BURN THE HORSE
Everytime UALR plays Louisiana Tech we get the same question: Why didn’t UALR recruit Tech’s Raheem Appleby?
BTH MORNING AFTER
Appleby had a game-high 17 points as Louisiana Tech beat UALR 75-73 on Monday at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.
So why didn’t UALR recruit him? The short answer is that they did. In fact, UALR was the only school recruiting him for a while. It came down to scholarship numbers.
Appleby, who played nearby at Jacksonville High School, was a mid-summer academic qualifier. By the time he was qualified, UALR had already signed Ben Dillard, Taggart Lockhart, Michael Javes, Reggie Fondren and Eric Lawton. And the Trojans were maxed out at the NCAA limit of 13 scholarships.
With no scholarships to give, Appleby still committed to walk-on at UALR. But when Louisiana Tech lost a signee late that summer, they took a flier on Appleby. He visited, they offered him a scholarship and he signed. And no one should blame him for that.
The real unfortunate part was that Lawton, who was a highly recruited high school player before going to junior college, and Fondren never really worked out. Both transferred after one year at UALR.
Appleby’s a nice player and probably would have earned a scholarship this year if he had stuck with UALR. But UALR followed with a pretty nice signing class of its own. So it appears to worked out for both sides.
Sun Belt Saturday night we get. It's kind of a tradition in our league. But considering the experience of Monday's officiating crew of Randall McCall, Rick Randall and Hal Lusk, we'd expect a better effort than they gave on Monday.
STAT OF THE GAME
20-3: Louisiana Tech’s advantage in second-chance points.
Freedom rings: Louisiana Tech was 26 of 36 at the free throw line. UALR was 18 of 25. Nowhere near good enough. Grade: D-.
Relegate Raheem: Louisiana Tech’s Raheem Appleby had 16 first-half points. Then he had only 1 in the second half. I suppose you’d give a F for the first half and an A for the second. Average it out. Grade: C.
Pressure cooker: Again, UALR had just 4 turnovers in the first half and 13 in the second half. That’s an A for the first half and an F for the second. Grade: C.
4 turnovers by UALR in the first half.
13 turnovers by UALR in the second half.
19 offensive rebounds by Louisiana Tech. With as little size as they had, that shouldn’t be possible.
If you got in at Louisiana Tech by 2 it was a push. You might have been a winner or loser if you got that half point on either side of that number.
USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin was the only correct predictor.
UALR returns to Sun Belt Conference play as they take on South Alabama on Saturday afternoon in Mobile, Ala. Both teams are 2-0 in conference play.