Defense a catalyst for USM basketball

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 11:56 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Southern Miss begins each practice with high-intensity, high-energy defensive drills which include taking charges and diving after loose balls.

It’s a mentality coach Jay Ladner’s drilled home – he wants the Golden Eagles to be stingy on defense. Through nine games USM is the best scoring defense in the Sun Belt and ranks No. 17 in the NCAA, allowing just 58 points per game.

“We’re a defensive-minded team and we know that we play defense in the first half, shots are going to fall,” said junior guard Austin Crowley. “It’s a lot of pride on defense and that’s what we have bought into and we understand the message,” said grad transfer Felipe Haase.

“I’m sure coach [Scott] Berry or coach [Will] Hall would tell you the same different things,” Ladner said. “Winning in any sport has to start with defense. I think we have a system instead of compartmentalize, hey our defense does this but our offense doesn’t really complement. I think they complement each other.”

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