SFA will open up Southland Conference play on Wednesday at Texas State.
Jan. 3, 2012
Dec. 16, 2011
Game Notes in PDF Format
GAME TIME: With non-conference action finally in the books, with the exception of February’s ESPN Bracket Buster game, SFA can now turn its attention to the Southland Conference as it opens up league play this week with a pair of games, beginning Wednesday at Texas State. It will be a contrast of styles with the ‘Jacks ranking fifth in the country in scoring defense while the Bobcats rank eighth in the nation in scoring offense.
LAST GAME: The Lumberjacks put five players in double figures, led by Taylor Smith’s first career double-double, and snapped a three-game losing streak with an emphatic 93-36 win over UT-Tyler in the final non-conference tune-up for SFA this season on Friday at William R. Johnson Coliseum. Smith finished with career highs in both points (21) and rebounds (13) and the Lumberjacks (6-7) tied a season high by forcing 33 Patriot (2-8) turnovers in just the second all-time meeting between the two schools. He hit nine of his 14 shots from the field and had seven of SFA’s 16 offensive rebounds on the night. He was joined in double figures by fellow big man Jereal Scott, who finished with 14 points thanks primarily to an impressive 10-for-12 showing at the charity stripe.
THE BOBCATS: The Bobcats will put their 16-game home win streak on the line on Wednesday, defending a home court that it has not lost on in more than a calendar year. The ‘Cats are the top scoring team in the Southland Conference at 82.8 points per game, but rank near the bottom of the league in scoring defense, allowing 77.0 per contest. They are just 1-4 in their last five games, not winning a Division I game since an 81-78 upset of Houston in San Marcos on Dec. 6.
vs. TEXAS STATE: SFA is 97-68 all-time against the Bobcats, including a dominating 16-3 in Danny Kaspar’s tenure as head coach. In fact, last year’s Texas State win in San Marcos snapped an 11-game win streak by the ‘Jacks over the ‘Cats and was Doug Davalos’ first win over SFA since taking over the Texas State program before the 2006-07 season. SFA avenged its loss in San Marcos with a 73-70 overtime thriller in the team’s second meeting when Darius Gardner canned a three-point bucket with just a second remaining for the SFA win.
COVERAGE: Wednesday’s game will be aired live on KTBQ Q107.7 FM in the Nacogdoches/Lufkin area. The pregame show will begin aproximately 15 minutes prior to the 7:00 p.m. tip with Rob Meyers on the mic.
UP NEXT: The ‘Jacks will host Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday in its first home game of the conference season in a 6:00 p.m. contest.
SOUTHLAND OPENERS: In Danny Kaspar’s first 11 seasons at SFA, the ‘Jacks are 5-6 in Southland Conference openers. The ’Jacks have dropped three of their last four league-opening games and have lost five straight times when opening Southland play on the road. SFA is 2-5 under Kaspar in Southland openers away from home. The last time a Lumberjack team won a league-opening road game was a 2002-03 verdict at former Southland member ULM.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER: Since the Southland Conference began divisional play in 2006-07, SFA has won three of a possible six division championships. The ’Jacks won the Southland West in 2008 and won the East Division title in 2009 and 2010.
CLAMPING DOWN: SFA returned to William R. Johnson Coliseum on Dec. 30 to take a 57-point win over UT-Tyler, holding the Patriots to just 36 points in the victory. The 36 points was the lowest for a Lumberjack opponent since SFA held ULM to 36 points last season, a mark that is the second-lowest defensive showing in the Danny Kaspar era. The lowest in the era was when SFA held Huston-Tillotson to just 33 points during the 2007-08 season.
FAILURE TO LAUNCH: The Lumberjacks have had their struggles from beyond the arc this season, launching three-pointers at just a 24.4 percent clip through 13 games. That mark is hindered by an 0-for-8 performance from three-point land in SFA’s three-point loss in Eugene, Ore., to Prairie View A&M. It was the first time since an 0-for-8 outing in a win over Alabama A&M in the 2004-05 season that SFA has not made a three-point field goal in a game, a span of 214 games.
SCOTT OVER 1K: After a junior season where he scored 13.3 points per game and hit a school-record 60 percent of his shots from the floor, Jereal Scott has positioned himself for a senior season that could leave his name sprinkled throughout the SFA record book. He has hit double figures now 11 times, and reached the 1,000-point mark for his career during SFA’s recent trip to Oregon. Scott needed 23 points to reach 1,000 and finished with 46 during the three-game stretch as the only Lumberjack to reach double figures in each contest. He is averaging 15.0 points per game this season and is just the eighth Lumberjack to reach the 1,000-point mark in SFA’s era as a Division I program.
SMITH’S DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Junior Taylor Smith recorded the first double-double of his career on Dec. 30 vs UT-Tyler, marking just the second double-double for a Lumberjack this season. He pumped in 21 points and ripped down 13 rebounds against the Patriots to join Jereal Scott as the only members of the SFA roster to record double-doubles this year. It has been much tougher for SFA to find double-doubles this year after recording 12 in 2010-11, seven of which came from senior forward Jordan Glynn.
HI, MY NAME IS ____: SFA has just four returning players — including two starters — from last season. But with two of the four being sophomores, SFA has only six years of Division I basketball experience on the 2011-12 roster. That figure is tied for the fourth-fewest years of D-I experience in the nation.
SILVER LINING: SFA was far from sparkling in its 64-57 win over Texas College, but despite a season-high 21 turnovers the ‘Jacks still did have several bright spots. Guards Darius Gardner and Antonio Bostic each tied career highs in assists, Gardner with seven and Bostic with five, while big man Jereal Scott lit up the Steers for 30 points to tie his career high which he set last season at Texas State.
HAVE A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS: The ‘Jacks had 24 assists on 29 made baskets in its 74-48 win over Alabama State. The 24 assists are the most assists by a Lumberjack team in a single game since it had 24 dimes on March 2, 2006 at Sam Houston State. Junior point guard Hal Bateman had eight assists in the game vs the Hornets, marking just the fourth time in the past three seasons SFA has had a player with eight assists in a single game.
HOME DEFENSE: SFA held its opponents to 50 points or fewer in nine of 16 games at home last season, and allowed just 51.6 points per game at home in 2010-11. In six games at home this year SFA is allowing just 51.3 points per game, including just 36 points to Centenary in the season opener.
HOME NON-CONFERENCE: After knocking off Texas College on Saturday, SFA has now won 32 of its last 34 home, non-conference games, dating to the 2006-07 season. Before it’s 58-56 loss to Florida International, the only other SFA loss during that stretch was a two-point defeat against Texas Tech in 2009-10. The Lumberjacks are now 61-5, overall, in home, non-conference games in 12 seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar.
SAFE AT HOME: In 10-plus seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar, the Lumberjacks have compiled a 132-33 (.800) record in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA is 328-124 (.726) all-time in the Coliseum. SFA has recorded six straight seasons and eight campaigns in nine years with double-digit wins at home.
CLASSIC RESULTS: SFA’s loss to FIU was its first in three years of the Etech Lumberjack Classic. The ‘Jacks are now 5-1 in the Classic and have hosted the event each year since the 2009-10 season. The ’Jacks are now 11-1, all-time, in home, regular-season tournaments. SFA went 4-0 in two years of hosting the Tall Pines Classic in 1975 and 1976, and the ’Jacks picked up two wins in the Stephen F. Austin Tournament in 1963.
BOUNCING BACK: SFA is 11-5 over the last two seasons in games following a loss. Over the last four seasons, the ’Jacks are 22-0 in home games following defeats. The last time SFA dropped two straight games with the second loss coming at home was the 2006-07 season, when the ’Jacks fell at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, then lost at home to UTSA in the regular-season finale.
KASPAR GETS 200: Danny Kaspar closed out the 2010-11 season just one win shy of 200 for his career at Stephen F. Austin, but it did not take him long to register that win this year as the ‘Jacks got him the win in front of a home crowd with a season-opening, 84-43, win on Friday vs Centenary. He is already third all-time at SFA in head coaching wins, trailing only Marshall Brown (345) and Bob Shelton (245).
BREAKOUT BROUSSARD: Junior guard Kevin Broussard had gone for just 14 points in SFA’s first four games, but exploded onto the scene in Wednesday’s win over Wiley College with a 23-point night. The transfer from Coffeyville CC hit his first seven shots from the floor, including his first six three-point tries to become the first Lumberjack since Josh Alexander in 2009 to have at least six triples in a single game. He is now 9 for 16 (.563) from behind the arc this season, with the three-point bucket accounting for 27 of his 37 points for the year.
BURYING THE MINERS: The Lumberjacks held UTEP to just 35 points in a 53-35 win on Saturday in El Paso. It was the lowest point total for UTEP at home since the Don Haskins Center opened in 1976, eclipsing its previous low of 41 set in 1980. The 35 points was also the lowest opponent point total for SFA vs a Division I team since becoming Division I itself entering the 1986-87 season, and the second-lowest opponent total overall in the Danny Kaspar era, falling just short of the 33 points allowed to Huston-Tillotson in 2007-08.
BELOW FIFTY: SFA held 10 opponents below 50 points last season, and have held four opponents under 50 this season, most recently allowing just 36 points to UT-Tyler on Dec. 30. In 12 seasons under Danny Kaspar the Lumberjacks have held an opponent to 50 points or fewer on 55 occasions, losing just five of those games.
TOURNAMENT TEAM: Over the last four seasons, SFA is 10-5 in seven regular-season, tournament-format events. The Lumberjacks won two games at the Drake Hy-Vee Classic in 2008-09 and split a pair of contests at the Arkansas Jim Thorpe Classic later that season. In 2009, SFA swept two games each in the Etech Lumberjack Classic and the St. Mary’s Shamrock Classic, then picked up two wins in the 2010 Etech Classic. The ‘Jacks split two games at this year’s Etech Lumberjack Classic in Nacogdoches and dropped three at the Global Hoops Showcase in Eugene, Ore.
AGAINST THE BIG XII: SFA is 2-11 against teams from the Big XII in 11+ years under head coach Danny Kaspar. The Lumberjacks knocked off Baylor, 79-57, in Waco during the 2003-04 season and defeated Oklahoma, 66-62, on the road in 2007-08. SFA has already fallen this season at Texas Tech and at Texas A&M, making this season the fourth time in the last five years for SFA to play two Big XII opponents.
DEFENSE FIRST: The Lumberjacks led the nation in scoring defense at 56.7 points per game allowed in 2010-11. SFA has finished the year ranked among the top 10 in scoring defense in each of the last four seasons, including No. 2 rankings in 2008 and 2009. The best defensive season by a Lumberjack team in the Division I era was 2008-09, when SFA held the opposition to 56.1 points per game. This year they are right back where they have been accustomed, leading the SLC and ranking fifth in the nation in scoring defense at 54.1 points per contest.
THREE’S BAD COMPANY: SFA suffered its first three-game losing streak in non-conference play since the 2004-05 season over the Chrsitmas break. The ‘Jacks had not dropped three consecutive games since falling to Grambling State, Alabama A&M and Jackson State during the 2004-05 campaign, but fell to Prairie View A&M, North Carolina Central and Oregon in Eugene, Ore. at the Global Hoops Showcase.
BOOM BOSTIC: Antonio Bostic never bucketed more than 15 points in a game during his sophomore year, but did manage to hit double figures eight times. This year, however, he has been one of SFA’s go-to hands offensivel, ranking second on the team with a 12.3 ppg average. He has bettered his career scoring high twice this season, topping out with a 22-point effort at San Diego and has been in double figures in seven of SFA’s nine games this year.
SUB-SEVENTY: SFA has held each of its first 13 opponents under 70 points this season, but still have yet to go to hit the longest streak of sub-70 defensive performances to open up a season. The 13 straight is the longest such streak since the 2008-09 season; however, the 2007-08 team did not allow a team to break 70 points in a game until the 16th game of the year and just allowed 70 on four occassions. The 2008-09 team just allowed 70 twice for the year.
THE GARDNER DID IT: Not known for his scoring output, sophomore point guard Darius Gardner was key in helping the ‘Jacks nearly pull out a road win at San Diego. Gardner only scored three points in the opener vs Centenary, but canned a pair of threes and pumped in 16 points to go with four assists against the Toreros. It was a career best for Gardner, bettering a 15-point outing last year in a win at Sam Houston State. He curently stands third on the team in scoring at 6.7 points per game.
START ME UP: The Lumberjacks saw a pair of freshmen get action in it’s season-opener vs Centenary in guard Micah Delph and forward Jacob Parker; however, it was the 6-6 Parker that, despite a stat line that did not sparkle, turned the most heads. Parker found himself on the floor at the opening tip, making him the first Lumberjack freshman since Marcus Clark in 2002 to be in the starting lineup for the season opener. He started each of SFA’s first five games before giving way to transfer Jonathan King.
TURNOVERS, TURNOVERS: SFA forced 33 turnovers in a season-opening win over Centenary and matched that in its win over UT-Tyler, which iss the most since the ‘Jacks forced 33 turnovers vs Schreiner College on Nov. 21, 2006. Through 13 games the ‘Jacks have managed the second-best turnover margin in the Southland with a +4.3 differential.
NOT NEEDING THE DISTANCE: The Lumberjacks scored 84 points and won by a 41-point margin in its season opener, but did it without the benefit of the long ball. SFA was just 3-for-15 in shooting from 3-point range, which makes Friday’s game the biggest margin of victory for SFA with no more than three 3-point makes since the 99-54 win over Schreiner College in 2006.
JUCO CONNECTION: The ‘Jacks have managed to develop a recruiting pipeline to two successful junior colleges in recent years, and those recruiting dividends are evident once again on this year’s roster. Joe Bright joins former Lumberjacks Denzel Barnes and Benson Akpan as transfers from Howard College since 2007-08, while Taylor Smith is the fifth ‘Jack from McLennan CC since 2007, joining Jordan Glynn, Eric Bell, Walt Harris and Orren Tims in that category.
SEASON OPENERS: SFA is now 8-4 in season-opening games under head coach Danny Kaspar. The Lumberjacks have compiled a 13-13 record in season openers as a Division I program (since 1986-87 season). Under Kaspar, the Lumberjacks are 7-0 when opening the season at home and 12-6 in home season openers overall as a Division I program. SFA is 1-4 under Kaspar when opening on the road and is just 1-7, in all, as a Division I program when playing the season opener on the road. The Lumberjacks’ only season-opening road win in the last 23 seasons was an 82-72 verdict at Tulsa to start the 2005-06 campaign.
CAN’T PUT OUT THE FIRE: The Texas Tech Red Raiders were red hot from the field in Lubbock, especially in the first half. The ‘Jacks had trouble slowing them down as Tech hit 14 of 17 shots (82.4) percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes. It was just the third time since 2006-07 that SFA has allowed a team to shoot at least 70 percent in a single half, while the Red Raider’s 62.9 shooting percentage for the game was the highest allowed by an SFA squad since North Texas shot 65.9 percent from the field on Dec. 6, 2006.
HOME OPENER: SFA knocked off Centenary, 84-43, in the 2011-12 home opener. Head coach Danny Kaspar’s teams are a perfect 12-0 in home openers at SFA. The last time an SFA team failed to win its home opener was a 67-55 loss to Texas A&M in 1998.
SOUTHLAND SUCCESS: SFA is 6-3 in its last three Southland Tournament appearances. The ’Jacks have been in the championship game in two of the last three years, winning it in 2009 and losing last season.
HOME INVASION: SFA’s 55-40 loss to Sam Houston State in last year’s home finale marked the first time since 2006-07 for SFA to lose at least three home games in a single campaign. The ’Jacks went 10-5 at home in 2006-07.
LOW POINT: The 40 points SFA scored against Sam Houston State in last season’s match-up with the Bearkats set a Johnson Coliseum record for fewest points scored by the ’Jacks. The previous record was 41 in a 52-41 loss to Southeastern Louisiana in February of 1995.
LOW-BALLED: The 46 points A&M-Corpus Christi put up in its win over SFA last season tied for the fewest points by a Lumberjack opponent in an SFA loss over the last 11 seasons. In 11 years under Danny Kaspar, the ’Jacks have held the opposition below 50 points 55 times and lost only five times.
BEAST AGAINST THE EAST: In four-plus years of divisional play in the Southland Conference, SFA has only lost one home game to a team from the Southland East Division. That was a 67-57 decision against Northwestern State in 2006-07, the first year of divisional action. Since then, the ’Jacks have reeled off 15 straight home wins against the East. SFA is 18-1 at home against East Division teams, and has a 30-8 overall mark against teams in that division.