The Texas State men’s basketball team has lost five of its last six games by six points or less and dropped three of its four conference contests at home.
The Bobcats get a chance to turn it around against the opponent that ended their 16-game home winning streak dating back to last season: Stephen F. Austin.
“(In the last meeting) we beat them everywhere except down the stretch,” Head Coach Doug Davalos said. “We played really good defense against Stephen F. Austin (in that game) and we’ve got to do it again.”
The free throw battle was key in the first matchup between the two teams. Texas State got to the line a season-low six times, converting four of the foul shots into points. The Lumberjacks shot 27 free throws and made 21, a difference of 17 points.
Davalos said stopping the Lumberjacks from controlling the game from inside and at the line will be key.
If fans expect five- or even four-star recruits to come to San Marcos for football in the next few years, they are out of their mind. However, Texas State doesn’t have a terrible recruiting class so far and some potentially good players could commit to be a Bobcat next Wednesday, National Signing Day.
The biggest issue for the Bobcats is who the quarterback will be next year. Shaun Rutherford looked great when he first began playing, but trailed off at the end of the season. At the end of 2011, Rutherford didn’t seem to be the FBS-caliber quarterback the Bobcats will need to at least be competitive.
Tyler Arndt slowly got back to form once he healed from injury. He became the Bobcat starter toward the end of the year after Rutherford hurt his shoulder. The question often posed about Arndt is, “Will he fit into Dennis Franchione’s offensive system, or will the system adapt to Arndt’s abilities?”
Texas State jumped out to a 10-0 lead to start the game and had a 58-48 advantage midway through the second half Wednesday night against Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, but could not close the contest with a win.
Terrance Jones, Islanders guard, had a career-high 33 points, leading AMCC to a 74-68 victory over the Bobcats.
“I hate to say this but it’s one of the most unimpressive 33 point performances I’ve ever seen,” Coach Doug Davalos said “It wasn’t awe-inspiring. If he wasn’t at the line, he was making layups. We missed ten of ours and he didn’t miss any of his.”
The loss dropped Texas State to 1-5 in Southland Conference play, with three of the five losses coming by six points or less. The Islanders ended the game on an 8-0 run, dropping Texas State to its ninth loss in the last 11 games.
Texas State men’s basketball defeated A&M Corpus Christi twice last season, including once on the road, where the Bobcats have won nine times the last four years.
This season’s matchup Wednesday night in Corpus Christi is crucial for both teams, as the Bobcats sit two games out of a tie for third place in the Southland Conference standings.
The Islanders are 2-4 in conference while Texas State comes in with a 1-4 record.
“Our confidence is still there,” senior forward Brooks Ybarra said. “Our whole conference is jumbled up. If we can get our wins at home and steal a couple on the road, we’ll be in pretty good shape.”
The Islanders are coming off a 50-49 win against Sam Houston State. Guard Terrance Jones had 12 points to keep pace with his team-leading 12.7 per game season average.
When the ball drops every New Year, people sit at home and say things like “I’m going to eat healthier,” “no more keg stands,” and “I’m not going to watch the Cowboys, because it’s a waste of time.”
By now, the Big Macs have been eaten, hangovers are being tallied and since the Cowboys never play in the postseason, the thought of missing them has already crossed the minds of their fans.
Screw the phony resolutions. It’s time to make a resolution that matters to the athletes. It’s time to be a true Bobcat fan.
Texas State is part of a four-team movement in 2012 going from the Football Championship Subdivision to Football Bowl Subdivision, along with Texas-San Antonio, South Alabama and Massachusetts. Since the new millennium, only four teams have moved to the FBS level: Florida Atlantic, Florida International, South Florida and Western Kentucky. The Bobcats find themselves in the midst of the biggest move-up in recent history.
In his first season as Texas State football’s head coach, Dennis Franchione led the Bobcats to two more wins than last year. Franchione and the team know, however, that an even bigger improvement was possible.
Texas State football was rolling on a five-game winning streak when the team traveled to Hammond, La. to face the 1-5 Southeastern Louisiana Lions.
Then, the Bobcats “stubbed their toe,” according to Coach Dennis Franchione. Following that 38-28 loss, the Bobcats slowed to a 1-4 finish to the regular season.
“We have to do the things that avoid beating ourselves,” Franchione said. “Every position is open and under evaluation; me and every player.”
The quarterback position never was fully secured throughout the season. Shaun Rutherford, who was the team’s starter during the five-game win streak, finished the season with 1,227 yards, 12 touchdowns and four interceptions with a quarterback rating of 144.7.
NCAA Basketball and March Madness have always been the only playoff systems that ever have it right. The committee groups teams by their entire body of work and ranks them from 1-64 as best it can, trying to ensure that every team gets a fair match up and plays as close to home as possible.
In 2010, UTSA played Ohio State but had to travel to Cleveland to do so. Matchups like Michigan and Tennessee were played in Charlotte, at a neutral site. It’s not perfect, but most everything about March Madness makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, the NCAA’s other 64-team tournaments fall short of March Madness’ goal of perfection.
Texas State volleyball, after finishing 27-7 (its best record since 2004) must travel to Austin to take on Texas, the highest ranked team on the Bobcats’ side of the bracket. In 2004, Texas State also played Texas in the opening round, dropping all three sets after the team completed a 27-6 season.
People around the San Marcos area are accustomed to Gumby’s for its delivery service, but customers will soon see Gumby’s as dine-in friendly.
Gumby’s opened its new dining room this month for more than 40 people with TV’s and a pizza buffet. The pizzeria now can add another San Marcos Stars award for best pizza to the dining room wall. Manager Forrest Higdon said he could not be more proud.
“We pride ourselves on our quality and reputation so having it validated by an award that the students vote on is important,” Higdon said. “I think [the students] like our ability to relate to them and I think they like our ability to be different from the herd and not be like the chain stores that they are used to.”
Texas State faces one of the four undefeated teams in Division I football Saturday, as the Sam Houston State Bearkats come to San Marcos.
Orange and blue ribbons and signs that display Sam Houston’s 2011 accomplishments hang in football’s weight and training rooms, as well as a sign mocking an old university reputation, “I may miss a tackle, but I’ll never miss a party.”
Those tactics are set to give the Bobcats some extra motivation.
“Come out and expect to see a team fight hard,” cornerback Darryl Morris said. “Everyone’s going to be giving all they’ve got.”
The Bobcats are 4-1 at home this year, with their only loss a 23-20 defeat to Northwestern State on Homecoming. One of the biggest challenges facing Texas State is the Bearkats’ run defense, which ranks first in the Football Championship Subdivision.
With soccer and volleyball making great strides in their move to the Western Athletic Conference, the outlook for the programs is promising. But sadly, any word better than disappointing would be too much of a compliment for what football has accomplished in its last year before real football strolls into San Marcos (if the WAC can even be considered FBS anymore).
Last year, Coach Brad Wright was fired after a 4-7 season, only two games worse than what the Bobcats have done this year. But the results are not all that different. In 2010, Texas State lost to Houston by 40 points. Well, this season Texas State lost to Texas Tech by 40 and Wyoming by 35 - so no change there. In 2010, Texas State beat a Division II opponent in a home opener by just 14 points. This year was the same occurrence, only this time by 10 points in a win over Tarleton State.