Southern Miss played their last game at Reed Green Coliseum last Saturday against North Texas. The Golden Eagles are not in contention for the NCAA tournament but should not look back on the 2015-16 season as a poor one. Southern Miss still has two games to improve upon their 8-19 record.
Southern Miss’ 8-19 record does not represent the effort the Golden Eagles gave this year. As stated by many players and coaches on the team, “missed opportunities” and “unnecessary turnovers” were the biggest flaws for the Golden Eagles this year. Close games against Alabama, UAB, UTEP and Rice all came down to minimal mistakes that Southern Miss made. The Golden Eagles as a team committed 357 turnovers and each Golden Eagles has double digit numbers in turnovers.
Shooting the ball efficiently will have to be a focus for the Golden Eagles next year.
From the field, Southern Miss did not perform horribly, but they have room to improve on their 40 percent from this season. The deep ball is an aspect Southern Miss needs to improve upon as the Golden Eagles only managed to shoot 35 percent this season. Southern Miss managed to score 1,700 points this season despite their shooting lows.
Looking back on last year, Southern Miss only managed to drop three percent from the field this year as they shot 43 percent and scored 42 more points last season. The Golden Eagles improved upon their 33 percent three-point percentage from last year but should look to aim for the 40 percent mark next year.
Efforts of Iowa State graduate Kourtlin Jackson were a helpful hand for the Golden Eagles all year long. Jackson averages 27.8 minutes a game and provides Southern Miss with 13.5 points per game. Jackson will be a tough spot to fill next year, but with eight other guards, including veteran player Khari Price, Southern Miss looks to be in good shape.
The Golden Eagles losing season proves to hold much improvement as Southern Miss will only lose two players next year. The young team holds all the potential to improve and make the conference championship in the 2016-17 season.