THOMAS ASSEMBLY CENTER
The Thomas Assembly Center has been home to the Louisiana Tech Bulldog and Lady Techster basketball teams since it opened in November of 1982.
It has also served as the home arena for the Lady Techster volleyball program since the program's inception in 1987.
The 8,000-seat Thomas Assembly Center received a new state-of-the-art Maplewood floor in the summer of 2007 thanks to the generous donation of Bulldog legend Karl Malone. Aptly named the Karl Malone Court, the hardwood is made of the same material that all NBA practice facilities boast.
The Thomas Assembly Center recently celebrated its 30-year anniversary and has continually proven to be one of the toughest arenas in the country for opposing collegiate basketball teams to play in on both the men's and women's sides.
Both the Lady Techsters and Bulldogs played before a Thomas Assembly Center record 8,975 fans in a double header sweep of I-20 rival UL-Monroe (formerly Northeast Louisiana) on Jan. 22, 1985.
Since 1982, numerous Bulldog basketball teams have seen success on the hardwood from Andy Russo's early-1980s Dunkin' Dogs featuring NBA Hall of Famer Karl Malone all the way through the new millennium under Michael White and now current head coach Eric Konkol.
Tech has posted a remarkable 325-94 mark in the Thomas Assembly Center for an impressive winning percentage of 76.7 after posting a perfect 17-0 mark during the 2014-15 season. The 17 home wins set a new program record and was the seventh undefeated season in the TAC. LA Tech has recorded 30 (out of 33) winning seasons at home since 1982.
NBA greats such as Malone, P.J. Brown, Randy White and Paul Millsap have all called the Thomas Assembly Center home during their collegiate careers.
The Mailman led Louisiana Tech to a Top 10 national ranking in 1984-85 when the Bulldogs posted a 29-3 mark, including a perfect 14-0 at the Thomas Assembly Center, and a spot in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
After losing their first ever home game at the Assembly Center, Tech reeled off 40 straight wins covering three seasons as Malone and Co. dominated the Southland Conference on its way to three straight league titles.
Malone, White and Brown all took their turn leading the Bulldogs to eight straight 20-plus win seasons (1983-1992) and national postseason appearances including five NCAA Tournaments and three NIT appearances.
A decade later Bulldog fans were privileged enough to watch Paul Millsap win three straight NCAA rebounding titles, the first player in Division I history to accomplish this feat. Millsap also led Tech to the 2006 NIT.
And in the past four seasons, the arena has been one of the toughest places in the country for opponents to win. The 'Dogs are 49-1 in their last 50 home games which is the highest winning percentage (.980) of any team in the country during that span.
The Bulldogs have also won 43 of the last 44 non-conference home games dating back to Dec. 29, 2007 and have now swept all non-conference home games in six of the last seven seasons. The impressive numbers don't stop there. The team currently boasts a 30-game home winning streak, fourth longest in the nation, and a 28-game home conference winning streak, tied for the third longest in the nation.
The Bulldogs are also a perfect 5-0 in national postseason games at the Thomas Assembly Center after defeating Central Michigan, 89-79, in the first round of the NIT this past season.
DIRECTIONS TO THOMAS ASSEMBLY CENTER
FROM THE WEST ON I-20: Take I-20 east to Exit 84 (Ruston). At the end of exit ramp, turn right (south). The arena will be less than a mile ahead on the right.
FROM THE EAST ON I-20: Take I-20 west to Exit 84 (Ruston). At the end of exit ramp, turn left (south). The arena will be less than a mile ahead on the right.