MBB Game Notes: at Northwestern State
Jan. 24, 2013
SFA (16-1, 7-0 SLC) vs Northwestern State (11-6, 5-2 SLC)
SFA's win over Nicholls gave SFA a 7-0 start in league play, marking the best start to league play for the `Jacks since the 2002-03 team started 10-0. The `Jacks 16-1 overall start has also eclipsed the 2007-08 team's 12-1 start as the best start for an SFA squad since the progam moved to Division I at the beginning of the 1987-88 season and a win on Saturday would give SFA its best start overall since the 1985-86 team also started the year with a 17-1 mark.
THE LAST TIME OUT
SFA's current 11-game win streak is the 4th longest active streak in the nation. The `Jacks have also won 13 games in a row at William R. Johnson Coliseum, a mark tied for 12th best in the country.
Stephen F. Austin and Wisconsin are the only two programs in the nation to be ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense each of the last five seasons.
SFA's win over McNeese State was Danny Kaspar's 450th of his career.
SFA is 30-6 since the the beginning of the 2011 calendar year.
The Lumberjacks enter Thursday's game averaging just 49.4 points allowed per game, the lowest mark in the country.
SFA AMONG THE ELITE: After Michigan fell on at Ohio State, there were no unbeaten teams remaining in college basketball; however, entering Friday there are just five one-loss teams remaining across the country with the Lumberjacks' 16-1 record putting them in that group. Here is a list of the five remaining one-loss teams in college basketball: Syracuse (18-1), Michigan (17-1), Kansas (17-1), Arizona (16-1), and SFA (16-1).
RANK AND FILE: SFA got an early Christmas present on Christmas Eve, breaking into the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major Top 25 for the first time this season. The `Jacks checked in at No. 25 and after wins over Southeastern Louisiana and Nicholls last week, found itself up to No. 10 in the latest poll released on Monday. The `Jacks are the only Southland Conference school to make an appearance in the poll this year, but still have not reached its Mid Major Top 25 peak as it did when it received a first-place vote and peaked at No. 6 in the poll during the 2007-08 season.
SAFE AT HOME: In 12-plus seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar, the Lumberjacks have compiled a 146-35 (.806) record in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA is 342-126 (.730) all-time in the Coliseum. SFA has recorded eight straight seasons and 10 campaigns in last 11 years with double-digit wins at home after its win over Nicholls pushed the `Jacks to 10-0 at home this season.
VOTES OF CONFIDENCE: This week the `Jacks picked up a few more notches on its belt this week when it received a pair of votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll, the first time SFA has received votes since getting votes in both the AP and Coaches Polls during its 2007-08 SLC title season. The `Jacks were also ranked No. 1 in the UPS Team Performance Index released on Monday, which measures efficiency and teamwork to highlight teams that are well balanced across America. That rating had SFA coming in ahead of teams such as Indiana, Florida, Michigan and Syracuse.
LOW-BALLED: SFA held Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to 46 points in an Islander win over in 2011 that tied for the fewest points by a Lumberjack opponent in an SFA loss over the last 13 seasons. In 13 years under Danny Kaspar, the 'Jacks have held the opposition below 50 points 63 times and lost only five times.
BLOCK PARTY: Taylor Smith averaged 1.31 blocks pe rgame in less than 20 minutes of play as a junior, but this year that number is expected to skyrocket, and through four games he has not disappointed. Smith, who was a two-time league defensive player of the year at McLennan CC before coming to SFA, has 48 blocks (2.8 bpg) in the first 17 games of the season. Smith is now chasing Emanuel Jackson's 61 blocks in 1999-00 as the season record in the Division I era, and only one Lumberjack has ever led the league in blocks -- Tim Holloway in 1989-90. Smith's 2.8 blocks per game currently ranks first in the league.