NACOGDOCHES, Texas - In anticipation of the 2016-17 Stephen F. Austin men's and women's basketball seasons - which will begin in a little over three weeks - the Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks, will congregate at First United Methodist Church at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 25, for the 2016 Jack McCullough Meet the `Jacks event hosted by the Nacogdoches Rotary Club.
Tickets for the event are $15 and can be purchased at the door on the day of the event. All those in attendance will be treated to a dinner of fried fish and will get the opportunity to mix and mingle with the players and coaches of the Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks.
On the heels of arguably the greatest season in the 92-year history of the program, the Lumberjacks have a new look headed into the 2016-17 campaign and are led by first-year head coach Kyle Keller - the 12thhead coach in program history. A season ago, the `Jacks posted the program's second 18-0 Southland Conference record in three seasons and laid claim to their fourth consecutive Southland Conference title before advancing to their third NCAA Tournament in as many seasons.
While in the big dance, 14th-seeded SFA knocked off third-seeded and number-eight ranked West Virginia in the opening round of the tournament before seeing its 2015-16 record settle at 28-6 with a second-round loss to eventual Sweet 16 participant Notre Dame in the second round. Among the SFA returners from that group are senior Dallas Cameron as well as junior Ty Charles and sophomore TJ Holyfield.
As part of an 18-12 campaign in 2015-16, the Ladyjacks arrived at a major milestone by becoming just the sixth NCAA Division I women's basketball program to record 1,000 wins in program history. SFA joined Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, James Madison, Old Dominion and Texas in the 1,000 wins club by dealing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi a 72-59 loss on February 13.
That triumph over the Islanders was the second in a stretch of 10 in a row for Stephen F. Austin en route to a fourth-place finish in the Southland Conference. Seven members of that squad - including 2016 All-Southland Conference First Team member Taylor Ross - will return to the court this season to begin the hunt for the Ladyjacks' 18th Southland Conference title.
The Lumberjacks' season will begin in Lexington, Ky., on Friday, Nov. 11 when SFA tangles with SEC foe Kentucky at 6:00 p.m. on the SEC Network. A road trip to Vermillion, S.D., will signal the start of the Ladyjacks' campaign as SFA battles South Dakota at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13.