Watson Eager To Get Back

Watson Eager To Get Back

Southern Miss fans were able to get an early look at the Eagle basketball team last night as the rolled past St. Catherine's College in an exhibition match-up. The Eagles played last night without their point guard and leader Neil Watson who is nursing an injury in his leg. We caught up with the senior at media day and heard from him about his expectations on the season.

Neil Watson sat out last night due to a thigh bruise he sustained in practice. He hopes to be back by the time the Eagles open up against Western Kentucky on the 10th.

GoldenEaglePride.com was on hand at media day and talked with the Eagle point guard about the season ahead.

First off, we wanted to hear about his injury and how serious he thinks it is.

"It probably won't take too long for me to get back," he said. "I just need to relax for a few days."

Downplaying the injury and focusing on the team demonstrates the type of leader Neil Watson is. Always putting the team ahead of self.

"It is taking us some time to build up some chemistry," he said quickly turning the conversation to the team. "We are going to take these two exhibition games as learning experiences.

"We lost several players who were real leaders last season. Angelo (Johnson) was a guy who I really learned a lot from and who showed me how to lead a team. That guy always came out, every day, and practiced hard and never let anyone take a play off.

"That is the type of leader I want to be this year."

His role, he said, will be to do whatever the team needs from him any given night.

"I'm not going out looking to score 20 points a night," he said.

"I just want to go out and play my role and help my team get a victory. Now, my role on this team has been enhanced. I have to be more of a leader, vocally and by example.

"Anything dirty or grindy I have to be the one to do it to lead the incoming guys that haven't played division 1 basketball."

It is tough to have seniors embrace a new coach the way this group has. Tyndall has earned their respect in practice and off the court by the way he's cared for them and shown his desire to see this program go to the next level.

Watson points to Tyndall's passion as a key element of the team coming together quickly even with a lot of new faces.

"Eustachy was more laid back in his approach," he said reflecting on the difference from last season.

"We knew he was at practice, but he wasn't too involved. Tyndall is right there on the court. We can being trying to run a play or a fast break and instead of him trying to get off of the court he is right there in our faces."

It is because of this energy that Watson believes this team will get to where they want to go.

"I know we have a lot of inexperience but we'll be a tough team to play," he said. "We are going to come at you and play up-tempo basketball that will push the action.

"It is a lot of fun style to play and the fans are going to enjoy it. We are working hard in practice and are just ready to get out there and make things happen now."

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