Southern Miss Golden Eagles 2022-23 team, Sun Belt Tournament Preview

CBB Review prepares you for every conference tournament leading up to Selection Sunday. Up next: The Sun Belt Tournament.


The Sun Belt Conference has a few teams that could make noise in March Madness. But only one team out of the Sun Belt will likely make it to March, so it should be a very hard-fought tournament.

2023 Sun Belt Conference Awards

Player Of The Year: Taevion Kinsey, Marshall 

Freshman Of The Year: Micah Handlogten, Marshall

Transfer Of The Year: Austin Crowley, Southern Miss

Coach Of The Year: Jay Ladner, Southern Miss

First Team:

  • G: Isaiah Moore, South Alabama (18.5 PPG, 4.5 APG, 3.2 RPG, 1.3 SPG 53.3 FG%)
  • G: Andrew Taylor, Marshall (20.2 PPG, 4.8 APG, 4.8 RPG, 2.1 SPG)
  • G: Taevion Kinsey, Marshall (22.2 PPG, 5.4 APG, 4.8 RPG, 40.4 3P%, 1.7 SPG)
  • G: Austin Crowley, Southern Miss (16.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.6 APG, 2.0 SPG)
  • F: Jordan Brown, Louisiana (19.8 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.3 BPG)

Second Team:

  • G: Mason Harrell, Texas State (16 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.1 SPG)
  • G: Tyreke Locure, Louisiana-Monroe (14.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.9 SPG)
  • F: Felipe Haase, Southern Miss (15.2 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 3.0 APG, 40.8 3P%)
  • F: Andrei Savrasov, Georgia Southern (14.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.4 SPG, 50.0 FG%)
  • C: Kevin Samuel, South Alabama (10.2 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 0.6 APG, 2.5 BPG, 64.4 FG%)

Sun Belt Tournament Simulation

First Round – Tuesday, Feb. 28

12. Coastal Carolina (11-19, 5-13) vs. 13. Arkansas State (12-19, 4-14) – 6 p.m. on ESPN+

With the loss of conference player of the year Norchad Omier to Miami, Arkansas State struggled this season. However, they match up against a Coastal Carolina team that they played just once during the regular season and beat by 16 points.

Ethan’s pick: 13. Arkansas State

11. Texas State (13-18, 6-12) vs. 14 Georgia State (10-20, 3-15) – 8:30 p.m. on ESPN+

Both teams fight for the right to take on Old Dominion two days after this matchup. Texas State has a top-tier player in the Sun Belt on their side in Mason Harrell. Assuming he leads the Bobcats like he has been able to at points this season, they’ll have to take on the Panthers who haven’t been able to figure it out all season.

Ethan’s pick: 11. Texas State

Second round – Thursday, March 2

8. South Alabama (16-15, 9-9) vs. 9 Appalachian State (16-15, 9-9) – 12:30 p.m. on ESPN+

In what should be a fun game, South Alabama takes on Appalachian State for the second time after beating them, by 17 in their first matchup thanks to Isaiah Moore contributing on both ends. I’m expecting Moore to take over again.

Ethan’s pick: 8. South Alabama

5. Troy (19-12, 11-7) vs. 13. Arkansas State – 3 p.m. on ESPN+

Arkansas State takes on a Troy team in this simulated second round. Troy boasts four double-figure scorers as well as being one of the best teams on offense and defense in the Sun Belt this season. Troy’s consistency should be able to handle much of what Arkansas State throws at them.

Ethan’s pick: 5. Troy

6. Old Dominion (19-11, 11-7) vs. 11. Texas State – 6 p.m. on ESPN+

Having three double-digit scorers will be a major advantage over Texas State, as the Monarchs of Old Dominion should have little problem scoring on the Bobcats. Old Dominion’s stability is what led them to the first-round bye and it should lead them to the next round as well.

Ethan’s pick: 6. Old Dominion

7. Georgia Southern (16-15, 9-9) vs. 10. Louisiana–Monroe (11-20, 7-11) – 8:30 p.m. on ESPN+

Tyreke Locure takes on Andrei Savrasov is perhaps the most fun matchup of the first two rounds. ULM won by 13 in their matchup in January, however, Georgia Southern is being favored by nine points in this one, so it’ll be interesting to see if they get their revenge.

Ethan’s pick: 7. Georgia Southern

Quarterfinals – Saturday, Mar. 4

1. Southern Miss (25-6, 14-4) vs 8. South Alabama – 12:30 p.m. on ESPN+

Southern Miss won the conference title and their first test in the win-or-go-home tournament is to shut down Isaiah Moore and continue on their path of holding teams to just 65 PPG. If the dominant duo of Austin Crowley and Felipe Haase can continue, they’ll land in the semifinals.

Ethan’s pick: 1. Southern Miss

4. James Madison (21-10, 12-6) vs 5. Troy – 3 p.m. on ESPN+

James Madison has one clear advantage over Troy, being the third-highest-scoring team in the league alongside having four players averaging double-figure points. However the Dukes’ defense can lack and with Troy’s ability to also score and take care of weaker defenses, I expect them to avenge their earlier loss.

Ethan’s pick: 5 Troy

3. Marshall (24-7, 13-5) vs 6. Old Dominion – 6 p.m. on ESPN+

The highest-scoring team in the league faces off against a team that plays team basketball and works their opponents on defense. Taevion Kinsey and Andrew Taylor weren’t enough for the Herd last time these two teams matched up and Marshall fell due to the defense of Old Dominion holding them to 11 points under their season average. If the defense steps up, Old Dominion wins. If not, Marshall’s duo will take over.

Ethan’s pick: 6. Old Dominion

2. Louisiana (24-6, 13-5) vs 7. Georgia Southern – 9:30 p.m. on ESPN+

This comes down to who has more players surrounding each team’s star. Having Greg Willaims Jr. and Terance Lewis II as your second and third-best players should almost immediately take advantage as Georgia Southern won’t be able to double-team any star player.

Ethan’s pick: 2. Louisiana

Semifinals – Sunday, Mar. 5

1. Southern Miss vs 5. Troy – 6 p.m. on ESPN+

Southern Miss has been on an unbelievable tear for a team that was picked second to last in their conference. Austin Crowley stepped up big and this Sun Belt Tournament is for him and the rest of this team to prove they belong. With top-tier defense and offense, it should be a cinch.

Ethan’s pick: 1. Southern Miss

2. Louisiana vs 6. Old Dominion – 8:30 p.m. on ESPN+

These two teams played New Year’s Eve and Old Dominion managed to step up to the plate and hit a home run beating the conference favorite. A lot has changed since that night as Louisiana’s only taken three losses since then.

Ethan’s pick: 2. Louisiana

Championship– Monday, Mar. 6

1. Southern Miss vs 2. Louisiana – 7 p.m. on ESPN2

Obviously, this isn’t ideal having no cinderella Sun Belt Tournament story win the automatic bid, however, these two teams can produce a classic. They split the season series and head into the game determining which team gets a bid to March Madness. It’ll be up to the stars. Can Brown, Williams, and Lewis outmatch Crowley, Hasse, and Pinckney?

Ethan’s pick: 1. Southern Miss