HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Southern Miss has won six games in a row, rising to third place in the Conference USA standings.
The Golden Eagles (17-9, 9-5 C-USA) enters “Pod Play,” in which they face four of the top teams among them – UAB (16-11, 8-6 C-USA) on Saturday at 2 p.m., at Western Kentucky (16-11, 9-5 C-USA) on March 3, at Old Dominion (21-6, 11-3 C-USA) on March 6 and against UTSA (15-12, 9-5 C-USA) on March 9.
“Pod Play” was adapted by the C-USA season in an effort to help raise teams’ RPIs. In theory, the teams with the highest RPIs play one another, increasing their chances of achieving a higher RPI and bettering their NCAA tournament resume.
Already eclipsing the most regular season wins (17) in head coach Doc Sadler’s five seasons at USM, the Eagles are learning a new skill in 2019 – how to handle success.
"You just got to make sure that you prepare,” said USM senior guard Cortez Edwards. “That you’re focused, locked in, make sure you’re shooting game shots. And just make sure you come in with a lot of energy and effort because the other team’s going to come and give you their best shot.”
“[The seniors have] been through a lot,” Sadler said. “They understand that each game at this point in the season is going to become bigger and bigger. The difference between now and the past, we were playing just to make sure we made the conference tournament. Those were big games too. We’re just going to continue to do the things we’re doing.”