Preview: Southern Miss

Combination of talent and experience makes Golden Eagles the favorite

Updated: October 11, 2013, 10:51 AM ET
By Joey Berlin | ESPN Insider

Neil WatsonWilliam Purnell/Icon SMIGuard Neil Watson's effective field goal percentage of 59 ranked among the best nationally.

Southern Miss Golden Eagles

2012-13: 27-10 (12-4)
In-conference offense: 1.12 points per possession (1st)
In-conference defense: .99 points per possession (3rd)

Although every team in Conference USA is probably relieved to not have to contend with Memphis anymore, no team in the league has a greater opportunity to take advantage of the Tigers' departure than Southern Miss. In Donnie Tyndall's first season, the undersized Golden Eagles finished second behind Memphis for a second straight season, with a potent mix of turnover-forcing zone defense and even better offense. USM advanced to the NIT quarterfinals, and even with the loss of all-conference guard Dwayne Davis, it still has a roster of talent capable of winning the league and returning to the NCAA tournament for the second time in three seasons.

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