NACOGDOCHES, TX (News Release) - STORY LINES
• The Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team will look to extend their six-game win streak on Wednesday,Dec. 17, against Texas State in a 7 p.m. (CT) tip inside William R. Johnson Coliseum. The game, marking the fourth of a five-game homestand, will be streamed on SFA All Access and broadcast on Q107.7 FM with Rob Meyers on the call. The game will also mark the return of former head coach Danny Kaspar.
• The Lumberjacks (7-3) beat the house on their trip to Las Vegas, snapping a three-game losing streak, and the success has since continued. SFA downed Prairie View A&M (73-61) and Austin Peay (83-62) in the 2014 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational at Orleans Arena to win its respective bracket, before rolling Memphis (64-52) inside FedExForum to open the month of December. The 'Jacks then returned to Nacogdoches, where they have picked up wins over Long Beach State (74-45), Ouachita Baptist (84-60) and North Texas (59-48).
• SFA is looking to continue its success under second-year head coach Brad Underwood. Last season, the 'Jacks became the first Southland Conference team to win 29 games in the regular season and then became the first 30-plus win team in conference history with two wins in Katy, Texas, host site of the league's tournament, and one in the NCAA Tournament to finish 32-3. The 32 wins surpassed the 1985 Louisiana Tech team that finished 29-3 after reaching the "Sweet 16" and set a new school record for most wins in a single season, passing the 1971-72 'Jack squad that went 31-3 and advanced five games in the NAIA Tournament, and picked up the program's first win in the NCAA Tournament.
• In 2013-14, SFA finished a perfect 15-0 at home for a second consecutive year, while the team's 29-game overall win streak obliterated the former conference record of 19 set by Louisiana Tech in 1992-93 and 1993-94 and ranked led the nation for the 'Jacks entering the third round of the NCAA Tournament, following Wichita State's 78-76 loss to Kentucky the same afternoon.
THE LAST TIME OUT
• Juniors Jared Johnson and Thomas Walkup each recorded double figure performances to fuel SFA to its sixth straight win in a 59-48 victory over North Texas on Sunday afternoon inside William R. Johnson Coliseum.
• Following the tilt with Texas State, the 'Jacks will close their homestand with Arkansas Tech on Saturday, Dec. 20, in a 2 p.m. tip. SFA will then wrap up the month of December and its non-conference schedule at Cal State Northridge (Dec. 29).
• SFA vs. TEXAS STATE: The 'Jacks will meet Texas State for the 166th time on the hardwood when the two teams face off on Wednesday, Dec. 17, inside William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA leads the all-time series 100-65, having won its last four meetings and 15 of its last 16 against the Bobcats. Inside WRJ Coliseum, the 'Jacks have won their last 10 meetings against TXST. SFA's last home loss to the Bobcats was a 54-53 defeat on Feb. 10, 2001, while its last overall loss was in a in a 66-61 defeat in San Marcos, Texas, on Feb. 2, 2011. The game has added significance as it marks the return of former head coach Danny Kaspar.
• KASPAR RETURNS: Wednesday's game against Texas State marks the return of former head coach Danny Kaspar. Kaspar resigned from SFA on April 4, 2013, to take the helm of the Bobcat program. In 13 seasons with the 'Jacks, Kaspar amassed a 246-141 record. The third longest tenured coach of the men's basketball team, his 246 wins ranked second all-time at SFA. At SFA, Kaspar posted seven 20-win seasons, winning three Southland Conference regular season titles (2008,2009, 2013) and one SLC Tournament title (2009). Kaspar guided the 'Jacks to three postseason appearances, making the National Invitation Tournament in 2008 and 2013 and the program's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2009. He was named SLC Coach of the Year after winning the regular season in both the 2007-08 and 2012-13 seasons.
• SCOUTING TEXAS STATE: Texas State enters Wednesday's tip 5-2 on the season under second-year head coach Danny Kaspar. The Bobcats, coming off a 8-23 season last season, are looking to bounce back from a 59-27 loss at Texas on Saturday, Dec. 13. Against the Longhorns, TXST was limited to just nine points in the first half and 18 points in the second half, a season-low in offensive output in both halves and for an entire game. The Bobcats, prior to the loss, were on a three-game win streak with victories over Howard Payne (68-39), Texas Lutheran (72-31) and Prairie View A&M (81-65). TXST also has wins over Seattle (62-53) and Lamar (65-55), with its other loss coming in a 80-67 defeat at Texas-San Antonio.
The Bobcats are led offensively by junior Emani Gant, who is averaging 14.5 points per game. The 6-8 forward is the only TXST player averaging double figures. Gant is also the team leader in rebounds (7.3), steals (2.5) and assists (2.7), ranking second in blocks (0.8). Sophomore Kendell Ramlal leads TXST in blocks with six on the season, averaging just under one denial per game at 0.9.
Through seven games, the Bobcats lead their opponent by 8.6 in the scoring margin (63.1-54.6), ranking fourth nationally in turnover margin (6.0), 11th in steals per game (10.1) and 12th in defensive scoring (54.6). TXST is shooting .445 (158-0-355) from the floor, .312 (29-of-93) from beyond the arc and .669 (97-of 145) from the free throw line. Of the 158 made field goals for the Bobcats this season, the majority of come inside the arc. TXST has made 29 3-pointers on the season, accounting for just 18.4% of its made baskets from the floor. Despite having all 14 Bobcats standing over 6-feet tall and seven 6-6 or taller, TXST has been out rebounded by a 3.3 margin (29.6 -32.9) by their opposition. TXST is forcing 19.0 turnovers per game.
• SFA's LAST TIME OUT: Johnson led all with a season-high 17 points, shooting 5-of-14 from the floor with three made 3-pointers and four made free throws, while Walkup netted 13 points for the Lumberjacks on 5-of-9 shooting with one 3-pointer and a 2-for-2 showing from the charity stripe. Walkup also finished with eight rebounds.
Senior Tanner Clayton nearly joined Johnson and Walkup, just missing double figures with nine points. Senior Jacob Parker, despite being held scoreless in the first half, posted seven points and pulled down nine rebounds against the Mean Green to tie his season high.
SFA, despite tying its season-low for field goal percentage at 33.3% (17-of-51), forced a season-low for its opponent, holding UNT to a 29.3% efficiency (12-of-41). The 29.3 field goal percentage is also a season-low for the Mean Green.
Pts In Paint - Tied 14-14 Pts Off Turnovers - SFA 21-12 2nd Chance Pts - Tied 6-6
Fast Break Pts - Tied 2-2 Bench Pts - UNT 16-13
• FROM DOWNTOWN: Over 29% of SFA's made field goals this season have come from beyond the arc. The 'Jacks have made 71-of-212 (.335) attempts from 3-point land, while shooting 239-of-550 (.435) from the floor. SFA's 3-point shooting is over double their opponent in converted attempts and almost double in overall shots. When facing SFA, the opponent is 31-of-115 (.270) from deep.
• COMFORT IN HALFTIME LEAD: When leading at halftime, the 'Jacks are 34-1 all-time under head coach Brad Underwood. SFA's lone loss when taking a lead into the lockerroom was at Texas on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, just the third game of Underwood's tenure both with the 'Jacks and as a head coach at the Div. I level. Since then, SFA has won 32 consecutive games under Underwood when on top after the first 20 minutes.
• MID-MAJOR TOP 25: SFA currently checks in at No. 8 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25. The 'Jacks were previously tenth in the poll for the last two weeks.
• PERFECT FROM THE LINE: Senior Tanner Clayton enjoyed steady success at the free throw line through SFA's first seven games. The native of San Diego, California, was 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. He is currently 7-of-9 (.778), while the 'Jacks are 154-of-215 (.716) on the year.
• PARKER's ALL-TIME WINS: Senior forward Jacob Parker recorded the 86th win of his Lumberjack career after Sunday's 59-48 win over North Texas. The native of Bixby, Okla., is 11 wins away from tying former teammate Desmond Haymon as the program's all-time winningest player at the Division I level. Haymon recorded 97 wins across four seasons at SFA.
• WINNINGEST TWO-YEAR PLAYERS: Senior Connor Brooks and Tanner Clayton picked up their 39th win of their Lumberjack careers after Sunday's 59-48 win over North Texas. The two are 20 wins away from tying former teammates Nikola Gajic and Deshaunt Walker as the program's all-time winningest players in a two-year span. Gajic and Walker are also the only two 'Jacks to go undefeated inside William R. Johnson Coliseum across their careers, posting 30 wins (15 - 2012-13; 15 - 2013-14). Brooks and Clayton are 19-1 in the coliseum.
• TIED AT THE BREAK: When SFA entered halftime tied 27-27 at Memphis, it marked the first time under head coach Bead Underwood that the 'Jacks were tied entering the lockerroom.
• BEATING THE HOUSE: SFA left Las Vegas undefeated, after posting a 2-0 record in the 2014 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational. The 'Jacks downed Prairie View A&M 73-61 and Austin Peay 83-62 to win their respective bracket. Senior Jacob Parker was named to the all-tournament team, after averaging 17.5 points and 6.5 rebounds across two games inside Orleans Arena.
• NEW STARTERS: SFA had a consistent starting five across the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. From the first game to the last of both campaigns, the 'Jacks rolled with the same guys during those spans. With new additions to this season's squad, Underwood will have different options for lineups, depending on the matchup, and in the second game of this season, he changed his lineup, ending a SFA's streak of 68 games without changing the starters midseason.
2011-12 Starters (final 2 gms) - Darius Gardner, Antonio Bostic, Desmond Haymon, Jonathan King and Jereal Scott
2012-13 Starters (32 gms) - Hal Bateman, Antonio Bostic, Desmond, Haymon, Jacob Parker and Taylor Smith
2013-14 Starters (35 gms) - Trey Pinkney, Desmond Haymon, Thomas Walkup, Nikola Gajic and Jacob Parker
2014-15 Starters (1 gm) - Trey Pinkney, Dallas Cameron, Connor Brooks, Thomas Walkup and Jacob Parker
2014-15 Starters (3 gms) - Trey Pinkney, Dallas Cameron, Thomas Walkup, Clide Geffrard and Jacob Parker
2014-15 Starters (6 gms) - Trey Pinkney, Jared Johnson, Thomas Walkup, Jacob Parker and Tanner Clayton
• SFA IN UNDERWOOD OPENERS: The 'Jacks improved to 2-0 in season and home openers under head coach Brad Underwood in a 75-49 win over Mississippi College inside William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA kicked off the Underwood era last season with a 90-64 win over Texas-Tyler, also coming at home.
• DOMINANT SENIOR CLASS MOVES ON: After last season, SFA saw the departure of one of the most dominant senior classes to ever come through Nacogdoches in Haymon (starter), Nikola Gajic (starter) and Deshaunt Walker (sixth-man). Haymon left SFA as the program's all-time winningest player at the Division I level with 97 victories, tied for the fourth winningest class overall in program history,while Gajic and Walker were the program's winningest players in a two-year span with 59 wins. Gajic and Walker also became the first two players in program history to close their careers undefeated at home, posting 30 wins inside William R. Johnson Coliseum.
• RETURNERS/NEWCOMERS: The `Jacks returns three of their starters from last season in senior forward Jacob Parker, junior forward Thomas Walkup and junior guard Trey Pinkney. The `Jacks also return Connor Brooks (Sr., G/F), Tanner Clayton (Sr., F), Dallas Cameron (So., G), Justin Dotson (So., SG) and Jason Martin (So., G). Underwood welcomes six newcomers from his early signing class in Ty Charles (Fr., G), Demetrious Floyd (Jr., G), Clide Geffrard (Jr., F), Jared Johnson (Jr., G), Jaxon Holden (Fr., G) and Caleb Johnston (Fr., G/F), along with Bobby King, a senior transfer from Florida A&M.
• WIN STREAKS ENTERING 2014-15: SFA will enter the 2014-15 season with several national win streaks still intact - consecutive home, true road and conference wins. Entering the season, the `Jacks were tied with Duke for the nation's longest active home win streak at 33 games. SFA has not dropped a game inside William R. Johnson Coliseum since a 51-47 loss to Texas-Arlington (2/15/12)during the 2011-12 season. The `Jacks also boast a 12-game true road win streak that is tied with No. 11 Wichita State for the nation's lead, while their 14 overall road wins led the country.
In conference play, SFA sits third nationally, behind Florida and Wichita St., with a 20-game win streak. The `Jacks finished a perfect 18-0 last season, becoming just the 18th team to go unbeaten in a league schedule of 18 games or more in NCAA history.
• EARLY VOTE OF CONFIDENCE: SFA received one vote in the AP Top 25 Poll entering the season. The `Jacks continued receiving one vote in week two. SFA was also ranked fifth in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll in week two, moving up one spot from the opening week of the season (tabbed sixth).
• PRESEASON HYPE: CBSSports.com's Sam Vecenie concluded the website's 2014-15 college basketball conference preview with a "Best of the Rest" on Thursday, Oct. 23, and the 'Jacks were tabbed sixth out of the 23 conferences not covered during the website's preseason series, while NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk's Rob Dauster had SFA ninth in his mid-major power ranking. USA Today had the 'Jacks at No. 53 in its preseason countdown of the top teams.
• PICKED TO 3-PEAT: SFA, the two-time defending SLC regular-season and reigning tournament champion, was named the preseason favorite to repeat in a vote by the league's coaches and sports information directors, the conference office announced Wednesday, Oct. 29. The `Jacks received 11 first-place votes from the coaches for 143 total points while picking up 10 first-place nods from the SIDs and 144 total points.
• PARKER, WALKUP NAMED PRESEASON All-SLC: SFA's Parker and Walkup were named to the 2014-15 Preseason All-SLC teams, the league office announced on Tuesday, Oct. 28. Parker was tabbed to the first team for the `Jacks, while Walkup earned second team recognition.
LEFTOVERS FROM 2013-14
• NCAA TOP 10 BEST STARTS: Head coach Brad Underwood picked up his 28th win at the helm in a 83-72 victory over Oral Roberts (Mar. 6) to crack into the NCAA's top 10 best career starts. Underwood, then added four more wins in 2013-14, to move into sole possession of third in the NCAA's top 10 best career starts at the Division I level. Underwood passed Steve Prohm (Murray State - 31-2, 2012) and Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh - 31-5,2004) with SFA's win over VCU. Only Bill Guthridge (North Carolina - 34-4, 1998) and Bill Hodges (Indiana State - 33-1, 1979) recorded more wins in their first season as a head coach.
• PERFECT IN CONFERENCE: With the win over Central Arkansas in the season finale, SFA closed out the season out their conference schedule undefeated for just the third time in program history. The 'Jacks finished the season 18-0 in conference to become the third team to do so this season, joining No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Wichita State and just the 18th team to go unbeaten in a league schedule of 18 games or more in NCAA history. SFA also finished 18-0 (29-1 overall) in the Lone Star Conference in 1969-70 and 10-0 (22-8 overall) in the Gulf Star Conference in 1886-87.
• ROAD WARRIORS: With the win at Southeastern Louisiana, SFA closed its Southland Conference road slate undefeated at 9-0, the first time the `Jacks have done so in the Division I era. The last conference team that was truly recognized for going undefeated on the road was Arkansas State in 1966-67 when it was 8-0 SLC and 4-0 on road. In 1972-73 Louisiana-Lafayette finished 6-0 (12-0 SLC), but all wins were later forfeited due to NCAA sanctions. Louisiana Tech is listed as 8-0 in league play in 1971-72, but it technically was 6-2 in conference and 3-1 on the road. It was later awarded two league wins (one road win) when ULL forfeited all eight-league games that season.
• The 'Jacks opened the 2014-15 season 1-3, SFA's worst start since the 1998-99 season when the team opened up 0-4.
• SFA's three-game losing streak earlier this season was its since 2011-12 season, when the 'Jacks dropped three consecutive in non-conference play (Prairie View A&M, 53-50; North Carolina Central, 65-57; Oregon, 55-45.).
• SFA, 2-3 through its first five games, also started last season 2-3, eventually finishing 32-3.
• SFA is undefeated in the months of December, January and February under head coach Brad Underwood.
• SFA's 12-game true road win streak ended in a 81-63 loss at Xavier on Friday, Nov. 21.
• SFA's 34-game win streak ended in a 79-77 overtime loss to Northern Iowa on Tuesday, Nov. 18.
• At the Division I level, senior forward Jacob Parker ranks 10th all-time at SFA with 106 starts. The native of Bixby, Okla., needs 6 more to tie former teammate Desmond Haymon (2010-14) for second all-time. Josh Alexander (2005-09) holds the Div. I mark with 116 starts.
• Junior guard/forward Thomas Walkup recorded his fifth double-double of his career in SFA's season-opening 75-49 win over Mississippi College. The double-double is the only one recorded for the 'Jacks this season.
• In 2013-14, SFA closed the regular season 15-0 inside William R. Johnson Coliseum for a second straight year.
• SFA led the country with 14 true road wins in 2013-14, posting a 14-2 (.875) mark.
• SFA is coming off a record-setting 32-3 campaign in 2013-14. The 'Jacks won the Southland Conference's regular season and tournament titles, and picked up the program's first-ever win the NCAA Tournament, upsetting fifth-seeded VCU 77-75 in overtime.
• The 2013-14 Southland Conference regular season title marks the second time the 'Jacks have won back-to-back titles. SFA won the SLC in 2007-08 and 2008-09. The year after won their first consecutive titles, the 'Jacks were eliminated in the championship game of the league's tournament.
• The 'Jacks are 2-5 all-time in postseason tournaments. SFA is 1-2 in the NCAA Tournament and 1-3 in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
• Brad Underwood became the 11th head coach in SFA history on April 23, 2013.
Series vs. Texas State: SFA leads 100-65, 166th meeting
Last Five Meetings (if available):
Season (H/A/N) W/L Score
2013-14 (A) W 64-57
2011-12 (H) W 71-63
2011-12 (A) W 66-65
2010-11 (H) W 73-70 (OT)
2010-11 (A) L 66-61
Last time vs. Texas State - (Nov. 12, 2013 - Strahan Coliseum, San Marcos, Texas)
Sophomore Thomas Walkup recorded a then career-high 14 points and junior Jacob Parker recorded the first double-double of his career, as the Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team knocked off Texas State 64-57 to spoil the home debut of former head coach Danny Kaspar Tuesday night inside Strahan Coliseum. The Lumberjacks picked up their first win over the Bobcats since the two schools last met as conference opponents in the 2011-12 season and first over Kaspar, who departed for TXST on April 4, 2013.
• Wednesday's game against Texas State marks the 166th meeting between the two programs.
• Wednesday's game also marks the return of former head coach Danny Kaspar to William R. Johnson Coliseum. Kaspar coached at SFA for 13 seasons (2000-2001 - 2012-13), posting a 246-141 record.
• The 'Jacks are on a four-game winning streak against TXST and have not lost to the Bobcats at home since Feb. 10, 2001, in a 54-53 defeat (10 meetings since then).