This team is not what it seems.
Southern Miss has dropped some games this season due to an inefficient offense, but as their point guard returned to the floor, so did the Golden Eagle offense.
“I think it’s huge having him back and having a real point guard like him that knows how to find a shooter like myself,” said guard Michael Ramey. “It’s real important for a shooter to have a point guard like him.”
The point guard lacking stature with his 5’9 frame, has all the tools to gain the proper respect from his teammates and from the opposing bench. Although he is not the entire offense as he is only averaging 9.5 points and 3.8 rebounds, he brings the most consistency and confidence to the game.
“If they’re keying in on me more, its going to help open up more shots for other guys,” Ramey said. “I’m a big rhythm type of player. I’m kind of streaky that way.”
Price is not the only Golden Eagle that this offense revolves around. Quinton Campbell had 26 points in the blowout win against North Texas, and is averaging a team-leading 11.8 points per game. Even though some games it seems like he is quiet on the court, he lets the game speak for itself.
“I’m not really big on the yelling,” Campbell said. “I like my game to speak for me. You can only say so much. If you’re not producing, no one is really going to listen.”
The motion offense of Coach Doc Sadler’s involves high pick-and-rolls to free space for the shooters on the team and to give the other guards space to operate. With that space, the team is shooting 29 percent from three-point range, which would put them near the bottom-50 in the NCAA rankings. Their field goal percentage is ranked 329th in the country, far from where the more efficient offenses are ranked.
“I’m not disappointed in our shot selection, not at all,” Sadler said. “Be aggressive, both offensively and defensively. You got to play. You’re not going to make every shot but shoot it.”
For seniors Price, Ramey, Campbell and Raheem Watts, their consistent leadership is crucial to what the Golden Eagles are trying to build towards with wins. Even at practice, those Golden Eagles are trying to translate winning ways during practice sessions and during actual contests.
Sadler leads the way with what he wants his team to do. He requires a lot, according to his players, and expects the best out of them. Campbell, who leads the team in points and total rebounds, understands that his nature on the court is what will lead them to wins.
“Being a player and being coachable, you just got to listen and understand your mistakes,” Campbell said. “[Sadler] told us at the beginning of the season if you make a mistake or turn the ball over, you’re coming out. Unless I’m having a hot game, I’m expecting for someone to sub me out when I make a mistake.”
Southern Miss will host the Rice Owls on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.