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LA Tech Hoops Q&A With SB Nation's Jason Jones

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SB Nation's LA Tech beat writer Jason Jones sits down with the Rush to preview the Dunkin' Dawgs.

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MinerRush: After the non-conference slate, and one C-USA game, what is your take on the Dunkin Dawgs so far?

Jason Jones: They have four veterans, but they are still a young team.with nine new players, it has taken them a while to figure things out. They are a more potent offensive team, but they aren't as strong on defense.

MinerRush: Is it safe to say Raheem Appleby is finally back at 100% health, and confidence wise? 

Jason Jones: He's always confident and it seems that he is healthy again. This team feeds off of Appleby's confidence; they seem more confident knowing he is on the floor.

MinerRush: What is your main key for LA Tech to beat UTEP?

Jason Jones: Play fast and hit shots. They aren't going to out rebound anyone - especially UTEP - so LA Tech has to take more shots than the Miners. They have to force turnovers and get more shots up.

MinerRush: Outside of Alex Hamilton, Appleby, and Speedy, who else has to have a big game Thursday?

Jason Jones: Eric McCree seems to be in a bit of a slump. It would be nice for the Bulldogs if McCree or Xavian Stapleton get going.

MinerRush: How do you think White counters UTEP's front court depth?

Jason Jones: By going small. White isn't going to try to match up with Lang or Hunter; instead he will play a multitude of 6'6" wings in an attempt to tire the big guys out.

MinerRush: With the way LA Tech was un-rightfully snubbed from the Big Dance last year, is this a must win game for the Dawgs?

Jason Jones: It's not a must win, but it will help. Tech pretty much has to run the table to get even consideration for an at-large bid. More realistically, the Bulldogs need to win the conference tournament. Road games against UTEP, ODU, and Charlotte will get them ready.

MinerRush: What advantage do you feel UTEP has over LA Tech match-up wise?

Jason Jones: Tech doesn't have any wide bodies to bang with Cedrick Lang. UTEP's advantage is in the half court where Vince Hunter can operate against smaller defenders and Lang can clean up around the basket.