Underwoood, Men's Basketball Turning Heads
Jan. 21, 2014
NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball team continues to turn heads under first-year head coach Brad Underwood.
Already with 16 wins at the helm of the Lumberjacks (16-2, 5-0 SLC), Underwood is the program’s all-time winningest head coach in their first year at SFA. With the 74-58 victory at Northwestern State (Jan. 16), Underwood passed Glen Rose (1948) and John O. Stephens (1952), who both recorded 15 wins back in their respective first seasons.
“This team has shown a great ability to listen and adapt to the new system we have put in place,” Underwood said. “The three seniors have shown great leadership and the characteristics needed for us to be successful.”
The ‘Jacks, 8-2 away from home, currently lead the nation with their six-game road-winning streak and despite not playing at home since Sam Houston State (Jan. 4), SFA’s 26-game home court win streak ranks second in the nation behind only No. 18 Duke. The ‘Jacks also rank fifth in the nation with their current 13-game win streak, tying for the most consecutive wins since the turn of the century. The 2002-03 squad also recorded 13-straight wins.
SFA’s success thus far this season has garnered the attention of two mid-major polls. The ‘Jacks currently rank seventh in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll and eighth in the Mid-Major Madness Power 15 Poll. SFA also received one vote in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll, a feat the 'Jacks accomplished last season during their title run for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
One of 351 NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams in the country, SFA ranks in the top 10 in turnover margin (7th-5.4) and win percentage (T10th-88.9). The ‘Jacks also rank 25th in scoring margin (13.2), 26th in scoring defense (62.6) and 35th in assist-turnover ratio (1.37).
“We face two challenging opponents to finish up our five-game road trip,” Underwood said. “Oral Roberts has shown that they are one of the elite teams in our conference and possess one of the Southland’s best players in Shawn Glover.”
SFA will look to extend its current win streaks with two road games in Week 12. The ‘Jacks will play ORU on Thursday, Jan. 23, in Tulsa, Okla., before closing its road swing at Central Arkansas (Jan. 25).