Darius Gardner and the Lumberjacks will open up the 2011-12 season on Friday vs Centenary.
Nov. 10, 2011
Stephen F. Austin vs Centenary
Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 • 7:00 p.m. (CST)
William R. Johnson Coliseum (7,203) • Nacogdoches, Texas
Radio: None • TV: None • Online: sfajacks.com
TIP-OFF TIME: The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack basketball team will open play for the 2011-12 season on Friday when it hosts Division III Centenary at William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA is coming off an 18-11 season in which it was still firmly in the hunt for its third Southland Conference crown in four seasons until the final week of the league slate. The ‘Jacks return four letterwinners off of last year’s squad, including first team all-SLC center Jereal Scott.
LAST SEASON: SFA just missed its fourth consecutive 20-win season, coming up just short at 18-11 overall and 9-7 in Southland Conference play. The ‘Jacks fell in the first round of the Southland Conference Tournament to Sam Houston State, 61-46, at the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas. Still, it was an impressive season for the ‘Jacks with Jereal Scott earning first team all-SLC honors and the team ranking as the top scoring defense in the nation, allowing just 56.7 points per game. Scott, who is the lone senior on this year’s team, led the Lumberjacks in scoring at 13.3 points per game last season, setting a new single-season school record by hitting 60 percent of his shots from the field.
THE GENTS: Centenary is in its first year as a Division III program, transitioning down from the Summit League to the American Southwest Conference. The Gents struggled last year after the transition was announced, going just 1-29 overall and 1-17 in Summit League play under first-year head coach Adam Walsh. Centenary will compete with a Division III schedule this season; however, they are ineligible for neither a conference title in the ASC, nor a postseason appearance until its transitional phase is complete.
vs. CENTENARY: SFA is 18-20, all-time, against the Gents. The Lumberjacks are 2-3 in five meetings with Centenary during Danny Kaspar’s 12 years as head coach. The teams have not met since the 2005-06 season when SFA took a 94-57 win in Nacogdoches. The ‘Jacks have won the last two meetings between the teams, with Centenary having won each of the previous prior to that.
COVERAGE: Friay’s game streamed via SFA All-Access at www.sfajacks.com.
UP NEXT: The ‘Jacks will head off to the west coast for its first Division I opponent of the season when it takes on San Diego at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Monday. Tip time is scheduled for 7:00 pm P.T.
KASPAR GOING FOR 200: Danny Kaspar closed out the 2010-11 season just one win shy of 200 for his career at Stephen F. Austin, but will have a chance now to pick up that victory in front of a home crowd in the season opener 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).
SCOTT NEARING 1K: After a junior season where he scored 13.3 points per game and hit a school-record 60 percent of his shots from teh floor, Jereal Scott has positioned himself well for a senior season that could leave his name sprinkled throughout the SFA record book.
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 now 7-4 in season-opening games under head coach Danny Kaspar. The Lumberjacks have compiled a 12-13 record in season openers as a Division I program (since 1986-87 season). Under Kaspar, the Lumberjacks are 6-0 when opening the season at home and 11-6 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.
HOME OPENER: SFA knocked off Howard Payne, 114-49, in the 2010-11 home opener. Head coach Danny Kaspar’s teams are a perfect 11-0 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 52 times and lost only five times.
BOUNCING BACK: SFA is 7-2 this season in games following a loss. Over the last three seasons, the ’Jacks are 19-0 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.
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.
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.
SOUTHLAND OPENERS: In 11 seasons under Danny Kaspar, SFA is 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.
HOME DEFENSE: SFA held its opponents to 50 points or fewer in nine of 16 games at home last season. The Lumberjacks allowed just 51.6 points per game at home in 2010-11.
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.
POINTS IN THE PAINT: SFA outscored Science and Arts of Oklahoma, 52-14, in the paint. That’s the most points down low the Lumberjacks have scored this season and marks just the fifth time in the last four seasons for SFA to break 50. The most post scoring SFA has put up during that stretch was 60 against East Central (Oklahoma) last season.
HOME NON-CONFERENCE: After putting together an 8-0 pre-conference record at home last year, SFA has won 28 of its last 29 home, non-conference games, dating to the 2006-07 season. The only loss during that stretch is a two-point defeat against Texas Tech in 2009-10. The Lumberjacks are 57-4, overall, in home, non-conference games in 11 seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar.
HIGH-SCORING: The 114 points SFA scored in last year’s season opener against Howard Payne marked the highest offensive output by a Lumberjack team in Danny Kaspar’s 11 seasons as head coach. It was just the eighth time in Kaspar’s tenure for the ’Jacks to break into triple-digits. The last time an SFA team scored more than 114 points was in the 1996-97 home opener when Derek Allister’s squad beat Schreiner College, 138-69. Only that total and the 126 points SFA put up against Texas Wesleyan in the 1994-95 campaign top the Lumberjacks’ output against Howard Payne in SFA’s history at the Division I level.
MARGINAL: The 65-point margin of victory in SFA’s 114-49 win over Howard Payne in last year’s season opener was the widest margin of Danny Kaspar’s tenure and the biggest point spread for the ’Jacks since a 138-69 win over Schreiner College in 1994-95.
BELOW FIFTY: SFA held 10 opponents below 50 points last season. In 11 seasons under Danny Kaspar the Lumberjacks have held an opponent to 50 points or fewer on 52 occasions, losing just five of those games.
SAFE AT HOME: In 10-plus seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar, the Lumberjacks have compiled a 127-32 (.799) record in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA is 323-123 (.724) all-time in the Coliseum. SFA has recorded six straight seasons and eight campaigns in nine years with double-digit wins at home.
AGAINST THE BIG XII: SFA is 2-9 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. With games against Texas Tech and Texas A&M in 2011-12, this season marks the fourth time in the last five years for SFA to play two Big XII opponents.
FRESH FACES: SFA has nine newcomers — including Mark Walton, who redshirted last season — on the roster for the 2011-12 season. That figure is tied for the XX-highest number of first-year players during Danny Kaspar’s tenure as head coach.
CLASSIC RESULTS: SFA is 4-0 in the Etech Lumberjack Classic after hosting the event for the second straight year in 2010-11. The ’Jacks are 10-0, 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. SFA will host the third annual Etech Lumberjack Classic in December when it hosts Alabama State and Florida International.
TOURNAMENT TEAM: Over the last three seasons, SFA is 9-1 in five 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. Last year, 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 have five games scheduled over two tournaments this season: the Etech Lumberjack Classic in Nacogdoches, and the Global Hoops Showcase in Eugene, Ore.
SITTIN’ ON 20: The ‘Jacks came up two wins shy of 20 last season, finishing 18-11 overall, snapping a string of three conseuctive 20-win seasons for Danny Kaspar’s troops. In 11 seasons as head coach, Kaspar has put together five 20-win seasons. Prior to Kaspar’s tenure, the only 20-win season in the program’s history at the Division I level was the 22-8 record put up by the ’Jacks in the 1986-87 campaign, the program’s first as a D-I team.