NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The SFA Lumberjacks are just days away from starting their journey in the NCAA tournament and it is business as usual for the team.
By this point of the season, the team has meshed together and are playing to their potential. After winning three games in three days this past week in Katy at the Southland Conference Tournament, head coach Kyle Keller is not looking to change anything.
"We have seen enough different styles that we can adjust to anything," Keller said. "We're not changing. We are going to be who we are and someone will have to adjust to us."
That someone will first have to be the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The two will play on Thursday in the NCAA Tournament's first round. The game will be an all-Texas showdown which makes it fitting that it takes place in the only state big enough to host the game. Fans from both teams were excited to hear that the game would be part of the Dallas site and will be the first of the two night games inside the American Airlines Center.
The school missed the national stage last year after making the three previous seasons. Several players are left from the Brad Underwood years and have gone from the support players to role players. Despite the shift in status, they want to make this team stand alone from the others.
"Coach talks about he wants to coach the best team" TJ Holyfield said. "I feel like we have to win a certain amount of games to do that and to do that we have to win some games in the tournament."
While the Lumberjacks are coming in on a 5 game winning streak the Red Raiders enter the contest being losers in five of their last seven games. During the tough run they had to face three ranked teams and were without their leading scorer in Keenan Evans. The Lumberjacks will look to their leading scorers in Holyfield, Kevon Harris and Shannon Bogues who are all averaging double digit performances.
"I don't know any guys on there," Evans said. "I know the team though. It seems like yesterday they beat West Virginia and coach Huggins team. We know they are a good team and we need to be ready for them.
Harris was not part of those earlier tournament teams but sees pictures and banners everyday that remind him of the ultimate goal.
"It is a great feeling [to be here]," Harris said. "We give all glory to God and we come out here every night and play with a chip on our shoulder and we are getting respect for that."
The game between the two teams will be Thursday night at the American Airline Center in Dallas. Ticket information can be found here. The game will be broadcasted on TruTV starting at 6:27 pm.
SFA will hold a send off for the team Tuesday at 2pm and would like for all the fans to come out.