This is the season to be jolly. This is the season of excitement. As we leap into conference tournaments, there are many teams with the hope of landing a spot in the big dance. For conferences like the SWAC, winning the tournament is their only ticket to the NCAA tournament. Ask Southern University: The Jaguars finished 4th last year as the Texas Southern Tigers dominated league play on to a regular season championship. However, in tournament play, the Jaguars put it all together and won 3 straight games to still the SWAC’s automatic bid to the tournament. Not bad for a program that was banned from postseason 2 years ago. With the Jaguars victory, it gave a lot of teams hope in still making the field.
This years tournament is no difference. Not winning the regular season championship seems to be fine with Coach Roman Banks. Rolling the dice in the league tournament seems to be the best bet. Southern University is fresh off a 69-63 first round victory over the 6th seeded Jackson State Tigers. Up next is the 2 seeded Alcorn State Braves , who have already swept the season series against the Jaguars. However, as you may know , the pressure is on Alcorn State to win. It seems like its all or nothing now. Alcorn is also banned from post season this year. So the Braves may be in a pressure cooker to win after stumbling to TSU and PVAMU blowing a chance to win the regular season crown. Southern on the other hand has experience in winning tough ball games in the tournament as they defeated TSU and JSU as a 4th seed last year. The Jaguars are seeded 3rd and are primed to even the score with Alcorn State on Friday night.
Coach BANKS has done a great job in Baton Rouge and he looks to pull another rabbit out the hat starting Friday night. The Jaguars are paced by Forward Shawn Prudhomme , an All SWAC First Team selection. Prudhomme averaged nearly 18 points a game. Forward Jared Sam averages double figures also and is a second team ALL SWAC pick as well. PG Trulan Banks figures to be the point man for the Jags and would like not other to to get another MVP award as he did last season. Chris Thomas offers the Jags another dimension as he has turned up his game after being promoted to the starting line up.
Well, its SWAC tournament time……throw out all regular season records…..WINNER TAKES ALL……….