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Top 10 C-USA Impact Players: #8 Alex Hamilton

In the first of three LA Tech players, SB Nation's LA Tech specialist Jason Jones introduces us to the 2014-15 version of Alex Hamilton who checks in at #8 in our Top Ten C-USA Impact Players countdown.

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Alex Hamilton had enormous expectations placed on him at the beginning of 2014. Some of those expectations were because of his talent, which was obvious to most everyone that watched him play.

Another reason was his 31 point outburst in a road win against Oklahoma. The 6'4" sophomore was averaging just under 14 points per game when he exploded in Norman.

Just a few days later in early January, Louisiana Tech's leading scorer, Raheem Appleby, went down with an injury. Bulldog fans looked to Hamilton to carry the scoring load.

The 6'4" guard can really do just about everything on the floor for Bulldogs Head Coach Mike White. Hamilton can shoot it, drive, defend, and handle the point guard duties.

The Chipley, FL native has always been able to defer to Appleby and Speedy Smith, two guards that arrived in Ruston a year ahead of him. Now with Appleby out, Hamilton needed to fill the scoring void.

Hamilton started conference play with basically his same average, 13.75 points per game. Then he scored 19 at Southern Miss, 22 against Charlotte, 24 against Marshall, and 17 at UTEP. After the strong finish to January, he cooled off a bit in February as he went for more than 14 points just once.

When the games started getting a little more meaningful in March, Hamilton again stepped up to the challenge. He had 19 against Charlotte in the conference tournament, then 19 against Southern Miss. He had 20 in a NIT win over Georgia.

Now Appleby is back and White has the luxury of his two scorers back together. Speedy Smith has also increased his offensive production.

The Bulldogs will have to figure out how to balance out all of their weapons. For White, that's a great problem to have.

Hamilton will likely resume his role as the main defender on the opposing team's best perimeter threat. He will be good for his usual 14 points, but he will have some games where he gets hot and scores more than 20.

Whatever the new season brings, Hamilton will be ready when his number is called.