HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Golden Eagles' regular season finale win over Louisiana Tech propelled them into the Conference USA tournament.
It also marked the final home game for redshirt senior D'Angelo Richardson. The lone Southern Miss senior is glad he decided to transfer from Holmes Community College in 2016.
"Just the atmosphere," Richardson said. "I was looking for a place that was kind of like the place I was coming from but a little bit more 'city vibe' because it was like out in the country. When I got here, I just felt good around the players and the coaches. It was like a no-brainer for me."
Richardson joined USM as a walk-on – a selfless move for a guy who averaged 12.8 points per game at Holmes in 2015-16.
While the guard's numbers as an Eagle don't jump off the page – Richardson averages 4.5 points per game this season – he finds ways to make an impact.
"I take it as more of a learning experience because I wasn't a walk-on at Holmes," Richardson said. "Coming here, it just made me work a little bit harder and made me appreciate it a little bit more."
"He's just steady," said USM junior guard Cortez Edwards. "He's steady, comes in, does his job every night. He always makes his free throws at the end of the game when we need him. He's just steady, we know what we're going to get out of him."
"I've been doing it for 35 years and I've had some kids with high, high integrity and character and all those things," said USM head coach Doc Sadler. "But [Richardson]'s definitely going to be in that group - just a good person. Forget about being a good basketball player, that's going to come and go. As a person, he's just a terrific person."
Basketball remains an option for Richardson post-graduation. When he's not in the textbooks or working his job at Mack Grubbs Hyundai in Hattiesburg, Richardson is shooting in the gym.
"I've got a lot of plans but the one immediately after [college] is overseas," Richardson said. "I'm trying to go play basketball overseas. I'm going to put all my focus there first and then if that doesn't work, of course I'm going to come back for my masters [degree]."