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Louisiana Tech fires Skip Holtz: Bulldogs opt for coaching change after nine years amid 3-8 season

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Louisiana Tech has fired coach Skip Holtz after nine seasons, the program announced on Friday. Holtz will coach the season finale against Rice on Saturday. He was 64-49 with the Bulldogs and led the program to seven consecutive bowl games before this down season. 

“Skip and I talked and agreed it was time for a change for both parties,” Louisiana Tech athletic director Eric Wood said. “Louisiana Tech owes Skip a debt of gratitude for his loyalty and dedication to our football student-athletes, our University, and our community over the past decade. He has been able to accomplish some things that weren’t previously done here on a consistent basis prior to his arrival. We continue to be committed to winning conference championships, and that expectation is stronger than ever.”

Just two years ago, Holtz led the program to its first ever 10-win season as Louisiana Tech split a share of the Conference USA West Division with UAB. However, the Bulldogs bottomed out in 2021 with a 3-8 record pending the results against Rice, Holtz’s first losing season since his La. Tech debut in 2013. The record included three losses against Mississippi State, SMU and NC State by a combined 10 points. 

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Louisiana Tech regressed in conference play after the tight nonconference performances. The Bulldogs handed Southern Miss its only FBS win of the season in a 35-19 loss to the Golden Eagles despite the fact that USM has played more than 10 players at quarterback. 

“This is the right time for me to evaluate a new start in my career,” Holtz said. “I’ve had the privilege of mentoring young people and building football programs for more than 30 years, including the last nine as head coach of Louisiana Tech. The past two seasons have brought additional challenges to our program, and I simply think it is time for someone else to have the chance to lead this special group of young men.”

The news comes months after several of Conference USA’s top programs announced they would leave for the American Athletic Conference and the Sun Belt, leaving Louisiana Tech, UTEP, FIU, Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky as the only remaining members. Conference USA has since added Liberty, New Mexico State and FCS transitioning members Jacksonville State and Sam Houston. 

Louisiana Tech plays Rice at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Houston. Both teams enter at 3-9. 

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Jayson Tatum Says Being In MVP Race Is ‘Surreal’

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(Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

 

Boston Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum has taken yet another leap in his NBA career this season.

Before the 2022-23 campaign started, the 24-year-old had already cemented himself as one of the best young players in the league, but he has taken his game to new heights this season.

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As a result of his stellar play and the Celtics’ impressive 20-5 record, Tatum is hearing his name mentioned in MVP conversations more than ever before.

It doesn’t seem like he has gotten used to that feeling yet.

Tatum said Monday that it’s “surreal” to be in the MVP mix, adding that it’s something he dreamed about as a kid.

“It’s really like an honor,” Tatum said. “It’s kinda surreal living out your dreams in reality, being in the conversation. You dream about it as a kid, and for people to acknowledge and recognize that, saying you’re leading or in the running for MVP, I don’t take that lightly. That’s not something I brush over or get used to. I gotta pinch myself sometimes. I think it’s cool, to be honest. I still feel like a kid sometimes doing what I love. To be mentioned with guys like Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and things like that, I think that’s pretty cool.

“At the same, just trying to focus on game to game and being the best I can for the team — 20-5 is big. That’s how we wanted to start the season. Individually, all the guys, myself and J.B. (Jaylen Brown), everybody is going to get the things that they deserve. As far as being in the MVP race, it’s not something I’m used to. I get excited, I guess. It’s something — even though I’ve been in the league six years, I feel like a kid, thinking about the possibility of (winning MVP). There’s a long way to go, but it’s a surreal feeling being in that conversation.”

As Tatum mentioned, there’s still a long way to go, but he’s putting himself in position to be in the MVP race all season long.

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No Celtics player has won the award since Larry Bird in the 1980s, and Tatum is looking to change that.

 

Tatum’s Season At A Glance

Tatum is averaging 30.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game this season.

Last season, he averaged 26.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per contest.

What makes his uptick in scoring so impressive is the fact that it hasn’t come from an increase in volume — it has come from an increase in efficiency.

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Last season, he averaged 20.6 shots per game, and this season, he’s averaging 21.0 shots per game, which isn’t much of a difference at all.

But last season, he had a true shooting percentage of 57.8, and this season, he has maintained a true shooting percentage of 62.4.

That’s where the scoring boost has come from.

It would also be silly not to mention his defensive impact.

The three-time All-Star has become one of the better two-way players in the league, and that’s one of the biggest reasons why his team has the best record in the NBA.

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Tatum will look to add to his MVP case on Wednesday when the Celtics face the Phoenix Suns.

The post Jayson Tatum Says Being In MVP Race Is ‘Surreal’ appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Baker Mayfield claimed on waivers by Los Angeles Rams

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Baker Mayfield has been claimed on waivers by the Los Angeles Rams, just one day after being released by the Panthers.



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Anthony Davis to FoxSports.com: 'I know what I'm capable of doing' | FIRST THINGS FIRST

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Los Angeles Lakers all-star Anthony Davis told FoxSports.com: “I know what I’m capable of doing” after after averaging 34 PPG, 15 RPG on 63% shooting in the last 10 games. Nick Wright, Chris Broussard and Kevin Wildes react.



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