MBB Game Notes: at Tulsa
Nov. 23, 2012
SFA (3-0) at Tulsa (4-1)
THE LAST TIME OUT
SITTIN’ ON 20: The ‘Jacks have six 20-win campaigns since becoming a Division I program in 1988. All six of those 20-win seasons have come under Danny Kaspar.
BOOM BOSTIC: Senior guard Antonio Bostic was named the Southland Conference men’s basketball player of the week on Monday after leading SFA to a win at FIU on Saturday. Bostic, a first team all-SLC choice last season, poured in a career-high 23 points in a 69-60 win over the Golden Panthers, helping SFA to a 2-0 start to the season and avenging a two-point loss to FIU last year in Nacogdoches. The senior hit eight of his 14 shots from the floor, including three from long distance and had 17 of his points in the first half while the `Jacks were building a 40-24 lead at the break.
SUB-SEVENTY: SFA has held each of its 32 opponents under 70 points in 2011-12, and has done the same in each of its first three games of 2012-13 to extend its school-record streak of sub-70 defensive performances. The last team to score 70 on the ‘Jacks was Northwestern State, when they did so in a 70-65 win over SFA in 2010-11 in Natchitoches.
DEFENSE FIRST: The Lumberjacks finished third in the nation in scoring defense at 54.7 points per game allowed in 2011-12, a new school record. SFA has finished the year ranked among the top 10 in scoring defense in each of the last five seasons, including leading the nation in 2011 with 56.7 points per game and No. 2 rankings in both 2008 and 2009. This year has started off no different as SFA is allowing just 43 points per game through its first three contests.
IT’S BEEN A WHILE: Not since the 1957-58 season had the ‘Jacks pulled off what they managed to pull off in its season opener vs Howard Payne. SFA held HPU to just 30 points on the night, the least amount scored by an SFA opponent since Sam Houston State put up 30 in a 40-30 loss to the ‘Jacks in the 1957-58 season. Against the Yellow Jackets, SFA allowed just 15 shots to fall from the floor, none from beyond the arc and HPU missed its only free throw of the game.
CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARDS: SFA did not have a single player in the Southland Conference top 10 in rebounding in 2011-12, with Taylor Smith’s 6.2 rebounds per game leading the team, but as a team no group was been better in the SLC on the boards than the ‘Jacks. SFA was tops in the SLC with a +7.4 rebound margin, a mark that also ranked seventh in the country. They pulled down over 75 percent of all defensive rebound opportunities and of SFA’s 32 opponents last year, only three managed to pull down more rebounds than the ‘Jacks, including just one game in SLC play.
PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE ‘JACKS: The Southland Conference released its preseason all-conference teams just weeks before the opening of the season with a pair of Lumberjacks selected to the first team. Senior Antonio Bostic was the only automatic selection to the first team as the only returning first team all-conference choice from 2011-12, while senior forward Taylor Smith also made an appearance on the preseason first team. Bostic averaged better than 11 points per game as a junior while logging nearly 35 minutes per game, while Smith averaged better than nine points and six rebounds in just 19 minutes per night playing behind former all-SLC first team center Jereal Scott.
HAL DO YOU DO?: Senior point guard Hal Bateman did not put a point in his own scoring column in SFA’s season-opener against Howard Payne, but he did help get plenty of of his teammates on the board. Bateman dished out a career-high 11 assists in the win over the Yellow Jackets, the most for a Lumberjack since Eric Bell had 11 dimes in a road win at Northern Illinois during the 2007-08 season.
DIALING LONG DISTANCE: The ‘Jacks did plenty of damage from the perimiter in its win over Howard Payne, hitting 10 of its 17 shots from beyond the arc. Five of the threes came from junior transfer Deshaunt Walker, and the 10 triples were the most since the ‘Jacks hit 10 in a win over Chicago State in 2010
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 two 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 nine blocks (3.0 bpg) in the first three games of the season. Only two SFA players in the Division I era have blocked more shots in a single season than Smith did a year ago and only one Lumberjack has ever led the league in blocks -- Tim Holloway in 1989-90.
HOME DEFENSE: SFA is known for its defensive prowess, but it is even moreso evident when playing at William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA has held its opponents to 50 points or fewer in 16 of 33 games at home in the last three seasons, allowing just 51.6 points per game at home in 2010-11 and 53.1 points per game in 2011-12. It is allowing just 34.5 points per game through two home games this season.
HALF WAY THERE: The ‘Jacks were not at their best when playing from behind in 2011-12, but were exceptional when playing from out in front. That was most evident by the fact that the ‘Jacks went 19-1 a year ago when taking a lead into the half. Conversely, SFA was 1-11. The only loss in that stretch came on Feb. 15, 2012 when it squandered a 13-point halftime lead to to eventual league champion UT Arlington. This season, SFA has taken a halftime lead into the locker room in all three games it has played.
SAFE AT HOME: In 11-plus seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar, the Lumberjacks have compiled a 138-35 (.794) record in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA is 334-126 (.724) all-time in the Coliseum. SFA has recorded seven straight seasons and nine campaigns in last 10 years with double-digit wins at home.
A WALKUP IN THE PARK: Thomas Walkup had to sit out his entire true freshman campaign due to a lingering injury from his senior year of high school, but after a long recovery process the younger brother of former Texas A&M forward Nathan Walkup made his collegiate debut on against Howard Payne, and it would have been difficult to be more efficient than what he was. Walkup finished with 11 points on the night, hitting all five of hits shots from the floor, including a three-pointer. In just 15 minutes off the bench he also pulled down four rebounds, had a pair of assists and a steal without a turnover.
45-MINUTE MAN: Junior guard Antonio Bostic played all 45 minutes in a pair of overtime games last season for SFA, marking the most minutes played by any Lumberjack since Josh Alexander played all 55 minutes in a 112-111 SFA win over North Dakota State in triple OT in the 2008-09 season at the Drake Hy-Vee Classic. He played at least 40 minutes in eight of the final 12 games of last season and finished third in the league in minutes per game with 34.2.
BOUNCING BACK: SFA is 14-6 over the last two seasons in games following a loss. Over the last five seasons entering 2012-13, the ’Jacks are 25-0 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.
CLAMPING DOWN: SFA held Southeastern Louisiana to just 36 points last season in its win over the Lions, the first time since 2008 that SFA had held a Southland opponent under the 40-point plateau. It was the lowest point total by a Southland opponent for the `Jacks in the Danny Kaspar era, and the eighth time since 2007-08 the ‘Jacks have kept an opponent under 40 points.
HOME NON-CONFERENCE: SFA has won 34 of its last 36 home, non-conference games, dating to the 2006-07 season. Each of those two losses have been by two points apiece, coming to Florida International in 2011-12 and Texas Tech in 2009-10. The Lumberjacks are now 62-5, overall, in home, non-conference games in 13 seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar.
KASPAR KOUNTER : Danny Kaspar picked up his 200th win at SFA in last year’s season opener vs Centenary currently stands third all-time at SFA in head coaching wins with 222, trailing only Marshall Brown (345) and Bob Shelton (245). Kaspar also has 441 career wins between his time at SFA and Incarnate Word, second among active Southland Conference to Northwestern State’s Mike McConathy’s 542 wins, 352 of which came at the junior college ranks.
BELOW FIFTY: SFA held 10 opponents below 50 points each of the last two seasons. In 12 seasons under Danny Kaspar the Lumberjacks have held an opponent to 50 points or fewer on 56 occasions, losing just five of those games.