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Season Recap: Men’s Basketball

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Photo by: Daryl Ontiveros | Multimedia Editor
Cameron Naylor jumps to receive a pass March 5 inside Strahan Coliseum.

Season Grade: B-

During the pre-season, Head Coach Danny Kaspar was very sure that he and his players were going to give Texas State it’s first winning season since the 90’s.

This did not happen, as the Bobcats finished their season 15-16, with one tournament win.

Emani Gant, senior forward, was predicted to be pre-season first team All-Conference. This was not the case, as his play this season was only good enough for him to be third team All-Conference.

Gant averaged 13.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game this season. His performance this season was average at best, as he could have done a lot more to help the Bobcats finish positive.

Kavin Gilder-Tilbury, junior forward, was the second highest scoring player for the Bobcats, as he averaged 12.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.

The Bobcats as a whole started the season out well, but somewhere in the middle just lost their touch.

Texas State was on a five-game losing streak after going 0-4 on one of their road trips in late January to early February.

The Bobcats’ road record was tremendously bad, as they were just 4-11 this season. On the other hand, they had a not too shabby 10-4 home record. They gave up losses to some of the top teams, such as UT-Arlington, Arkansas-Little Rock, and Louisiana-Monroe.

The Bobcats were one of the worst scoring offenses in the league, as they scored just 66 points per game. However, they ironically had one of the best scoring defenses in the league, as they allowed opposing teams to score just 64.3 points per game.

Texas State also had one of the worst free-throw shooting percentages of any team in the Sun Belt. They shot just 67.3 percent from the free-throw line this season.

There are some people that say the Bobcats shouldn’t have joined the Sun Belt, and that they can’t hang with the top teams in this conference.

Although their record proved the doubters slightly correct, the play of the Bobcats does not reflect the teams’ record.

After a tough stretch of games, and getting blown out at home by the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, Texas State won five out of it’s last eight games of the season in order to get a ticket to the conference tournament in New Orleans, LA.

There, the Bobcats put up a fight and came out on top of Georgia State. They beat the defending champs on a clutch game-winning shot by Bobby Conley, junior guard, who was the hero for the night.

The game against UT-Arlington was one that they simply let get away. The Bobcats were leading from the tip, and had the lead up to 13 at one point. If not for poor free-throw shooting and fatigue, perhaps the outcome of the game would have been different.

Instead, Drew Charles, sophomore guard, and the Mavericks came back and beat the Bobcats by six to advance to the semifinals against the Warhawks.

This was a heartbreak for all of the Bobcat seniors, as they were hoping to play for a conference championship.

It has to be especially hard on Ethan Montalvo, senior guard, as he did not play against UT-Arlington due to a concussion he received the previous game against the panthers. He ended his season watching his team get knocked out by a Mavericks team that they most certainly should have beaten.

Nevertheless, Texas State has to be proud of what it has accomplished this season. The Bobcats have proven that they are not to be trifled with, and that they will fight until the end.

I give this 2015-2016 Texas State basketball team an overall season grade of a B-, simply because of the way they played during the middle of the season.

If they hadn’t struggled and lost five in a row towards the end of the season, they might have sat at a higher seed in the conference instead of fighting to be the number seven seed.