You know a season is close when a conference releases its respective preseason poll and preseason all-conference team.
Today was the Sun Belt Conference’s turn to release its softball variant.
Texas State landed fourth in the poll behind UL Lafayette, South Alabama and Western Kentucky. Georgia State, Troy, UT Arlington and UL Monroe followed close behind.
No Bobcats were named to the preseason all-conference team, which featured three Jaguars, three Hilltoppers, three Panthers, three Ragin’ Cajuns, two Mavericks and one Trojan.
Texas State opens the 2014 season Feb. 7 in the CenturyLink Classic.
Another doubleheader for Texas State
Another split result.
Early on in the afternoon, the Bobcat women took down Western Kentucky by a score of 72-63. It was Texas State’s second consecutive victory as Zenarae Antoine’s team improved to 5-3 in the Sun Belt Conference.
Then in the nightcap, the Bobcat men pushed the second-place Hilltoppers to the brink. Texas State and WKU were tied at 62-all with 1:22 left, but Danny Kaspar’s team couldn’t pull out a win. It was a 68-64 loss by the Bobcats and yet another setback in which they kept it close late.
Here is some of what Kaspar had to say after the loss.
Kaspar on the play of freshman point guard Naiel Smith — “I was really pleased with how well Naiel played in a tough atmosphere against a tough team. We asked a lot of him tonight with Phil (Hawkins) being sick and Naiel played 33 hard minutes for us.”
Kaspar on his team’s first half after which it led 30-27 at halftime — “We played a very good first half. We played just as good as we needed to do to be able to win at Western Kentucky. I thought we did a great job.”
Kaspar on what silver lining he is finding — “I’m not pleased with our record, but I have seen great improvement with our defense, teamwork and effort.”
Earlier today, I spoke with Texas State head coach Danny Kaspar about Saturday’s game at Western Kentucky. Here is some of what he had to say about the Hilltoppers.
Kaspar on WKU in general: “I’m very impressed with their team. They have a very good inside scorer in (George) Fant and a very prolific player in T.J. Price. They surround these two with quality role players, any of whom can come at you with a 20-point night.”
Kaspar on Price: “He is a well-rounded scorer and can shoot the three very well. He doesn’t mind taking it to the basket. Price is a strong guard with good size.”
Kaspar on what WKU likes to do defensively: “They like to run a full-court press that will speed up the game and test your ball handlers. They like to play man-to-man half-court defense as well.”
Kaspar on what it’s going to take his team to win: “We need to play very hard and very smart to have a chance to win this game. If we play like we played at Monroe, we can have success.”
So Texas State unveiled its new baseball uniforms today.
Texas State sophomore forward Emani Gant slams home two of his career-high 21 points Saturday night against Troy.
Want a good idea of what happened today in Texas State’s Sun Belt Conference doubleheader versus Troy? Our game stories are a good place to start.
Here is Joe Vozzelli’s story from the women’s game — Bobcats win overtime thriller
Here is Tyler Mayforth’s story from the men’s game — Texas State dunks Troy, 73-65
Overall, it was a solid night for the both Bobcat teams and it turned out to be Texas State’s first basketball sweep as a member of the Sun Belt Conference.
The Bobcats had the leading scorers in each game, as Erin Peoples led the women with 22 points and Emani Gant paved the way in the nightcap with a career-high 21 points. Peoples also played strong defense in an effort to slow down Troy’s Joanna Harden, the nation’s fourth-leading scorer.
With the win, the women improved to 4-3 in the Sun Belt. Danny Kaspar’s bunch is now 2-5 and won its first Division-I game at home in 2013-14.
Close game in the second half.
Texas State’s men fall cold from the field.
Opponent surges ahead. Bobcats can’t match.
Texas State loses.
Sound familiar? Well, it happened again Thursday night.
Texas State’s Wesley Davis and Joel Wright defend the perimeter against UT Arlington (SMDR).
There were several instances in Saturday’s game between Texas State and UT Arlington when Danny Kaspar’s team suffered through scoring droughts of longer than five minutes. Those were just in the first half.
For the Bobcats, it was more of the same throughout the rest of the game.
Spoke with Texas State head coach Danny Kaspar last night about the week of practice, Joel Wright and Saturday’s game with UT Arlington. Here are some of the excerpts.
Kaspar on the week of practice — “It’s been up and down. There is a lack of consistency in practice and that concerns me. I told the guys, ‘We need to decide whether we want to make something out of this season or not.’ Yesterday’s was better, so hopefully that was a step in the right direction.”
Kaspar on senior forward Joel Wright — “When Joel gets focused, he’s a talented played. A player like Joel can cause problems for opponents when he’s focused.”
Kaspar on UT Arlington — “Scott (Cross) has them running a totally different offense. It’s a fast-paced group. They don’t need a 30-second clock or even a 20-second clock. They really push the ball down the floor and it’s going to make us really have to play smart basketball.”
Kaspar on not winning a game at home versus a Division-I opponent — “We need to take care of and protect home court. We need to start winning some of these games for our fans and help our chances to get in the (Sun Belt Conference) Tournament.”
Kaspar on his team — “There is enough talent on this team where we can be a darkhorse, but they need to buy in and work hard. With how they played last Saturday, you’d think they bought in. They played very unselfish basketball and smart basketball. I’d like to see more of that.”
Players on Texas State’s bench celebrate a moment in a recent game (Photo by Gerald Castillo).
MONROE, La. — Texas State head coach Danny Kaspar didn’t have much to say to his team before it took the court Saturday afternoon at Louisiana-Monroe.
“I didn’t have a magic talk with them,” Kaspar said after his team’s resounding 61-36 win over the Warhawks. “I told them, ‘I’m tired of losing. I want it to stop. I hope you all feel the same way.’ They said, ‘Yes.’”
Did you read our profile of Emani Gant and Kavin Gilder-Tilbury?
If not, you should get on that since you’ll find out why Texas State head coach Danny Kaspar is so hard on the young duo. Gant is just a 19-year-old sophomore and Tilbury is a freshman forward, who played 39 minutes against UALR.
Here are some of the best quotes that didn’t make the story.