Patrick Magee

A Southern Miss hoops career comes to a close; Baseball draws near

Southern Miss senior point guard Khari Price is done for the rest of the season after suffering a hand injury.
Southern Miss senior point guard Khari Price is done for the rest of the season after suffering a hand injury.

The Southern Miss men's basketball team has been shorthanded all season and the depth situation is only getting worse.

Senior point guard Khari Price, who missed all of the non-conference schedule due to a knee injury, is done for the rest of the season with a hand injury.

When Price was on the court and healthy, he was a game changer for the Golden Eagles. He averaged 8.8 points and 4.2 assists in five games, showing that he was the missing piece of the puzzle after USM struggled badly through the first two months of the season.

Southern Miss is 3-2 with Price on the court. Without him, the Golden Eagles are 4-14.

Price, a transfer from Dayton, is an experienced point guard who can run the offense with ease. Behind Price, there is no experienced point guard.

USM did show some life without Price in a 91-76 win over Marshall last week and a big reason for that victory was the play of junior point guard D'Angelo Richardson, who pitched in 11 points and four assists in 23 minutes off the bench.

If Richardson can give consistent quality minutes at the point, it frees up Cortez Edwards and Quentin Campbell on offense.

Unfortunately, Price's injury-plagued time at USM appears at an end.

USM has seven games remaining in the regular season with just two of those coming at home – Feb. 16 against FIU and Feb. 18 against FAU. The Golden Eagles travel to UTSA on Thursday and UTEP on Saturday, two teams that USM beat early in the conference slate.

Baseball snowbirds

When the Northeastern Huskies travel to take on the Southern Miss baseball team for a three-game series starting on Feb. 17, it will mark the beginning a lengthy road trip through the Southern U.S. for the visiting team.

Northeastern, which plays in the Colonial Athletic Association conference and is located in Boston, is coming off a 31-27 season that included a 12-11 mark in conference play.

Following the series in Hattiesburg, the Huskies will begin a healthy road swing through the state of Florida. They'll first play an exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla., on Feb. 23. They'll then play a four-game series at North Florida on Feb. 24-26, return home for a week or so and then make the long trek to Port Charlotte, Fla., to take part in the appropriately named Snowbird Baseball Classic.

In the Snowbird Classic on March 4-12, Northeastern will play Ball State, Chicago State, Central Michigan, Toledo, Western Michigan, Lehigh and Bucknell.

When you consider how far Northeastern has to travel for early season games, it shows you how big of an advantage that programs in the Southeast have over their northern rivals.

The longest non-conference road trip that USM has to make this season is a 3 1/2-hour drive to Lafayette, La., to take on the Ragin' Cajuns for a three-game series on March 3-5.

Out of conference

A look at the non-conference schedule for USM baseball again shows that the mid-week games will carry plenty of importance.

Louisiana-Lafayette should be the toughest non-conference weekend series. Evansville (Feb. 24-26) and Xavier (March 10-12) are the two other non-conference series.

Alabama, Tulane, South Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Nicholls State, New Orleans and Southeastern Louisiana will be the mid-week opponents and provide opportunities to boost the Eagles' RPI ranking.

USM will play two games in Biloxi – Nicholls State on April 18 and Southeastern Louisiana on May 16.

The Conference USA baseball tournament is set for May 24-28 at MGM Park in Biloxi, giving baseball fans along the Coast to become very familiar with Scott Berry's USM program.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @Patrick_Magee