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Men’s Basketball: Millsap throws wrench in UL opponents’ plans

Through the first half of the season, opposing teams had a definite plan to slow down the UL basketball team’s offense – concentrate on David Dees and Ross Mouton.

For the most part, that worked. The Cajuns take a 4-14 overall and a 2-6 Sun Belt Conference record into tonight’s home contest against South Alabama, and other than that pair, only one other player is averaging more than five points per game.

During the Cajuns’ last few games, though, teams have been forced to re-examine that strategy, and Elijah Millsap is the reason.

The freshman from Grambling takes a string of six straight double-figure scoring games into today’s 7:05 p.m. contest at the Cajundome. In his last two games, he’s recorded double-doubles and totaled 36 points and 25 rebounds against North Texas and Western Kentucky, quite likely the two most physically gifted squads in the league.

"He’s developing into a really good player for them," said UNT coach Johnny Jones after Millsap put up 17 points and 12 rebounds and hit two of his four three-pointers this year against the Mean Green. "He’s got a world of potential."

Millsap followed that outing with 19 points and 13 boards at WKU Saturday, hitting nine of 15 shots and getting five offensive rebounds.

"His progress has been outstanding," said Cajun coach Robert Lee. "Here’s a kid that didn’t practice for two months, and now he’s at a stage where he’s getting a double-double every night."

S. Alabama at UL


South Alabama (11-7, 5-2) at UL (4-14, 2-6)

7:05 p.m. today, Cajundome

RADIO: KPEL-AM (1420) and KRKA-FM (107.9) with Jay Walker at 6:35 p.m. The broadcast is online at www.1079ishot.com. TV: None.

TICKETS: Available at Cajundome box office beginning at 10 a.m.

COACHES: UL, Robert Lee (3rd season, 37-41 at UL); USA, John Pelphrey (5th season, 71-62 at USA).

SERIES: UL leads 22-17 with all but four of the games coming since the Cajuns joined USA in the Sun Belt for the 1991-92 season. UL leads 10-8 in games played in Lafayette and 10-7 in Cajundome games. However, the visiting team has won five of the last six meetings, with USA winning two of the last three games in the ‘Dome.

LAST MEETING: The Cajuns led by 15 points in the first half but had to hold on at the end to take a 59-53 victory over the Jaguars last Feb. 9 at the Mitchell Center in Mobile. Ed Turner’s three-pointer gave UL a four-point lead with 91 seconds to play and the Cajuns made free throws down the stretch.

LAST TIME OUT: UL lost at Western Kentucky 82-72 Saturday. South Alabama won at home over Arkansas-Little Rock 68-54 Saturday.


UL – #3 Elijah Millsap, G (6-5, Fr., 10.8, 7.7); #21 David Dees, G (6-3, Jr., 18.2, 5.9); #22 Ross Mouton, G (6-7, Sr., 18.2, 4.4); #31 Rhett Hebert, G (6-1, Jr., 4.9, 1.3); #34 Adam James, C (6-9, Sr., 2.2, 3.5).

USA – #5 Daon Merritt, G (5-10, Jr., 10.6, 2.5); #10 Demetric Bennett, G (6-5, Jr., 15.6, 5.5); #11 Carlos Smith, G (6-0, Sr., 9.8, 2.4); #13 Leandro Buboltz, F (6-7, Sr., 7.9, 3.4); #25 Ernest Little, F (6-9, Jr., 12.1, 7.9).

NEXT: UL hosts Troy Saturday, 7:05 p.m., Cajundome.