MBB Game Notes: at Oklahoma
Dec. 17, 2012
SFA (7-1) at Oklahoma (7-2)
• It will be the first time SFA has taken on Oklahoma since the 2007-08 season when the ‘Jacks left Norman with a 66-62 win over the Blake Griffin-led Sooners, a signature non-conference win in a season that peaked in SFA’s first-ever Southland Conference title.
• SFA has taken on 10 teams from the state of Oklahoma in the Danny Kaspar era, winning each of the last nine from Texas’ neighbor to the north. The last time SFA lost to a team from Oklahoma was a 78-57 loss to Oral Roberts in Tulsa during the 2001-02 season.
• After outrebounding Lubbock Christian, 31-21, on Saturday, SFA has now outrebounded 17 of its last 18 opponents with its win over San Diego being the only occasion it has not happened when the Toreros drew even on the boards, 26-26.
• 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.
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.
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 eight games of 2012-13 to extend its school-record streak of sub-70 defensive performances to 40. 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, La.
OKLAHOMA HOMECOMING: Jacob Parker had a career afternoon in SFA’s win at Tulsa, scoring a career-high 16 points and pulling down four rebounds. A native of Bixby, Okla., which is just outside of Tulsa, Parker hit seven of his 10 shots from the field, including a pair of three-point buckets.
AGAINST THE BIG XII: SFA is 2-11 against teams from the Big XII in 12 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. This year the ‘Jacks play just one Big XII opponent, making their first trip to Norman since their upset of the Sooners in 2007.
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 leading the nation in scoring defense again, allowing just 49.5 points per game through its first eight contests, holding four of its opponents below 60 points.
SURRENDERING THE ARC: As one of the top defensive teams in the nation over the past decade, the ‘Jacks have done a solid job of defending the three-point shot; however, there have been nights when a team has caught fire from distance, including most recently Saturday when Lubbock Christian nailed 10 of their 22 three-point tries. The 10 triples were the most allowed by the ‘Jacks since last year when High Point hit 11 in February, but was just the third time in the past six seasons that an SFA opponent has made at least 10 threes.
HOME NON-CONFERENCE: SFA has won 38 of its last 40 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 66-5, overall, in home, non-conference games in 13 seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar.
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, but this year sports the league’s No. 3 rebounder in Taylor Smith (7.3 rpg) and is already third in the league in rebound margin, pulling down 7.6 rebounds per contest more than its opponent, just one year after leading the Southland in rebound margin (+7.1 rpg). The ‘Jacks have not been outrebounded by an opponent in seven tries this season.
HAL DO YOU DO?: Senior point guard Hal Bateman dished out a career-high 11 assists in SFA’s season-opening win over Howard Payne, the most for a Lumberjack since Eric Bell had 11 dimes in a road win at Northern Illinois during the 2007-08 season. Three games later he doled out another 10, making him the first ‘Jack since Marcus Clark in 2004-05 to have multiple games in the same season with 10+ assists.
DIALING LONG DISTANCE: The ‘Jacks did plenty of damage from the perimiter in its season-opening 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 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 22 blocks (2.8 bpg) in the first eight games of the season. Only two SFA players in the Division I era have blocked more shots in a single season than Smith’s 42 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 17 of 36 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 46.6 points per game through five 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 when trailing at the break. This season has followed suit with the ‘Jacks getting victories after taking a halftime lead into the locker room in each of its seven wins, having held four of those opponents to less than 20 points in the opening period.
SAFE AT HOME: In 12-plus seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar, the Lumberjacks have compiled a 141-35 (.798) record in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA is 337-126 (.726) all-time in the Coliseum. SFA has recorded seven straight seasons and nine campaigns in last 10 years with double-digit wins at home.
BOOM BOSTIC: Senior guard Antonio Bostic is averaging right at 10 points per game in eight games this year, but has saved his best performances for the stiffest competition. He’s averaging 14.0 point per game vs Division I opponents, including a career-high 23 points in a road win at Florida International that earned him Southland Conference Player of the Week honors.
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 226, trailing only Marshall Brown (345) and Bob Shelton (245). Kaspar also has 445 career wins between his time at SFA and Incarnate Word, second among active Southland Conference to Northwestern State’s Mike McConathy.
BELOW FIFTY: SFA held 14 opponents below 50 points each of the last two seasons. In 13 seasons under Danny Kaspar the Lumberjacks have held an opponent to 50 points or fewer on 58 occasions, losing just five of those games. This year, SFA has held four of its eight opponents under 50 points.
45-MINUTE MAN: 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. He played at least 40 minutes in 8 of the final 12 games of last season and finished third in the league in minutes per game with 34.2.