Lumberjack Game Notes: at Global Hoops Showcase
Dec. 20, 2011
GAME TIME: The ‘Jacks got back in the win column on Saturday with a 64-57 win over Texas College, and now head west for three games in the Global Hoops Showcase on the campus of the University of Oregon. It is SFA’s second classic of the year after splitting two games at its own Etech Lumberjack Classic last week. SFA will take on Prairie View A&M in the opener before clashing with North Carolina Central and Oregon on the final two days of the event.
LAST GAME: Jereal Scott tied a career high with 30 points and the Lumberjacks overcame a season high 21 turnovers in knocking off Texas College 64-57 on Saturday. Scott was 11-of-19 from the floor and 8-for-9 from the line with nine rebounds, but was only joined in double figures by Antonio Bostic with 12 points as the Lumberjacks (5-4) shot just 39 percent from the field for the game, including just 4-for-15 from beyond the arc.
THE FIELD: The Panthers enter the tournament 3-7 after snapping its seven-game losing streak with an 88-55 win over Dallas Christian on Sunday. NCCU, meanwhile, comes in having dropped its last two games to North Carolina State and Eastern Kentucky after reeling off five straight wins. The host Ducks, enter the tournament 6-3 and on the heels of its first home loss of the year on Sunday vs Virginia.
vs. THE OPPONENTS: SFA is 7-1 all-time against the Panthers, but has not faced off with PVAM since a 78-56 win in 1987. The ‘Jacks dropped its only meeting with Oregon, 86-64, in 1997 and have never faced North Carolina Central.
COVERAGE: Saturday’s game will be aired live on the airwaves via KTBQ Q107.7 FM in the Nacogdoches/Lufkin area with Rob Meyers on the call. Pregame begins approximately 15 minutes prior to tipoff. The game will also be streamed live via www.goducks.com
UP NEXT: SFA hosts UT-Tyler in the final game for the 2011 calendar year on Dec. 30 at William R. Johnson Coliseum before opening Southland play at Texas State on Jan. 4.
TOURNAMENT TEAM: Over the last four seasons, SFA is 10-2 in six 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. In 2009, 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 split two games at this year’s Etech Lumberjack Classic in Nacogdoches and have three more games left at the Global Hoops Showcase in Eugene, Ore.
AGAINST THE PAC 12: The ‘Jacks play their fair share of schools from BCS conferences; however, the Pac 12 has not fielded many opponents for SFA over the years. In fact, Thursday’s game vs Oregon will be just the second time under Danny Kaspar that SFA has taken on a Pac 12 team. SFA opened the 2001-02 season, Kaspar’s second at SFA, with a 92-61 loss at Arizona State.
NEED TO GET AWAY?: When SFA faces off with Prairie View A&M in the opener of the Global Hoops Showcase, it will be the first time since the two schools who sit just 131 miles apart have faced each other since the 1986-87 season. Oddly enough, the teams will travel half way across the country for this meeting with each campus sitting nearly 1800 miles from the Matthew Knight Arena.
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 the floor, Jereal Scott has positioned himself well for a senior season that could leave his name sprinkled throughout the SFA record book. He has hit double figures seven times, including averaging 15.0 points on the year and now needs just 23 more points to become just the eighth Lumberjack with 1,000 points in a career in the Division I era.
SILVER LINING: SFA was far from sparkling in its 64-57 win over Texas College, but despite a season-high 21 turnovers the ‘Jacks still did have several bright spots. Guards Darius Gardner and Antonio Bostic each tied career highs in assists, Gardner with seven and Bostic with five, while big man Jereal Scott lit up the Steers for 30 points to tie his career high which he set last season at Texas State.
COMING AND GOING: Jereal Scott was a hard man to slow down last season, scoring in double figures in 50 of 63 games over the last two years, including 22 of 28 games played last season with SFA going 3-3 in the six games where he didn’t total at least 10 points. The games at San Diego and Texas Tech marked only the third time since he moved into the starting lineup as a sophomore that Scott has gone consecutive games without hitting double figures, with it happening just once each of the past two seasons. He has followed that up with six straight games with at least a dozen points.
HAVE A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS: The ‘Jacks had 24 assists on 29 made baskets in its 74-48 win over Alabama State. The 24 assists are the most assists by a Lumberjack team in a single game since it had 24 dimes on March 2, 2006 at Sam Houston State. Junior point guard Hal Bateman had eight assists in the game vs the Hornets, marking just the fourth time in the past three seasons SFA has had a player with eight assists in a single game.
HOME DEFENSE: SFA held its opponents to 50 points or fewer in nine of 16 games at home last season, and allowed just 51.6 points per game at home in 2010-11. In five games at home this year SFA is allowing just 54.4 points per game, including just 43 points to Centenary in the season opener.
HOME NON-CONFERENCE: After knocking off Texas College on Saturday, SFA has now won 32 of its last 34 home, non-conference games, dating to the 2006-07 season. Before it’s 58-56 loss to Florida International, the only other SFA loss during that stretch was a two-point defeat against Texas Tech in 2009-10. The Lumberjacks are now 61-5, overall, in home, non-conference games in 12 seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar.
SAFE AT HOME: In 10-plus seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar, the Lumberjacks have compiled a 131-33 (.798) record in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA is 327-124 (.725) all-time in the Coliseum. SFA has recorded six straight seasons and eight campaigns in nine years with double-digit wins at home.
CLASSIC RESULTS: SFA’s loss to FIU was its first in three years of the Etech Lumberjack Classic. The ‘Jacks are now 5-1 in the Classic and have hosted the event each year since the 2009-10 season. The ’Jacks are now 11-1, 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.
BOUNCING BACK: SFA is 10-3 over the last two seasons in games following a loss. Over the last four seasons, the ’Jacks are 21-0 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.
KASPAR GETS 200: Danny Kaspar closed out the 2010-11 season just one win shy of 200 for his career at Stephen F. Austin, but it did not take him long to register that win this year as the ‘Jacks got him the win in front of a home crowd with a season-opening, 84-43, win 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).
BREAKOUT BROUSSARD: Junior guard Kevin Broussard had gone for just 14 points in SFA’s first four games, but exploded onto the scene in Wednesday’s win over Wiley College with a 23-point night. The transfer from Coffeyville CC hit his first seven shots from the floor, including his first six three-point tries to become the first Lumberjack since Josh Alexander in 2009 to have at least six triples in a single game. He is now 9 for 16 (.563) from behind the arc this season, with the three-point bucket accounting for 27 of his 37 points for the year.
BURYING THE MINERS: The Lumberjacks held UTEP to just 35 points in a 53-35 win on Saturday in El Paso. It was the lowest point total for UTEP at home since the Don Haskins Center opened in 1976, eclipsing its previous low of 41 set in 1980. The 35 points was also the lowest opponent point total for SFA vs a Division I team since becoming Division I itself entering the 1986-87 season, and the second-lowest opponent total overall in the Danny Kaspar era, falling just short of the 33 points allowed to Huston-Tillotson in 2007-08.
BELOW FIFTY: SFA held 10 opponents below 50 points last season, and have held three opponents under 50 this season, most recently allowing just 48 points to Alabama State on Dec. 10. In 12 seasons under Danny Kaspar the Lumberjacks have held an opponent to 50 points or fewer on 54 occasions, losing just five of those games.
AGAINST THE BIG XII: SFA is 2-11 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. SFA has already fallen this season at Texas Tech and at Texas A&M, making this season the fourth time in the last five years for SFA to play two Big XII opponents.
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. This year they are right back where they have been accustomed, leading the SLC and ranking ninth in the nation in scoring defense at 54.6 points per contest.
NOT ACCEPTING CHARITY: SFA has not been taking advantage of the free throw line through eight games, hitting just 63.2 percent of its shots from the stripe; however, logic says that number should go up as SFA has never shot lower than in the 2001-02 season when it was a 63.1-percent team from the free-throw line in the Divsion I era (beginning in 1988-88). Still, the ‘Jacks have been better as of late, hitting 70.1 percent of its shots from the foul line in its last four games. In all, SFA has shot a solid 69.1 percent from the stripe in the 12 years of the Danny Kaspar era.
HITTING THE BREAKS: The ‘Jacks avoided its first three-game losing streak in non-conference play since the 2004-05 season with it’s win at UTEP. That year SFA dropped consecutive road games to Grambling and Alabama A&M before falling in a four-point contest at home to Jackson State.
BOOM BOSTIC: Antonio Bostic never bucketed more than 15 points in a game during his sophomore year, but did manage to hit double figures eight times. This year, however, he has been one of SFA’s go-to hands offensivel, ranking second on the team with a 12.3 ppg average. He has bettered his career scoring high twice this season, topping out with a 22-point effort at San Diego and has been in double figures in seven of SFA’s nine games this year.
SUB-SEVENTY: SFA has held each of its first nine opponents under 70 points this season, but still has a long way to go to hit the longest streak of sub-70 defensive performances to open up a season. The nine straight is the longest such streak since the 2008-09 season; however, the 2007-08 team did not allow a team to break 70 points in a game until the 16th game of the year and just allowed 70 on four occassions. The 2008-09 team just allowed 70 twice for the year.
THE GARDNER DID IT: Not known for his scoring output, sophomore point guard Darius Gardner was key in helping the ‘Jacks nearly pull out a road win at San Diego. Gardner only scored three points in the opener vs Centenary, but canned a pair of threes and pumped in 16 points to go with four assists against the Toreros. It was a career best for Gardner, bettering a 15-point outing last year in a win at Sam Houston State. He curently stands third on the team in scoring at 6.7 points per game.
START ME UP: The Lumberjacks saw a pair of freshmen get action in it’s season-opener vs Centenary in guard Micah Delph and forward Jacob Parker; however, it was the 6-6 Parker that, despite a stat line that did not sparkle, turned the most heads. Parker found himself on the floor at the opening tip, making him the first Lumberjack freshman since Marcus Clark in 2002 to be in the starting lineup for the season opener. He started each of SFA’s first five games before giving way to transfer Jonathan King.
TURNOVERS, TURNOVERS: SFA forced 33 turnovers in a season-opening win over Centenary, which was the most since the ‘Jacks forced 33 turnovers vs Schreiner College on Nov. 21, 2006. Through nine games the ‘Jacks have managed the third-best turnover margin in the Southland with a +3.9 differential.
NOT NEEDING THE DISTANCE: The Lumberjacks scored 84 points and won by a 41-point margin in its season opener, but did it without the benefit of the long ball. SFA was just 3-for-15 in shooting from 3-point range, which makes Friday’s game the biggest margin of victory for SFA with no more than three 3-point makes since the 99-54 win over Schreiner College in 2006.
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 is now 8-4 in season-opening games under head coach Danny Kaspar. The Lumberjacks have compiled a 13-13 record in season openers as a Division I program (since 1986-87 season). Under Kaspar, the Lumberjacks are 7-0 when opening the season at home and 12-6 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.
CAN’T PUT OUT THE FIRE: The Texas Tech Red Raiders were red hot from the field in Lubbock, especially in the first half. The ‘Jacks had trouble slowing them down as Tech hit 14 of 17 shots (82.4) percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes. It was just the third time since 2006-07 that SFA has allowed a team to shoot at least 70 percent in a single half, while the Red Raider’s 62.9 shooting percentage for the game was the highest allowed by an SFA squad since North Texas shot 65.9 percent from the field on Dec. 6, 2006.
HOME OPENER: SFA knocked off Centenary, 84-43, in the 2011-12 home opener. Head coach Danny Kaspar’s teams are a perfect 12-0 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.
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.
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.