SFA Opens New Year And SLC Play With Lamar
Jan. 1, 2014
Game 14 - SFA (11-2, 0-0 SLC) vs. Lamar (1-11, 0-0 SLC)
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team closed December the same way they began the month, with a win and did not drop a decision in between. SFA (11-2) went a perfect 6-0 across the final month of the 2013 calendar year and will now open 2014 with Southland Conference play. The Lumberjacks, currently riding a eight-game winning streak, continue their homestand with the third of four games with a 8:00 p.m. tip against Lamar Thursday, Jan. 2, inside William R. Johnson Coliseum.
The Cardinals (1-11) come to Nacogdoches on an eight-game losing streak under third-year head coach Pat Knight. LU is coming off a 86-71 loss at Colorado State on Saturday, Dec. 28. The Cardinals currently have four players averaging double figures, led by junior Nimrod Hillard's 15.6 PPG. LU's other double-digit scorers are senior Amos Wilson (11.9 PPG), junior Donovan Ross (10.8 PPG) and sophomore Rhon Mitchell (10.2 PPG).
The Last Time Out
SFA VS. THE OPPONENT: The Lumberjacks are 28-24 (.539) all-time against Lamar, which includes a 16-8 (.667) record in Nacogdoches. SFA has won its last two meetings with the Cardinals and four of its past five. The `Jacks have also won four straight against LU in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA's last loss in the series came during the 2012 Southland Conference tournament when the `Jacks dropped a 55-44 decision in the semifinals.
SOUTHLAND OPENERS: Since the turn of the century, also representing all 13 seasons of Danny Kaspar's tenure at SFA, the `Jacks are 7-6 in Southland Conference openers. SFA has won its last two SLC openers and was 4-1 under Kaspar in Southland openers at home.
HAYMON'S HEROICS: Senior guard Desmond Haymon's 36 points against Cal State Northridge mark the second time a `Jack has scored 30-plus this season and is the first for an SFA player at home since Jereal Scott dropped 30 against Texas College (12/17/11) in the 2011-12 season. It is also the first time a `Jack has scored more than 35 points in a game since 2004. Haymon finished 12-of-17 from the floor, draining four shots from beyond the arc, and 8-of-13 from the charity stripe. Of his 36 points, 30 of those came in the second half. In the second half, the native of Pickens, Miss., shot 10-of-13 from the field, 3-of-6 from three-point range and 7-of-9 from the free throw line.
MID-MAJOR TOP 25: SFA currently check in at No. 16 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major Top 25. The `Jacks are and remain to be the only Southland Conference school to make an appearance in the poll this year. The last time SFA was last in the poll was the 2012-13 season, reaching as high as No. 5 prior to the NIT, its highest ranking in the polls' 15 season of existence.
WALKER NAMED SLC POW: Senior guard Deshaunt Walker has been named the Southland Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week, the league office announced after leading the Lumberjacks with 22 points in 22 minutes off the bench in a 87-53 statement road victory at North Texas on Dec. 15 inside the Super Pit. The native from Silver Springs, Md. (Spring Brook H.S.) was an efficient 7-of-9 from the field, including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, and made all three of his free throws. He finished two points shy of his career-high while also adding three assists and a steal.
HAYMON NAMED SLC POW: Senior guard Desmond Haymon was named the Southland Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week after helping Stephen F. Austin to a pair of wins and being named the most valuable player of the Etech Lumberjack Classic. Haymon recorded 18 points, with 14 coming in the second half, in a 79-69 win against Towson (Dec. 6). He then followed with a game-high 21 points in win over James Madison (Dec. 7) to keep SFA unblemished at home.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR PARKER: Junior forward Jacob Parker, who went through both his freshman and sophomore year without scoring a double-double, has flourished under first-year head coach Brad Underwood's new system, recording double-doubles in four of Stephen F. Austin's first seven games. Parker is currently averaging 15.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
PARKER NAMED SLC POW: Junior forward Jacob Parker was named the Southland Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week after recording consecutive double-double performances and helping the Lumberjacks to a 1-1 record in the team's first two games of the First Bank and Trust Company Roundball Showcase. Parker recorded a career-high 31 points and 11 rebounds in SFA's come-from-behind 80-73 victory over Marshall in overtime (Nov. 21). Parker's 31 points marks the first time a `Jack has scored 30 points or more since Jereal Scott put up 30 against Wiley College in 2011. The native from Bixby, Okla., followed up with 19 points and a career-high with 12 boards against East Tennessee State (Nov. 23).
INSIDE WILLIAM R. JOHNSON COLISEUM: Stephen F. Austin currently owns the second longest active home winning streak in the country at 24 games. SFA, 6-0 inside William R. Johnson Coliseum this season, went all of the 2012-13 season without dropping a match at home en route to the Southland Conference regular season title. The last loss for the `Jacks at home came against UT-Arlington (2/15/12) in the 2011-12 season.
SAFE AT HOME: In 13 seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar and already 13 games under first-year head coach Brad Underwood, the Lumberjacks have compiled a 157-35 (.818) record in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA is 353-126 (.737) all-time in the Coliseum. SFA has recorded eight straight seasons and 11 campaigns in last 12 years with double-digit wins at home after its win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi pushed the `Jacks to 15-0 at home last season, tying the best home mark for SFA since going 15-0 at home in 2003-04. Of those 15 wins, 12 came by double digits.
SFA SPOILS HOME DEBUT FOR KASPAR: Sophomore Thomas Walkup recorded a career-high 14 points and junior Jacob Parker recorded the first double-double of his career, as the Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team knocked off Texas State 64-57 to spoil the debut of former head coach Danny Kaspar Tuesday (Nov. 12) night inside Strahan Coliseum. In his 13 years in Nacogdoches, Kaspar posted a 246-141 (.636) overall record and guided the `Jacks to seven 20-win seasons, three Southland Conference regular-season titles, two NIT appearances and a berth in the 2009 NCAA Championship tournament.
UNDERWOOD WINS DEBUT: Junior Jacob Parker and senior Nikola Gajic both recorded career-highs and the Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team placed three Lumberjacks in double-figures, as head coach Brad Underwood picked up his first win at the helm in a 90-64 victory over UT-Tyler Friday,Nov. 8 inside William R. Johnson Coliseum. The win comes one week after SFA beat Arkansas Tech in its exhibition opener on Nov. 1.
SFA PICKED THIRD/FOURTH IN SLC POLLS: The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack basketball team was picked third and fourth in the Southland Conference preseason polls conducted by coaches and sports information directors, league officials announced Wednesday morning. SFA, the defending 2012-13 SLC regular season champion, was picked fourth in the coaches' poll and in a two-way tie with Sam Houston State in the SID poll, receiving one first place vote.
HAYMON, PARKER NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-SLC TEAMS: Senior Desmond Haymon and junior Jacob Parker were each named to the preseason All-Southland Conference teams for the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack basketball team, conference officials announced on Wednesday. Haymond was SFA's lone representative on the preseason first team, while Parker earned second team recognition.
UNDERWOOD NAMED HEAD COACH: Brad Underwood was named the 11th head coach of the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack basketball program on April 23, SFA Director of Athletics Robert Hill announced at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Series vs. LU: SFA leads 28-24
First Meeting: 1950-51 - LU 61, SFA 60
Last Meeting - (2012-13 Season - Feb. 2, 2013, Beaumont, Texas)