NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - With the basketball season just right around the corner, everything the Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team does is in preparation towards something bigger than just the regular season.
The Lumberjacks have put themselves on such a platform of excellence that they play for a NCAA Tournament contending type of season.
The team's success in NCAA dreams doesn't just come from working hard and selecting good recruits, but it also comes from strength in scheduling to help your RPI and putting together a schedule was quite a struggle for the team this year.
Head Coach Brad Underwood admits they had a hard time scheduling games this year because many programs didn't want to play the Lumberjacks at home. However, the team doesn't feel less prepared by their weaker home schedule because of how it's compensated by the strength of their road games.
"It's a great schedule. I think it will do wonders for our RPI for strength of schedule and it's time to go out and beat some of those people," said Underwood.
Eight of the 'Jacks 12 pre-conference games are on the road which does upset Underwood for one reason.
"I'm disappointed for our fans. I want to provide a great atmosphere for our fans and season tickets have gone through the roof. I want our fans to come out and see quality basketball against quality opponents and that's probably the thing that's most frustrating," said Underwood.
"It was tough scheduling good home games but I think our road schedule is very tough between Northern Iowa, Baylor Arizona State, UAB, those are all potential NCAA tournament teams," said senior forward Thomas Walkup. "I think for us, NCAA games are like road games so that's what that's preparing us for."