Sat down with Texas State head men’s basketball coach Doug Davalos yesterday and wrapped up the 2009-10 season.
The Bobcats finished the season with three consecutive wins to attain the No. 5 seed in the Southland Conference tournament. Texas State didn’t fare well in Katy, falling in the first round after holding a double-digit lead at halftime, for the second consecutive season.
For part two of the interview, check out Sunday’s edition of the San Marcos Daily Record.
Q: Were you surprised at how well Sam Houston State played Baylor in the first round of the NCAA Tournament?
A: I was surprised they didn’t make shots. I’ve sat and watched that happen to our program and those guys — Ashton Mitchell and Corey Allmond, specifically — all year long had knocked down shots. I don’t know what it was but they were like 5 for 30. If they were 10 for 30, they would have won the game. They represented our conference very well, but I really think they had a good enough team to win a couple games.
Q: What is it about the NCAA Tournament that allows certain teams to pull off major upsets (Northern Iowa, Cornell, Ohio, etc.)?
A: It’s not like you line up a 5-foot-11, 240-pound offensive lineman is going to beat up on a 300-pound lineman every game. He’s not going to get this inner strength and blow him off the line. Football is a different monster. You don’t have guys that run a 4.7 40-yard dash aren’t going to be able to catch guys who run a 4.3 40. The great thing about basketball is that any night you can have someone step up. Sometimes a little guy, because of the 3-point line, nobody is out of games.
Q: Speaking of tournaments, have you watched the game tape from your team’s first-round loss in the SLC tournament?
A: I went back and watched some of the game. I still haven’t been able to watch the whole thing. I will watch it at some point, but I don’t want to watch it right now. I watch every game a day after, but this one, I’m not getting ready for another game and there’s no point beside making me feel like crap.
Q: What are your impressions of Reid Koenen (a 6-foot, 7-inch forward from Racine, Wisc., who is the first signing of 2010 recruiting class)?
A: He’s a really good shooter. He reminds me a little bit in the way he plays of (Texas-San Antonio guard) Melvin Johnson. He’s a tall shooter with guard skills. He’s a good academic kid. We have to get him stronger but he’s going to be a good player for us.
Q: There have been some questions as to the academic standing of AJ Stewart and Eddie Rios. Can you offer an update to their status and are you worried about any other players?
A: They’re both going to school. I don’t have a status for you until the semester is over. They’re here, but their situation is going to be determined by how they finish out the semester. We totally have AJ worrying about academics right now. That started at the beginning of this semester. His total semester was to focus on academics and everything else doesn’t matter unless he takes care of his academics. The people I’m not worried about are those guys who have gone past the eligibility portion and are working towards their degree, like John Rybak, Jonathan Sloan and Ryan White. In the sport of men’s basketball, every spring, there’s going to be some guys who have to pick it up. Hopefully it’s one or two, but sometimes it’s four or five. That’s just the nature of the game and in fairness to our guys, they miss a lot of school for basketball-related activities.