NCAA March Madness Preview – New Orleans Privateers

New Orleans Privateers

Southland (20-11, 13-5)

 by Joel Welser

New Orleans returned just about their entire team from last season, but still not many expected the Privateers to win an outright Southland Conference title. In non-conference play Coach Mark Slessinger’s team pulled off some decent wins too. They beat Tulane and Washington State. That is not the quality of team they will face in the postseason, but an experienced team like UNO can cause a few problems for more talented opponents.

Big Wins: 12/3 at Washington State (70-54), 12/31 TAMU-CC (75-54), 1/19 Houston Baptist (72-64)

Bad Losses: 2/1 at Abilene Christian (69-70), 2/25 at Northwestern State (82-83), 3/2 SE Louisiana (58-63)

Coach: Mark Slessinger

Why They Can Surprise:

New Orleans’ experience is their best asset. All eight players in the regular rotation are upperclassmen and that is huge come tournament time. The Privateers have five players who average at least two assists per game and they share the ball extremely well. This group plays like a team and they will make an extra pass to get a better look. Many of those open looks end up in the hands of Erik Thomas. The 6-5 senior averages 19.5 points and 7.8 rebounds and is a superb scorer inside the paint. Travin Thibodeaux and Makur Puou are not as effective in the scoring department, but both are strong rebounders. Christavious Gill and Nate Frye are the other main scoring threats joining Thomas.

Why They Can Disappoint:

New Orleans can stick around because of their defense, but the offense must have a good day if the Privateers hope to pull off an upset. Thomas will get his points, but it would be much easier for everybody if somebody could at least be a threat to hit the long ball. Gill is by far the most prolific shooter on the team, but that is not saying much. Reserve guard Jorge Rosa is the only other major option when it comes to hitting three-pointers. If the opposition feels like they have to stick close to Gill and Rosa on the perimeter, the offense will open up and give New Orleans a chance.

Probable Starters:

Christavious Gill, Senior, Guard, 11.6 ppg, 2.7 apg

Nate Frye, Senior, Guard, 10.3 ppg, 2.6 apg

Erik Thomas, Senior, Forward, 19.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.3 apg

Travin Thibodeaux, Junior, Forward, 8.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3.3 apg

Makur Puou, Junior, Forward, 5.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.3 bpg

Key Role Players:

Tevin Broyles, Senior, Guard, 8.0 ppg, 2.5 apg

Jorge Rosa, Junior, Guard, 4.8 ppg

Michael Zeno, Junior, Guard, 4.6 ppg

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 73.2 (180 in nation, 8 in conference)

Scoring Defense: 69.7 (106, 3)

Field-Goal Percentage: 47.2 (46, 1)

Field-Goal Defense: 44.0 (189, 4)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.6 (343, 11)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.7 (286, 9)

Free-Throw Percentage: 71.5 (125, 4)

Rebound Margin: 4.0 (63, 3)

Assists Per Game: 16.1 (35, 1)

Turnovers Per Game: 17.1 (345, 10)

Recent Postseason Appearances:

No Recent Tournament History

*all team stats through 3/5

Play March Madness Daily Fantasy Sports here.

This article has 1 Comment

Leave a Reply