Team preview: Louisiana Tech

Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2006-07 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 30, 2006, 9:28 AM ET
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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

COACH AND PROGRAM

While Nevada fans got a dose of good news when top WAC performer Nick Fazekas opted to return for his senior season, Louisiana Tech fans weren't as fortunate.

Paul Milsap, the nation's leading rebounder for three consecutive seasons, went out early for the NBA draft just as Fazekus did last spring. But unlike his fellow league standout, Milsap stayed in the draft and was selected in the second round by the Utah Jazz.

It's hard to say if Milsap will have as much success with the Jazz as fellow LaTech star Karl Malone did all those years ago, but suffice to say the Bulldogs will miss having him around. Not only did he snare an average of 13.3 rebounds last year, he also averaged 19.6 points, leaving coach Keith Richard with a big hole to fill in the middle.

To make matters worse for LaTech, which finished the regular season tied for second in 2005-06, the Bulldogs have three other starters who have left the building as well, leaving Richard with a new lineup that won't be as good as the old one.

How good or bad it will be depends on more things than Richard can count as he prepares for the upcoming season with about half of his team's points and rebounds gone.

"We'll have a period of adjustment, there's no doubt about that," Richard said. "But I like our team. We have good senior leadership, [players] who can make things happen."

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