We continue our conference previews with the Southland. Every week on Twitter, we preview two conferences streaming live from the Mid-Major Madness account (@mid_madness), speaking with media members and coaches throughout the selected league.
For the full Twitter Space, hit the link below:
To open the conversation, Mid-Major Madness writer Nick Lorensen and guest co-host Michael McCauley from NSU Demons Fans recapped what happened in the Southland last season and this offseason. Although Nicholls won the regular season title, Texas A&M Corpus Christi coupled off a strong non-conference slate to win the conference tournament and make its first big dance since 2007. Corpus Christi went on to lose in the first four but was one of a handful of teams in the country to not have any player transfer out of the program.
Northwestern State has taken over the rest of the headlines in the league as Corey Gipson comes in to replace Mike McConathy.
To open the conversation with coaches, McNeese State head coach John Aiken (5:00) joined to speak about his program. They bounced back from tough circumstances and finished with double-digit wins.
“This time last year was really hard, man,” he said. “Not to have a pity party, but I think we had if not the worst job in the country, one of the worst. We didn’t have a gym, we were still bouncing back from the hurricane. We were practicing in a rec center every day that had a rubber court, no college 3-point line.”
The Cowboys return key players like Christian Shumate and Zach Scott while bringing in intriguing pieces like Walker Timme (brother of Gonzaga star Drew Timme).
Following him, Texas A&M Corpus Christi head coach Steve Lutz (31:00) joined the conversation.
“I will take that success and am happy with it, but at the end of the day we didn’t win the league (regular season) and that was one of our goals,” Lutz said. “Nonetheless, we had a fantastic season with a really good group of guys and got a taste of the NCAA Tournament even though we didn’t play well. I think we have a lot to build on going forward.”
Closing out the conversations with coaches, New Orleans head coach Mark Slessinger (50:20) joined us from a big cabbage ball game. The Privateers finished with a winning record in the conference for the fifth time in six seasons.
“We’ve been blessed to have a great run of years here together,” Slessinger said. “Been very lucky to have some incredible student-athletes and some really fantastic coaches that have been with us for a long time and believed in what we’re doing. Trying to build a ministry and great program at the same time.”
Michael and Nick then continued the conversation by previewing every team in the league. To hear about your team, advance the recording to each time stamp.
47:40 Houston Christian
1:05:15 Incarnate Word
1:10:20 Northwestern State
1:15:20 Southeastern Louisiana
1:18:05 Texas A&M-Commerce
1:22:05 POTY & Title Predictions
Along with the Southland, preview articles on the ASUN, MEAC, and Patriot League have been released this week. Stay tuned for the Twitter Space previews on the MAAC and Mountain West next week.