NACOGDOCHES, TX- (Press Release)
FAST BREAK POINTS
• In its first meeting with a program from the state of Alabama since 2013, the Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team (3-3) aims to protect its 31-game home court win streak against visiting UAB (4-4) at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday night inside William R. Johnson Coliseum. A win for either team in a battle of first-year head coaches would give the victor a record of above .500. All of the action will be broadcast natiowide on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app with Rob Meyers and Tyler DePascal providing play-by-play and analysis. Q107.7 FM is also set to carry the call over the Nacogdoches airwaves and nationally via Q1077.com and the TuneIn app.
• Over the last three games, junior Ivan Canete has taken over the team lead in scoring. Hailing from Lake Worth, Fla., the guard is averaging 18.7 points on 55.9-percent shooting from the field. From three-point territory in that span, Canete has drilled 44.4-percent (8-for-18) of his tries and is one of five Stephen F. Austin players who are shooting .800 or better from the free throw line.
• Stephen F. Austin is in search of back-to-back wins for the second time this season after capturing a 90-59 triumph over Centenary College in its previous game.
• This is the first Wednesday night game the 'Jacks have taken part in since Dec. 17, 2014. In that tilt, Stephen F. Austin handed Texas State - led by former Lumberjack man Danny Kaspar- a 66-60 loss inside William R. Johnson Coliseum.
SCOUTING UAB | ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATISTICS
• William Lee is both a rebounding and a shot blocking threat for UAB. His 22 total blocks and average of 2.75 blocked shots per game are both Conference USA-leading averages and the junior also puts in points at a rate of 10.8 per game.
• Possessing a highly accurate tough from the free throw line, senior Dirk Williams has gone 20-for-22 (.909) from the free throw line in 2016-17. That percentage is the 38th-highest among all NCAA Division I men's basketball players and is the third-best in Conference USA.
• The clever marketing and athletic communications staff members changed Birmigham - the city UAB is located in - to Blockingham as a result of the Blazers' rim-protecting ways. That moniker is apt, as UAB ranks 23rd in the nation with 5.8 blocked shots per game.
• Wednesday night marks the 13th meeting between UAB and a Southland Conference foe. In the 12 previous meetings, the Blazers have racked up a record of 10-2 - good for a winning percentage of .833. UAB has also won five straight games against opponent from the state of Texas.
• UAB has been forced for forge onward despite the loss of junior point guard Nick Norton (#2) to an ACL tear in the Blazers' season-opening win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. As a sophomore in 2015-16, Norton proved his worth to UAB by averaging 8.9 points and 5.1 assists per game while boasting an assist to turnover ratio of 3.00 - the 18th-highest figure among all NCAA Division I players last season.
LAST TIME OUT
• A season-high in assists (17) and Stephen F. Austin's first field goal percentage effort north of 50-percent since March 5, 2016 (at Sam Houston State) yielded the largest victory of the Kyle Keller coaching era as the 'Jacks smashed Centenary 90-59 in William R. Johnson Coliseum last Saturday afternoon.
• The win, coupled with a home court loss by then No. 1-ranked Kentucky, elevated Stephen F. Austin's 31-game home court winning streak to the third-longest in the nation. Only Kansas (46) and South Dakota State (32) possess longer home court winning streaks than the 'Jacks.
• The 'Jacks' 31-point victory over Centenary was the team's most lopsided win in the Kyle Keller coaching era (spans six games). Additionally, it marked the eighth win of 30 or more points in Stephen F. Austin's current 31-game home court winning streak and first winning margin of 30 or more points for SFA since defeating Houston Baptist 104-68 in the semifinals of the Southland Conference Tournament on March 11, 2016.
• Stephen F. Austin limited Centenary to just 17 points through the first half. That's the first time the 'Jacks have limited an opponent to fewer than 20 points in the first half since Dec. 6, 2015. On that date, SFA allowed visiting Henderson State to put in just 18 points through the first 20 minutes of play.
• It did not matter where freshman Kevon Harris shot the ball from as he did not miss against the Gents. In his second-straight double-digit scoring effort, Harris put in 13 points on 3-for-3 shooting (all three-pointers) and a 4-for-4 effort from the foul line. Additionally, the first-year man pulled down a career-best five rebounds.
• Saturday's game signified the second time this season that four 'Jacks put in at least 10 points. Senior Dallas Cameron tied a career-high in scoring with a team-best 15 points while Ivan Canete and TJ Holyfield each fired in 14. Between the four of them, they produced a 10-for-11 (.909) showing from the free throw line as well.
• Freshman Kevon Harris put in 11 points for the second double-digit scoring effort of his young collegiate career. The Ellenwood, Ga., product has scored 31 points through five games this season and 17 of those 31 - or 54.8-percent - have come at the free throw line. Against the Razorbacks, Harris sank seven of his game-high 10 tries from there.
• Through the final 9:48, Stephen F. Austin hit just two of its season-low 18 field goals. Those 18 field goals represented the 'Jacks' lowest total in a game since drilling 17 in their NCAA Tournament opening round game against West Virginia on March 18, 2016.
• The best free throw shooting team in the Southland Conference continued to rely on their touch from the stripe to get the job done. Of SFA's 62 points, 23 of them came from the free throw line. That works out to 37.1-percent of SFA's point total and so far the 'Jacks are averaging 21 free throws per game.
• For the fifth time in his Stephen F. Austin career, junior forward Leon Gilmore III threw down a dunk - this one coming on a fast break in the second half. Gilmore III has all six of SFA's slam dunks this season.
• As a team, Centenary only generated nine assists. The Gents' low assist total marked the first time SFA limited an opponent to fewer than 10 assists since holding West Virginia to nine on March 18, 2016.
• Between the two of them, Leon Gilmore III and TJ Holyfield grabbed 15 of the 'Jacks' 41 rebounds and allowed SFA to take a +13 advantage in that category. It marked the first double-digit advantage for SFA on the boards this season and its largest rebounding advantage since finishing +15 in a 95-55 win at Northwestern State on March 3, 2016.
• For the first time this season, the 'Jacks held a lead with five minutes to go in a game and with two minutes to go in a game. In each of its two previous wins this season, SFA didn't take the lead for good until there was at least 1:06 remaining in the game.
• With the win the 'Jacks were able to level their all-time record against the Gents at 20-20. Stephen F. Austin has won five consecutive games against Centenary since the 2011-12 campaign.
PARTY IN THE C-USA
• Wednesday night's battle with the Blazers will mark the 'Jacks' 143rd game in program history against a current institution from Conference USA.
• In those games, Stephen F. Austin's record stands at 68-74 (.479).
• Here's how SFA's record breaks down against each and every C-USA team the 'Jacks have faced in program history:
• Florida International | 1-1
• Louisiana Tech | 5-5
• Marshall | 1-0
• North Texas | 36-35
• Rice | 11-6
• UAB | 0-2
• UTEP | 1-2
• UTSA | 16-24
'JACKS v. BLAZERS | LAST TIME OUT
• Ty Charles capped a 31-13 start for the 'Jacks with an elbow jumper with 5:59 remaining in the first half, but UAB held Stephen F. Austin without a field goal for a span of 7:29 in the second half and used a 16-1 run through that span to hand visiting SFA a 76-66 loss inside Bartow Arena on Dec. 29, 2015.
• Demetrious Floyd started out the game scorching hot from three-point land, drilling his first three attempts from that distance as part of a 9-0 SFA spurt to begin the game. He wound up finishing with a team-high 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting.
• One of the major players for the Blazers was Chris Cokley who was quite difficult to stop down low. Cokley amassed a game-high 22 points and was one of three UAB players who grabbed a game-best seven rebounds. As a team, UAB outrebounded SFA 44-26 (+18).
• In that game, TJ Holyfield eventually fouled out but not before passing out a career-high six assists and adding four of the 'Jacks' five blocked shots.
• Very few NCAA Division I men's basketball teams have matched or surpassed the 'Jacks' prowess at the free throw line so far in 2016-17.
• Among all NCAA Division I squads, Stephen F. Austin ranks ninth nationally in terms of free throw percentage with a collective mark of 78.8.
• In all, five 'Jacks are shooting 80-percent or better from the free throw line. Ivan Canete is tops on that list with a mark of 87.5-percent that's also good for 70th nationally.
• Although the season is only six games old, the 2016-17 squad of Lumberjacks is on pace to set a new program record for the best free throw percentage in a season. The best free throw percentage a Stephen F. Austin team has put up through the course of a season was 75.8-percent in the 1987-88 campaign.
THE 'JACKS GIVETH...
• Once area of improvement that has been harped on by Stephen F. Austin's coaching staff is taking care of the ball.
• Out of the 351 NCAA Division I men's basketball teams in the United States, Stephen F. Austin ranks 347th with 22.3 turnovers per game. Opponents of the 'Jacks are receiving almost one-third (31.7-percent, 137 points) of their points directly off of SFA's turnovers.
...AND TAKETH AWAY
• Keeping the same high-intensity defense that the program has hung its hat on in recent memory, the 'Jacks once again rank in the upper tier of NCAA Division I men's basketball teams in turnovers forced per game.
• So far this season, the 'Jacks are forcing 16.67 turnovers per game. That's the second-best average in the Southland Conference and the 38th-best nationally.
THE NACOGDOCHES 400
• William R. Johnson Coliseum has seen its fair share of wins take place within its walls, and the building is nearing yet another win plateau.
• Stephen F. Austin needs only four more wins to increase its number of wins inside William R. Johnson Coliseum to 400. The earlier possible opportunity SFA would have to secure its 400th win inside its home building would come on Jan. 11, 2017, against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.