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October 27, 2011HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team will open its exhibition play this Thursday, Oct. 27, when it hosts Loyola (N.O.). Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT from Reed Green Coliseum.
This will be the third time the teams will meet in exhibition play, with Southern Miss having won the previous two. Loyola holds a 25-16 advantage in regular season play.
Southern Miss is 29-3 all-time in exhibition games, and has won the last ten. It will be the first time that the teams meet in exhibition play since 2007. The teams have met the last three years in regular season action, with Southern Miss taking all three games.
The 2011-12 edition of the Southern Miss basketball team returns just two starters and six letterwinners from last year's squad that went 22-10.
Heading the list of returnees is redshirt senior Angelo Johnson. Johnson will run the point for the Eagles, but can also play the two-guard. The Minneapolis, Minn. native has started 64 of 66 games in his career. Johnson is the team's leading returning scorer, averaging 7.5 points and 4.1 assists. He also led Conference USA with a 3.1 assist/turnover ratio.
Redshirt senior Maurice Bolden will see time at guard and small forward. Bolden started 12 games last year, averaging 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds, good for third on the team. Junior LaShay Page returns, having played in 27 games last year, starting one. He averaged 6.2 points and connected on 34-percent from behind the arc. Redshirt freshman Cedric Jenkins also returns after seeing time in just four games.
Redshirt senior Torye Pelham is the Golden Eagles leading returning forward. Pelham averaged 4.7 points and 2.6 rebounds through the first seven games before missing the rest of the season due to a broken wrist. Senior Ahyaro Phillips also returns to the squad. Phillips played in 25 games last year, starting two. He averaged 2.5 points and 2.5 rebounds last year while playing 8.9 minutes a game.
Six newcomers join the Golden Eagles this year. Junior college transfers Neil Watson (Kansas City, Kan./Coffeyville CC), Rashard McGill (Havana, Fla./Tallahassee CC), Jonathan Mills (Chicago, Ill./College of Eastern Utah) and Keith DeWitt (High Point, N.C./Chipola JC) will be joined by freshman Christian Robbins (Foxworth, Miss.) and walk-on Richard Carlisle (Meridian, Miss.).
Head coach Larry Eustachy enters his eighth season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. He has compiled a 117-104 (.529) record during his time as head coach. In 20 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 377-249 (.602).
Mississippi State NEWS