Pilots National Tournament hopes lie in the hands of GCAC Tournament
February 28, 2007
Shreveport, LA---The 2006-2007 season has been plagued by a slew of injuries resulting in sporadic play at times by the LSUS Pilots (22-7) who have bounced around the NAIA Top 25 all year long. After being ranked as high as 5th in the NAIA on January 3rd and dropping as low as 36th on February 14th, the Pilots have found themselves at No. 30 in the final NAIA ratings. The Pilots sit “on the bubble” at No. 30 as far as teams eligible for an “At-Large” birth to the NAIA National Tournament. While the possibility of earning an at-large bid looks dim, the Pilots are still in control of their own fate; they will just have to repeat as Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament Champions.
The Pilots will host the Southern University of New Orleans Knights (12-13, 9-9) Thursday night at 7:00pm in the Quarter Finals of the GCAC Tournament. LSUS earned the No. 3 seed in the tournament after finishing 12-6 in the GCAC Regular Season which will force the No. 6 seeded Knights to travel to Shreveport for the second time in five days. The Pilots defeated a depleted Knights roster of five players last Saturday night at The Dock by a final score of 108-88.
It remains in question as to whether or not the Knights will travel with the same team who defeated the Pilots 77-64 on January 27th, or if the squad will consist of the same five Knights who shot 60% from the field in Saturday’s contest. Rest assured the Pilots will be prepared either way as they fight to keep their season alive in the single elimination tournament.
Depending on the results of the three other quarter final contests around the GCAC, six Pilots seniors may suit up Thursday night in what may be their final collegiate basketball game played at The Dock.
Ron Harris, a 6’7 forward from Arlington, TX has seen limited action throughout his senior year after recovering from an early season ankle injury. Harris has appeared in 12 games and has averaged two points and two rebounds off the bench.
Kyile Byrd, a 6’6 guard from Grand Prairie, TX transferred to LSUS as a senior in 2006 and has made a huge impact for the Pilots. Byrd has started 18 games this season and has appeared in all 29 contests. He is currently one of Pilots averaging double-digit scoring figures with 10.1 per game, and is also averaging 4.8 rebounds.
Blake Whittle, a 6’6 forward from Baton Rouge, LA transfer from Lamar University and has led the Pilots scoring attack throughout the ‘06-07 season averaging 17.9 points per contest. He is shooting 46% from the field and is currently third on the team in rebounding averaging 6.6 per game.
Greg Tyer, a 6’4 forward from Bossier City, LA transferred to LSUS in 2005 as a junior from Northwestern State University. As a junior, Tyer played in 30 games and averaged 4.5 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. As a senior, Tyer has started all 29 games this season and is averaging 7.4 points and is second on the team in rebounding averaging 6.7 per game.
Carlon Simmons, a 5’11 guard from Grambling, LA transferred to LSUS from NSU as a sophomore in 2004. In three years with the Pilots, Simmons has been the go to guy off the bench when the Pilots needed an offensive spark. He has played in 92 games and tallied 415 career points (4.5 points per game). “Snoop” is currently averaging a career high 6.5 points per game.
Freddy Hughes, a 5’10 point guard from Shreveport, LA is the first four year LSUS Basketball player since the resurrection of the program. Hughes has played in 126 games in his four year career in which the Pilots have posted a 98-30 overall record. He is currently averaging a career high 14.8 points per game which has lifted his career scoring average 7.93 points per game; and is just one point shy of becoming the 6th member of the LSUS 1,000 point club. He has handed out 454 career assists, and is the career free throw shooting percentage leader at LSUS; 263-for-303 (87%).
The LSUS Athletics department would like to welcome all Pilots fans to attend a special “Senior Night” presentation which will be held at approximately 6:50pm Thursday night.
Ticket prices for Thursday night’s contest are as follows:
General Admission: $5.00
Children 6 and under: Free
*Season passes will not be accepted throughout the postseason due to Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regulations.
*No coaching membership cards accepted (other than NAIA memberships)