2009-2010 was the first time Louisiana Tech made it to the postseason since 2006. It was the first time they won a postseason game since they beat Vanderbilt in the 2002 NIT. The 24 wins were the most for the program since 1985.
Kyle Gibson and Magnum Rolle were injured down the stretch, making it tough to win in the big games. Gibson missed the Missouri State game that saw the season end for Tech in the CIT 2nd round. Magnum Rolle missed all but three minutes of the Utah State game in the WAC semifinals. Rolle and Gibson played hurt in other games, as did Jamel Guyton. Guyton and fellow senior David Jackson picked up some slack late in the season, as they tried to make up for some of the scoring missing with Gibson being hurt.
"I'm proud of what our seniors have done," Rupp said of Jackson, Rolle, Jamel Guyton and Kyle Gibson. We didn't want the season to end like this. We want to get some of these young guys to be tougher and more committed and do all the little things that good teams do. I thought Missouri State did those little things tonight."
With the four seniors moving on after the season, DeAndre Brown and Olu Ashaolu will be counted on to lead next year's team. Against Southern Miss, Tech was able to win the first round CIT matchup behind Ashaolu, Brown, and freshman Darius Redding. Tech fans got a glimpse of what their team could look like, which could mean even more running. Junior College signees Josh Brown and Scottie Farrington will join Brandon Gibson to provide a solid group of players to start with next season. Brandon Gibson played very well near the end of his fresman season before sitting out this year with injuries. True freshmen Duece Johnson and Holton Hunsaker will provide much needed depth for a team that used a six man roatation for a lot of the season. Anson Bartlett will come back next season and again bring energy and defense off the bench.
Shawn Oliverson will again provide defense and rebounding off the bench and walk on players Tevin Hall and Justin Rake gained a little experience this season.
Coach Rupp has two or three spots to fill this spring. A junior college wing that can score will be high on the priority list as well as a junior college big that can rebound and block shots. Tech will also look for a high school big man that fits the team.
It should be an interesting offseason. If this new group of players can mesh together quickly, Tech fans could be in for another exciting season.