as a Wildcard game by ESPN. As the date draws closer, ESPN will elect to televise either the game between UALR and North Texas, or Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee.
• The Sun Belt Network will visit the JSC on Jan. 12 to televise the game between UALR and FIU at 3:30 p.m.
• Sun Belt Network games are carried by Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) and Cox Sports Television (CST), and will likely be available through ESPN3 and ESPN's Full Court package.
• The Trojans also have a television game lined up at Cincinnati on Dec. 6 (Fox Sports Ohio), as well as an ESPN3 game against Middle Tennessee on Jan. 17 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
• UALR has been picked to finish third in the Sun Belt's West Division in a preseason poll of the coaches.
• Sophomore Will Neighbour was selected to the Preseason All-SBC First Team.
• North Texas received all 11 first-place votes as the preseason pick to win the West. Middle Tennessee received all 11 first-place votes as the choice to win the East Division.
• Sophomore Tony Mitchell from North Texas is the Preseason Player of the Year.
• UALR will have a quick turnaround when it plays at Ole Miss on Friday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.
• The Trojans will then play a pair of home games against Milwaukee (Monday, Nov. 19) and Jacksonville (Wednesday, Nov. 21) as part of the Hoops for Hope Classic.
• UALR will continue the Hoops for Hope Classic with a game against SMU in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on Saturday, Nov. 24. The Trojans will then play Missouri State or South Carolina on Sunday, Nov. 25, depending on the outcome of their contest with SMU.