Monthly Archives: February 2010

College Basketball: Recapping Saturday’s 76-57 win vs Northwestern State

Texas State left fans scratching their heads Saturday afternoon after the 76-57 win against Northwestern State. Those in attendance all seemed to ask the same question: “Where was this team all season?”

It was a complete team effort for the Bobcats as four players scored in double figures led by Diamond Ford’s 16 points. Victoria Davis, Kelsey Krupa and Chika Ofoegbu each chipped in 11 points.
Texas State also pounded the glass and outrebounded the Demons, 46-28. Aimee Hilburn paced the Bobcats with 11 boards while Ofoegbu added seven.
NSU closed Texas State’s lead to 33-31 with 18:13 remaining in the second half, but the Bobcats soon blew it open. Texas State went on a 24-9 run in the next nine minutes to gain the upper hand.
Player of the Game: Hilburn and Ofoegbu split the honor with their solid all-around games. They combined for 18 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks. The Demons simply looked overmatched in the post.

Trend of the Game: While NSU dominated the paint (34 points), the Demons couldn’t manage to convert any misses into second-chance points. The Bobcats scored 12 second-chance points to NSU’s two and wore down the Demons down the stretch.
Quotables
Texas State head coach Suzanne Fox on the game: “It was one of the deals where we’ve been telling the kids to keep believing and keep doing what we’re telling you because we’re going to turn the corner and tonight we did.”
Fox on the Bobcats’ tenacity on the boards: “I can’t tell you how long we talked to the kids about competing for balls and battling and I thought the kids really responded and got after it today.”
Fox on not being mathematically eliminated from the SLC postseason: “Until you play the last game or add the math up and you aren’t in it, you want to find a way to get into it. Whether you get into it with 14 wins or four wins, you’re in it and then everybody is on zero.”

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College Football: Observations from Friday’s practice

  • It was the first day of full pads during spring practice. Texas State wanted to go in full pads Thursday, but lost a day due to inclement weather and were forced to shuffle plans.
  • If there are any questions about the strength of Bobcats defensive back Drenard Williams’ shoulder, he’s slowly laying them to rest. Williams had two vicious hits Friday afternoon — the first on Darius Bolden and the second on Cody Matthews.
  • Speaking of Matthews, I’d look for him to be a red-zone target for the Bobcats. He’s bulked up and can definitely go up and get the ball.
  • Redshirt freshman Roger Martinez, of Kyle, doesn’t look like the same guy. Martinez put on about 20 pounds of muscle and is tossing around offensive lineman like rag dolls (see the video).
  • Both Eric Soza and Tim Hawkins are getting reps with the first team.
  • Soza is still throwing the best ball and has an unreal spiral, but Hawkins has straightened out his passes.
  • Hawkins had trouble with a few quarterback-center exchanges (also known as snaps) but as practice wore on, got better. He also needs to quit his happy feet in the pocket. There are times on both the 1st-and-10 and 3rd-and-long drills where coaches had to tell him to settle down and read the field before taking off running.
  • Quarterbacks aren’t wearing the green, no-hit jerseys any longer. They’re fair game like the rest of the team.
  • Want to know why? Check out my interview with new co-offensive coordinator Slade Nagle when I post it either tonight or tomorrow.

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College Football: A quick video from the first day of full pads at spring practice

http://www.twitvid.com/player/5761E

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College Basketball: A candid interview with Terrence Rencher

In the first 10 minutes following Wednesday night’s 77-70 loss to Stephen F. Austin, Texas State head coach Doug Davalos was nowhere to be seen. Davalos usually comes down to speak with the media before the NCAA-allotted 10-minute “cool down” period is finished.
Twenty minutes elapsed before there was any sight of a coach of the Bobcats.

Finally, Texas State assistant coach Terrence Rencher (at left) ambled his way to the court to conduct the post-game press conference. Rencher told the media he’d be answering questions and not Davalos, but Davalos did speak following the game (in his office) with one intrepid reporter.
When Rencher talked, he gave an honest opinion of the state of the Bobcats. Rencher was none too pleased with what happened in the game or what he’s seen out of the team recently.
Rencher on what turned the tide in the game: “There were a couple of breakdowns before the end of the half and we never recovered, which is inexcusable.”
Rencher on how the coaches tried to rally the team: “We told them that we had to get back to the foundation of what got us the lead in the first place, which was playing solid, sticking to the game plan and forcing tough shots. For some reason, we lost focus in the second half.”
Rencher on what allowed SFA to take control of the game: “They have veteran guard play. They have solid, steady leadership at the guard position.”
Rencher on if the Bobcats have leaders in the backcourt: “No, and that’s not to take shots at anybody, but I can say that about any position on our team. We need consistent play and guys that you know every game what you’re going to get from them.”
Rencher on if Texas State is a contender to win the SLC: “No. I’m not going to play politics with you. We’ve had flashes this year of a team that could compete with anybody in our league, but then we’ve shown too many flashes where we’re not that team. Today, at this point, we’re not a championship contender. I’m just being brutally honest.”

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College Basketball: Recapping Wednesday night’s 77-70 loss to SFA

My old journalism professors used to tell us to “show, not tell” the story. So, to heed to their advice, allow me to SHOW you Texas State head coach Doug Davalos’ words before I offer any of my own.

Davalos on the flow of the game: “I thought we played well defensively and in the second half, defensively, we were a totally different team. In the second half, they’re playing defense without the coaches calling out screens and that really scared me today the way we approached defense.”
Davalos on the play of the reserves: “Look at their bench. Our bench to their bench, 28 to 26, these guys don’t play and they come in and it’s disheartening because you look at guys like Jordan Glenn — who’s a stud, Eric Bell — who is a really good point guard and they don’t do anything. Their bench — guys who don’t ever play, step up and play better than guys that play all the time for us.”
Davalos on the play of the reserves: “When we play 10 against their 10, our six through 10 have to be better than their six through 10 because that’s what we work on. They don’t. Their six through 10 is playing defense against their starters every day at practice and our six through 10 get reps. Our six through 10 have played, led us in scoring and played minutes. They have to be better than the other team’s 6 through 10. That’s our philosophy. Guys who don’t usually play (on other teams) have outplayed us. It makes you scratch your head.”
Davalos on the play of the reserves: Well, you certainly get the picture by now.
Texas State didn’t get any help from its bench tonight. The Bobcats only received solid contributions out of three players (Cameron Johnson, Emmanuel Bidias a Moute and Uriel Segura) while the other eight were basically non-existent.
Johnson bounced back from a slow first half to finish with another double-double (18 points and 12 rebounds). Moute didn’t play exceptionally well, but finished with 15 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Segura, who started to keep defensive heat off Ryan White, scored 16 points but did little else.
White did score eight points to lead the useless, but turned the ball over five times. J.B. Conley and Jonathan Sloan didn’t play a single minute in the second half while Dylan Hale and John Rybak were borderline invisible on the floor (0 for 5, 0 for 4 from 3-point range). John Bowman committed more fouls than he scored points in 22 minutes and Tony Bishop lacked any passion after shaking off a knee injury in the first half.
Turning point: There was a five-point swing at the end of the first half which gave the Lumberjacks the momentum. SFA guard Denzel Barnes knocked down two free throws to cut Texas State’s lead to 33-25 with less than 15 seconds remaining until halftime. The Bobcats called timeout in order to have the last shot, but White was whistled for a charge when he barreled recklessly into the lane 11 seconds later. White’s mistake gave SFA the ball and Barnes hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to bring the Lumberjacks within five.
Player of the Game: SFA guard Eddie Williams. He played 37 minutes Wednesday night and scored 20 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished four assists. Williams drew the charge on White that led to the momentum-changing 3-pointer by Barnes. Honorable mention: SFA forward Jereal Scott and Texas State forward Cameron Johnson.
Quotables
Davalos on starting Segura: “We put Uriel in there because he’s shooting 40 percent. Nobody else is even close. So we said, let’s put him on the two, next to Ryan (White), who is one of our best shooters and take the pressure off of him. He’s going to start again.”
Davalos musing on the game: “This is a game we could have won, but I’m not going to say we should have won. In the first half, things were going well and in the second half, we didn’t defend any more. This is a diamond offensively for us to shoot 44 percent. We hit enough shots, but we turned the ball over and we didn’t get shots.”
SFA head coach Danny Kaspar on the Bobcats’ play in the first half: “I thought they controlled the tempo of the game and if you let Texas State control the tempo on this floor, you’re going to lose.”
Kaspar on what he changed in the second half: “We did some soul searching and talking in the second half and we only committed four turnovers and shot the ball pretty well. A lot of players contributed.”

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College Basketball: Quotables from Tuesday’s practice


Texas State head coach Doug Davalos on the difference between the last two games (a 14-point win against Lamar and a 3-point loss to Nicholls):
“Our defense has been good enough to win those basketball games, but our offense in one was okay and the other was poor — and it began with turnovers.”

Davalos on his team’s poor shooting percentage (an SLC-worst 39 percent): “If we’re turning the ball over, it’s giong to affect our shot selection because we get a lot of our shots in transition. If we’re making transition turnovers, we’re not going to get as good of shots.”

Davalos on his team missing wide-open jumpers: “When we get open looks, we need to knock them down. Now, as a coach, I’m never going to put that on my players. What I try to do game to game is try to find better ways to make the offense run better, to get guys better shots, trying to get guys who are struggling a quick look inside or any number of things. That’s what you do as a coach. You don’t say, ‘You guys have to hit shots,’ and then walk out of the film session. You try to fix it with specifics and hope they come back the next game ready to knock them down.”

Davalos on never beating Stephen F. Austin head coach Danny Kaspar: “I’m not worried about that. The thing about basketball is that every year you have different players. I’m not playing Kasper one-on-one and we’re not trying to fool each other. We’re trying to get our teams prepared to play.”

Texas State forward J.B. Conley on his emergence during conference play: “I don’t know what it’s been, but I’m upset it’s taken 25 games or so to finally happen.”

Conley on the importance of the next four games: “These games are really important because we’re not in the conference tournament yet. We have to win, we’re thinking, two or three out of four to be in. They’re really important for seeding.”

SFA head coach Danny Kaspar on his team’s season thus far: “We haven’t accomplished what we set out to do this year yet. A win tonight would go a long way to accomplishing those goals, but we’re not looking past Texas State.”

Kaspar on why he worries about the Bobcats: “They’re a team that can turn it on at any moment. They have some explosive players starting with Cameron Johnson and Ryan White. You need to make sure you know where both are at every moment in the game. White is difficult for us to game plan because he’s so quick. We need to keep him in front of us.”

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College Basketball: An interesting and telling chart

College Basketball
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College Basketball: SLC men’s standings with remaining opponents

Only four games remain in the Southland Conference regular season as teams are jockeying for position going into the postseason tournament.

Right now, Sam Houston State has a leg up on the competition with its 11-1 record. The Bearkats can clinch the No. 1 seed with two more wins.
Behind SHSU, it’s anyone’s guess what’s going to happen.
The next four seeds are up for grabs with Stephen F. Austin, Texas-Arlington, Southeastern Louisiana and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi all going at it. Don’t forget about Texas State hanging in there with Texas-San Antonio and Lamar hot on its heels.
Team (Record) — Remaining Opponents
SHSU (11-1) — McNeese, UTA, @NSU, @Texas State
SFA (8-4) — @Texas State, A&M-CC, @UCA, UTSA
UTA (7-5) — Lamar, @SHSU, Nicholls, @A&M-CC
SLU (7-5) — @A&M-CC, @UCA, McNeese, NSU
A&M-CC (7-5) — SLU, @SFA, @Lamar, UTA
Texas State (6-6) — SFA, @NSU, @UTSA, SHSU
UTSA (6-6) — NSU, @Lamar, Texas State, @SFA
Lamar (5-7) — @UTA, UTSA, A&M-CC, @Nicholls
NSU (5-7) — @UTSA, Texas State, SHSU, @SLU
McNeese (4-8) — @SHSU, Nicholls, @SLU, UCA
Nicholls (4-8) — UCA, @McNeese, @UTA, Lamar
UCA* (2-10) — @Nicholls, SLU, SFA, @McNeese
* Ineligible for SLC postseason play due to last season of NCAA-issued moratorium

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College Football: Notes from the first spring practice

  • Eric Soza was throwing the best ball out of the quarterbacks. Tim Hawkins and Bryan Hill tossed a bunch of wobblers.
  • Jarrad Stewart (the transfer from Utah) wore No. 8. It was Travis Houston’s number last year, so maybe they are passing it around to the year’s best defensive player.
  • Karrington Bush was jogging around without much of a limp. Bush had surgery in November to repair his knee.
  • Drenard Williams fully extended for several passes, which was good to see. Williams, a senior defensive back, had shoulder surgery last summer but looks to be back to full strength.
  • There are a ton of new faces on the defensive line. Many need to put on some more weight.

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College Basketball: Bobcats fall on last-second shot to Nicholls

THIBODAUX, La. — One step forward, two steps back.

Right when Texas State is ready to climb into the next echelon of teams of the Southland Conference, the Bobcats tumble backward.

Texas State struggled from the field and turned the ball over too many times in its 66-63 loss to Nicholls State Saturday afternoon. The Bobcats fell to 12-14 overall and 6-6 in the SLC.

“We didn’t have enough guys step up and play,” Texas State head coach Doug Davalos said. “You can’t win games when you shoot 35 percent and have 21 turnovers.”

The Bobcats didn’t come out ready to play inside Stopher Gymnasium.

Texas State missed its first three shots and turned the ball over three times in the first four minutes. The Colonels took advantage of the mistakes and raced out to an 8-0 lead.

When the Bobcats finally got it in gear, turnovers derailed any semblance of momentum. Texas State tied it up at 11-all with 9:55 remaining, but allowed Nicholls to go on a 10-4 run over the next four minutes.

The Bobcats held the Colonels to a single basket in the final five minutes of the half and took a two-point lead into intermission.

Texas State continued to find more iron than nylon in the second half and tried to make up for it by fouling. The Bobcats put Nicholls in the bonus midway through the stanza.

The Colonels opened up an 11-point advantage soon after, but Texas State wouldn’t fade away. The Bobcats battled back and even took a 63-60 lead with 26 seconds remaining.

Texas State got lost on defense and allowed Nicholls to hit a game-tying 3-pointer and then after a Ryan White offensive foul with less than five seconds left, the Colonels buried the game winner.

“Terrible, terrible loss,” Davalos said. “It should have never happened.”

• Tyler Mayforth

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