Page 1

Volume 95, Issue 30

Basketball Guide

Bobcat Preview 05-06

Cover design by Adam D. Brown


Page 2 - The University Star

BOBCAT BASKETBALL GUIDE

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Coaching

AROUND the By Miguel Peña Sports Editor From a horned frog to a Maverick to an Indian all the way to a Bobcat, Coach Dennis Nutt has been around the block. “I bring an understanding of the game and life and what it’s going to take for these guys to get a degree,” Nutt said. “It’s a very difficult thing with all the travel that we do. The next thing is getting down the road of life; it’s a tough challenge out there, and I think kids are in athletics become better prepared for the business world,” said Nutt. Nutt played college basketball from 1981 to 1985 at Texas Christian University. He earned first-team All Southwest Conference honors during the 1984-85 season. His college career also included two MCP honors. After a short stint with Lacrosse and Sioux Falls in the Continental Basketball Association, the Dallas Mavericks called him up, where he played for two seasons. Following his time in the NBA, Nutt made his way to Spain, where he played under George Karl for Real Madrid in the European Basketball Association. “Just the fact that I played helps our players understand that we know what they are going through, and hopefully that will serve us well in the future,” Nutt said. His family ties help with an off-court approach to the players, with an emphasis built around dealing with growing pains and adjustments for student athletes playing far from home.

BLOCK

“We have a lot of things we try to do away from basketball; we had a bowling night not too long ago, and I think that builds camaraderie for the kids,” Nutt said. Nutt got his first coaching job at Arkansas State under brother Dickey Nutt. Both brothers followed in their father’s footsteps, serving as coaches for the Arkansas School for the Deaf. The Texas State coach is wellknown for his positive attitude and optimistic mentality. This characteristic on the court has contributed to five consecutive SLC tournament appearances, the longest current conference streak. Nutt has managed to finish above .500 in each season, including a 17-12 mark in 200203. “We have 11 games before we start our (Southland Conference) schedule. Some of our road opponents are very talented, but there are some that are on our level, and we just need to do as best we can, learn and keep progressing. Hopefully, we will be playing our best basketball in March; that is the ultimate goal,” Nutt said. Nutt enters his sixth season with a 69-72 overall record and

a 47-45 conference mark. “Last year we were one of the smaller teams in the league. Anthony Dill was our inside guy. He was a 6-foot-7 kid,” Nutt said. “I really think we did a good job improving in that area.” Nutt is known as one of the most knowledgeable coaches in the game due to his extensive experience at the collegiate and professional levels. This season, Nutt has brought on two new assistant coaches to round out a staff he hopes will make another run for the SLC tournament, scheduled to start March 6. “You obviously want to get off to a good start as we begin at home this year against Lamar,” Nutt said. “(University of) Texas-Arlington is our first league road game. They are all pretty important, so we just want to get out to a good start.” The team is looking to improve on last year’s record and one factor to their success will be a strong home crowd. The Bobcat coaching staff encourages all Texas State fans to come out for the season home opener on Nov. 23 against UT-Permian Basin. The Bobcats start the season on the road Nov. 18 against Utah.

Dennis Nutt’s Coaching Career Year 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005

Overall 13-15 12-16 17-12 13-15 14-14

Conference 10-10 10-10 11-9 8-8 8-8

Tiffany Searcy/Star photo Denis Nutt begins his sixth season with the Bobcats as the men’s basketball coach. Nutt hopes to acclimate the six new freshmen into the Texas State program.


Thursday, November 3, 2005

BOBCAT BASKETBALL GUIDE

The University Star - Page 3

Fox on a title hunt for 2005-06 By Miguel Peña Sports Editor

Now entering her ninth year as the head coach of the Texas State women’s basketball team, Suzanne Fox has maintained a program based on character, competition and academic achievement. From the players to the coaches, education and excellence are two of the key factors that contribute to the success of Bobcat basketball. Fox started her career at Abilene Christian University following four years as one of the key players for the Wildcats. She stayed five years as the Wildcats’ coach, garnering two Lone Star Conference titles. Fox coached two national players of the year and two first-team All-Americans before arriving at Texas State in the Fall 1997. “I’ve had a great opportunity. (Then-Athletic Director) Mike Alden, nine years ago, gave me this opportunity to be the coach at Southwest Texas and now Texas State, and I feel very humble to have that opportunity,” Fox said. At ACU, she earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and math education and a master’s in administration. With the addition of a new assistant coach, Patrick Henry, and the retainment of Noel Johnson and Valery Jackson, the coaching staff for Texas State has its eyes on the future. “We’re teachers first, and the game of basketball is just the subject matter,” Fox said. “I feel like that’s the thing that’s different about us, is we’re here to teach the kids about basketball, but we also do a lot of teaching about life and about how to handle the challenges of balancing what they’ve got to do as a

Women’s Basketball Schedule

student-athlete.” Coming off last year’s thirdplace finish in the Southland Conference standings, Fox is looking to move toward the transition game, which is more suitable for her eight returning players. Their on-court experience will help make up the difference following the loss of Tori Tolbert, who led the team in points and rebounds and held her place as one of the most dominant post players in the SLC. “We want to stay in that upper echelon of the conference,” Fox said. “I just think we’ve done it the right way, to be real honest with you. We’ve done it with good kids, and we’ve done it with our kids graduating. You know, I think that’s one thing I’m real proud of.” The pinacle of Fox’s Texas State career occurred during the 2002-2003 season, when her team won the Southland Conference title en route to posting an 18-11 record. But the following season did not afford her quite as much good fortune as the team fell to an 8-19 record despite 10 returning players. “Probably the year that we didn’t live up to our billing would be after ’02-’03 — when we went to the national tournament, we came back, were picked first, we had 10 people back, and we just had some really bad chemistry issues,” Fox said. “That’s so important in basketball — that chemistry — and we underachieved that year, by far.” Fox enters the 2005-2006 season looking to keep the winning tradition alive as she prepares for the season opener Nov. 18 at Oklahoma State. The Bobcats’ home opener will be Nov. Tiffany Searcy/Star photo 22 against UT-Permian Basin. It will be the first of six consecutive Coach Suzanne Fox starts her ninth season with the women’s basketball team as they try to return to the NCAA tournament home games. after an appearance in 2003.

11.19.2005 at Oklahoma State 2 p.m. 11.22.2005 vs Texas-Permian Basin 7 p.m. 11.25.2005 vs Prairie View A&M 7 p.m. 11.26.2005 vs Mississippi Valley State 6 p.m. 11.30.2005 vs Huston-Tillotson 7 p.m. 12.06.2005 vs Schreiner 7 p.m. 12.10.2005 vs Texas-Pan American 4 p.m. 12.16.2005 at South Dakota State 7 p.m. 12.20.2005 at Nebraska 7:05 p.m.

12.29.2005 at Texas-Pan American 7 p.m. 12.30.2005 at UTEP 3:30 p.m. 1.05.2006 at Sam Houston State 7 p.m. 1.07.2006 at Lamar 2 p.m. 1.12.2006 vs Texas-Arlington 7 p.m. 1.19.2006 at Stephen F. Austin 7 p.m. 1.21.2006 vs Sam Houston State 4 p.m. 1.26.2006 vs Louisiana-Monroe 7 p.m. 1.28.2006 vs Northwestern State 4 p.m.

2.02.2006 at Southeastern Louisiana 7 p.m. 2.04.2006 at Nicholls State 2 p.m. 2.09.2006 vs Lamar 7 p.m. 2.11.2006 at McNeese State 3 p.m. 2.18.2006 at Texas-San Antonio 2 p.m. 2.23.2006 vs Southeastern Louisiana 7 p.m. 2.25.2006 vs Stephen F. Austin 4 p.m. 2.28.2006 at Northwestern State 6:30 p.m. 3.03.2006 vs Nicholls State 7 p.m.


BOBCAT BASKETBALL GUIDE

Page 4 - The University Star

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Men’s team out to prove their point Coach Nutt aims for NCAA berth after demolishing last season’s expectations By Chris Boehm Sports Writer The men’s basketball team proved the experts wrong last season, finishing three spots higher than preseason poll predictions in the final conference standings. Texas State advanced to the Southland Conference tournament last year as a sixth seed. The top eight teams advanced to the playoffs. “The sky’s the limit. Every year, we shoot for two things: conference tournament and a berth the NCAAs,” said Coach Dennis Nutt. “That’s one thing I’ll never shy away from, no matter what kind of team we have. That’s what you’ve got to want.” The task Nutt has set for the group looks mighty steep heading into Wednesday’s season opener. Texas State will host Angelo State in a 7 p.m. exhibition match. The Bobcats enter the season with little respect as the preseason coaches and sports information directors polls have them ranked to finish ninth. “It’s going to be difficult (to win conference); we’ve got a new system in place,” senior Brad Brickens said. “It’s not going to be easy to get everybody to come together, but our leadership is the key to getting it done.” Three losses to graduation (Josh Naylor, Anthony Dill and Zack Allison) now leave the court to a trio of new seniors: Brickens, Chris Langhorne and Lance Burroughs. “We’ve got a lot of younger guys on the team, so we just try to be a good example for them,” Langhorne said. “During practice, we show them the plays we’re running and just try to be something positive.” Brickens, a guard, comes in as the top scorer from last season (9.2 average). He will try to fill the void left by Dill and Naylor

Men’s Basketball Schedule

(27.9 combined average). “We’ve been playing for a while, and we know we can up our game,” Brickens said. “Last year, we played our roles, but now it’s time for us to step up and lead this team. We’re going to miss what those guys brought to the table, but we can come in and do what they did.” Langhorne, a forward, averaged 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in 2004, on 23.2 minutes a game. The Brooklyn native enters his second year at Texas State after transferring from the College of Eastern Utah. Burroughs should see a jump from last year’s 21 minutes a game. The two-guard was one of only four players to see action in all 28 games and also started the last five contests. “We can be just as good as last year or better,” Burroughs said. “If you don’t want to make it to the big dance in March, you shouldn’t be out here. That’s just motivation to get out there and work harder every day.” The roster includes six freshmen and three transfers. The abundance of unproven talent leaves Nutt with plenty of questions for his opening-day lineup. The team just started practicing together Oct. 15. “Right now, we’re just trying to get everyone to buy into the system and come together as soon as possible,” Burroughs said. “We’ve really been emphasizing defense so far. The teams that do best in conference are the ones playing the best defense; the talent level around the league is about the same. Defense is what wins you games down the road.” Nutt said the additions have allowed him to incorporate new changes on defense. “Defensively, we’re going to be much different. We finally have a lot of speed and athleticism, and we need to take advantage of it,” Nutt said. “We’ve been a bit passive the last few years, and (the changes) might be difficult at first for the older guys, but we’ve got to do something to get over the hump. We’ve been hovering around .500 for a while. Lance is a great defender, Langhorne is ultra quick and Brickens has good hands. (Guard) Antwoine Blanchard is a kid that can cause pressure in the backcourt. Then

with (transfers) Charles Dotson and JuShay Rockett, we’ve got some guys who can get out in lanes and force tempo.” While freshmen have typically played sparingly on Nutt’s previous teams, this year’s crop must get acclimated with the college game quickly if the team is to make real strides. “College ball is a bigger, faster, stronger game, and you’ve just got to get used to it,” Langhorne said. “In high school, there is no shot clock, so it’s definitely faster. But I’ve got faith in our guys that they can make the transition. They don’t look like freshmen to me.” Following the departure of Matt Canady, a freshman center, in 2004, the Bobcats opted for height in the off-season by signing three big men: Trevor Cook, Justin Neuhaus and C.J. Webster. “Matt wanted to get back closer to family, so he trans-

ferred to a smaller school in Oklahoma,” Nutt said. “We always look at a new year as new opportunities; one guy’s departure leaves the door open for somebody else, and we might not have got the guys we did if Matt was around. I’m excited about the squad we do have.” Cook, an all-region pick as a senior at Coppell High School, caught his coach’s eye when he grabbed 18 rebounds in an Oct. 21 scrimmage. “He scored well and showed a lot of skill for a kid his size,” Nutt said. “The bulk will come in time, but (Cook and the other freshmen centers) give us size that we didn’t have last year.” The freshman class also includes guard Brandon Bush out of Mayde Creek, where he averaged 21 points a game and was the team’s most valuable player in 2004. Nutt said Bush can play

multiple positions and that he gained experience at the point this preseason. “We just have to do the small things to make this team better,” Bush said. “We need to show people we should be higher in the polls, and that boils down to playing good defense, rebounding and taking practice seriously.” Aside from the issues in the lineup, the most glaring question is whether or not Nutt will be back after this season. The sixth-year coach is in his last season under contract and has never advanced past the first round of the SLC’s postseason tournament. “I just try to control the things I can control,” Nutt said. “A lot of that is beyond me, and all I can do as a coach and teacher is try to make our team the best we can be. Whatever happens in March happens, and I don’t want to live life with regrets, so

I’m going to give everything I have to this program — to this team.” Players are aware of the situation, but Langhorne said it has little bearing on their approach to the season. “I think anybody feels some pressure when they’re in that kind of situation, but it doesn’t seem like it,” Langhorne said. “(Nutt’s) still very cool and does the same things he did last year. He doesn’t let it affect him.” Following the exhibition game against Angelo State, the Bobcats start the season with two dates in Utah before coming home to play UT-Permian Basin. SLC play begins Jan.1 — a home game against Lamar, picked second in the polls. Northwestern State University is the heavy favorite to win the conference title, returning 12 of 14 letter winners to 2004’s co-championship team.

Tiffany Searcy/Star photo With a loss of three seniors to graduation, the men’s basketball team hopes to make the proper adjustments on and off the court for a successful 2005 season.

11.18.2005 at Utah 8 p.m. 11.19.2005 at Utah Valley State 8:05 p.m. 11.23.2005 vs Texas-Permian Basin 7 p.m. 11.26.2005 at Arkansas-Little Rock 7 p.m. 12.01.2005 vs SMU 7 p.m. 12.06.2005 at Arkansas 7:05 p.m. 12.10.2005 vs St. Edward’s 7 p.m. 12.15.2005 at Texas-Pan American 7 p.m. 12.22.2005 at Texas 7 p.m.

12.30.2005 vs Texas-Tyler 7 p.m. 1.07.2006 vs Lamar 7 p.m. 1.12.2006 at Texas-Arlington 7:05 p.m. 1.16.2006 vs Texas-Pan American 7 p.m. 1.19.2006 vs Stephen F. Austin 7 p.m. 1.21.2006 vs Sam Houston State 7 p.m. 1.26.2006 at Louisiana-Monroe 7 p.m. 1.28.2006 at Northwestern State 2 p.m. 2.02.2006 vs Southeastern Louisiana 7 p.m.

2.04.2006 vs Nicholls State 7 p.m. 2.08.2006 at Lamar 7:05 p.m. 2.11.2006 vs McNeese State 7 p.m. 2.13.2006 at Southeastern Louisiana 7 p.m. 2.18.2006 vs Texas-San Antonio 7 p.m. 2.23.2006 at Sam Houston State 7 p.m. 2.25.2006 at Stephen F. Austin 4 p.m. 3.01.2006 vs Northwestern State 7 p.m. 3.03.2006 at Nicholls State 6 p.m.

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Thursday, November 3, 2005

The University Star - Page 5

No fear in ‘change year’ Young players prepared to fill gaps on ’05-’06 women’s roster By Kevin Washburn Sports Reporter Texas State women’s basketball coach Suzanne Fox calls this season a “change year.” After losing three players — including four-year star Tori Talbert — to graduation, installing new offensive schemes and fielding a roster featuring seven freshmen or sophomores, the word “change” is fitting. All of that change has led to lowered expectations in the preseason Southland Conference polls. Texas State is predicted to finish seventh in both the coaches’ and sports information directors’ polls, but Fox does not think change necessarily means a slip into the bottom of the SLC standings. “I think it’s going to be like last year; there’s going to be five or six teams that have a good opportunity,” Fox said. “I think for us, we’re a real unknown team at this time because you are losing a player like Tori that’s been so dominating in the Southland Conference. I think we’re going to surprise some people.” The Bobcats will face major challenges this season. The team lost three seniors, including leading scorer and rebounder and annual All-Southland Conference selection Talbert. Talbert, Texas State’s mainpost threat during her four years here, led the SLC in scoring average (24.1) and field goal percentage (57.6), while ranking third in rebounds per game (9.3). Also lost to graduation are guards Ashley McGruder and Ashley Perkins. “We lost Tori, and you can look at her accolades and tell she was a tremendous player for our program,” Fox said. “This year is a big change because you’re losing a four-year kid like Ashley McGruder and a four-year kid

Tiffany Searcy/Star photo Coach Suzanne Fox motivates her team before preseason practice on Oct. 27 in preparation for a run at the Southland Conference, which is scheduled to begin March 6. The Bobcats open the season on Nov. 10 in the Everyone’s Internet tournament in San Marcos. like Tori Talbert and a two-year Tamara Thompson. Thompson, to the younger players. sophomores. I think the thing Community College. She averplayer, Perkins. They played a lot a preseason All-SLC first-team “Ally’s come in and been a with them is they have a lot more aged 10 points, six rebounds and of roles for us.” selection, was a solid second op- good leader for us this year,” Fox comfort level,” Fox said. “Com- two assists per game and was McGruder played in all but tion last season, averaging 13.7 said. “I’ve been really pleased ing back as a sophomore, they named first-team all-conference two games last season, lead- points and 4.9 rebounds per with how she got out and got understand what’s coming down during her community college ing the team in steals while also contest. Now, though, she will be people going in the right direc- the path; it’s not all new.” career. posting averages of 4.8 points, the focus of defenses with Tal- tion on and off the court.” “We need the twins to be the Three freshmen, guards Ryan 2.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds per bert gone. According to Kelly, the role offensive threats they can be,” Bradford and Ashley Leffingwell game. “I think she’ll do fine,” Fox of leader is not something she’s Fox said. “We need them to be and forward Kia Palmer, join the Perkins’ contributions mostly said. “I think Tamara is going to used to, but it is not unwelcome. those commanders out on the team and hope to contribute. came in the form of her energy have to adjust her role. She’s had “This year, I’m the oldest,” floor because they have that type Leffingwell, who made 1.8 and hustle off the bench. She av- that type of role in junior college Kelly said. “I think a lot of play- of mentality.” three-pointers per game in high eraged 3.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and had that type of pressure ers are going to look for me to Despite losing Talbert, Texas school, hopes the new emphasis and 1.4 assists per game. game in and game out, so it’s not take that leadership role, and I’m State is returning some size in on perimeter play will get her The Bobcats did not lose all something she’s unfamiliar with, glad to step in and do it.” junior center Tiffany Cook and some playing time. their experience, though. Texas but I think there’s going to be an In addition to being a leader, junior forwards Erica Putnam “They brought me here to State returns eight players, in- adjustment at this level.” Kelly is one of the more prolific and Ashley Riley. The trio will shoot,” Leffingwell said. “I hope, cluding three starters, from last Thompson has faith that it is a long-range shooters on the team. be asked to pick up rebounding at least in the beginning, they’re year’s squad. role she can fulfill as well. She launched 54 three-pointers slack as well as scoring in the giving everyone a shot.” Receiving the most press of “I’ve been working hard all last season, third most on the post. Fox said there will be some all returners is senior forward off-season,” Thompson said. “It’s team, making 16 of them. In addition to the returning adjustments made to the ofgoing to be a challenge, but it In addition to Thompson, two players, the Bobcats also wel- fense. Texas State, however, will won’t be that bad.” other starters return from the come five newcomers. still employ the motion offense With Talbert inside, Thomp- 2004-2005 squad: Joyce Ekwo“The new kids — I think featured last season. son thrived on the perimeter, romadu and Jeana Hoffman. they’ve meshed well,” Fox said. “We’re going to be a lot more knocking down an SLC-best Despite both being freshmen last “They’re having to learn a whole transition oriented,” Fox said. 42.9 percent of her three-point season, they were solid contribu- lot; so they’ve got a pretty big “I think that’s going to be a lot attempts. With the majority of tors. learning curve at this point, but more fan-friendly. I think they’re Texas State’s post offense graduEkworomadu, a forward, was I think they’ve done a nice job going to enjoy seeing that type ating, Thompson could be called second on the team in rebound- with it. They’re all going to need of style. We’re really looking to on to play down low more often. ing with a 5.1 average and third to contribute for us, early.” push the ball a lot, make it more “She’s still going to shoot the on the team in scoring, averagThe most experienced of the of a fast-paced game. It just fits three a lot,” Fox said. “This year, ing 6.4 points per game. bunch is junior Elyse Wright, our squad and personnel this you’ll see her inside more, but Hoffman started all 28 games who has won at every level she year a little better.” she’s still going to be facing the at guard, proving to be one of the has competed. Wright, a forDespite all of the changes, Kelbasket because I think that’s her team’s best ballhandlers. She av- ward, led her high school team ly thinks the team is starting to strength.” eraged 5.7 points, 2.4 rebounds to the Colorado state champion- come together. As a senior and arguably the and 2.1 assists per game. ship game and was part of last “There’s always room for team’s top player, Thompson is Fox expects good things to season’s Central Arizona College progress,” Kelly said. “Every day, being called on to be a leader this come from getting sophomores team, which finished 35-1 and we learn to play off each other a season, a role she is not used to. Hoffman and Ekworomadu, became NJCAA champions. little bit better, and eventually, by “It’s been hard because I’m not along with Jenna Hoffman, The other transfer is sopho- the time games roll around, we’ll really vocal,” Thompson said. Jeana’s twin, experience as fresh- more forward Hallie Lee. Lee, be pretty well-set in our offense The team’s other senior, re- men. who holds several scoring re- and patterns and know pretty serve guard Ally Kelly, has also “We had a really good fresh- cords at her high school, trans- well what to expect from the been asked to provide leadership man class, and they’re now ferred from Daytona Beach other girls.”

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BOBCAT BASKETBALL GUIDE

Page 6 - The University Star

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Guards Ally Kelly Class: Senior Hometown: Austin Height: 5’9” Position: G

Ryann Bradford Class: Freshman Hometown: Fort Worth Height: 5’11” Position: G

Bradford lettered all four years while helping her team along to three regional appearances. She averaged 14.2 points her senior year while also finishing fourth at the state track and field meet.

Jenna Hoffman Class: Sophomore Hometown: Mitchell, S.D. Height: 5’8” Position: G

Kelly lettered in four sports in high school while averaging 19 points. She transferred from the University of Mississippi after one season. Kelly scored a season high 15 points at McNeese State University during last year’s campaign.

Ashley Leffingwell Class: Freshman Hometown: Allen, Texas Height: 5’9” Position: G

Jeana Hoffman Class: Sophomore Hometown: Mitchell, S.D. Height: 5’8” Position: G

Jenna lettered in five sports during her high school career while also being selected first-team All-State during her sophomore, junior and senior year. Jenna made 17 of her 49 attempted shots from three-point range last year.

Tamara Thompson Class: Senior Hometown: Del Valle, Texas Height: 6’0” Position: G/F

Jeana holds the record for all-time leading scorer at Mitchell High School. Hoffman started that all 28 games as a freshman while shooting 72 percent from the free-throw line.

Leffingwell averaged 13.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game under head coach Amy Pool. She was named team captain her final three years. Ashley’s grandfather is a graduate of Texas State.

Forwards Hallie Lee Class: Sophomore Hometown: Ottawa, Kan. Height: 6’1” Position: F

Kia Palmer Class: Freshman Hometown: Miami, Fla. Height: 6’0” Position: F

During Lee’s lone season at Daytona Beach Community College, she was named StudentAthlete of the Year. Her mother is a professor at Ottawa University while her father is a teacher and high school football coach.

Palmer averaged 22.1 points and 12 rebounds her high school career leading her team to a 24-3 record her senior year. Kia was named to the All-State Team three of her four seasons at Westminster Christian.

Ashley Riley Class: Junior Hometown: Cartersville, Ga. Height: 6’2” Position: F

Erica Putnam Class: Junior Hometown: Eagle River, Ala. Height: 6’1” Position: F

Putnam was selected three times to the All-Regional team while averaging 13.1 points. Her senior year, Putnam led her team to a 24-3 record and the Class 4A State Championship. Putnam played in 25 of the Bobcats’ 28 games last season.

Joyce Ekworomadu Class: Sophomore Hometown: Coppell, Texas Height: 5’9” Position: G/F

Riley shot 81.3 percent from the free throw line last year as she appeared in 22 games. The psychology major set a school record with 18 points in one quarter at Cartersville High School.

Elyse Wright Class: Junior Hometown: Colorado Springs, Co. Height: 5’11” Position: F

Wright accompanied Central Arizona to a 35-1 record and the NJCAA national title. Elyse shot 81 percent from the foul line and 48 percent from the field during the Vaqueros championship season.

Star file photo

Ekworomadu played all 28 games her freshman year finishing second on the team with 33 steals. The prepharmacy major was honored team MVP her junior and senior year at Coppell High School.

Center Tiffany Cook Class: Junior Hometown: Houston Height: 6’1” Position: C

Thompson was a four year letter earner at Del Valle where she averaged 22 points per game her senior year. Thompson started 25 games for the Bobcats last season averaging 13.7 points and 4.9 rebounds.

Cook appeared in 27 of the 28 games last season shooting 43.6 percent from the field. Cook was invited twice to the Adidas Top Ten All-American camp.

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BOBCAT BASKETBALL GUIDE

Thursday, November 3, 2005

The University Star - Page 7

Guards

Brad Brickens Class: Senior Hometown: Austin Height: 6’4” Position: G

Antwoine Blanchard Class: Junior Hometown: Little Rock, Ark. Height: 6’0” Position: G

Lance Burroughs Class: Senior Hometown: South Lake, Texas Height: 6’4” Position: G

Brandon Bush Class: Freshman Hometown: Houston Height: 6’6” Position: G

Blanchard returns to the team after redshirting last year. The junior, who was named Arkansas Player of the Year in high school, sank more than half of his threepoint attempts in 2004.

Burroughs started nine games last season and is an experienced two-guard. He was also one of four players last season to see action in all 28 games.

RCS Sports ranked the 19-year-old swingman as a top-35 player in the Houston area last year. Bush’s father also attended Texas State.

This first-year transfer from Northern Oklahoma College will be looking to contribute after averaging 19 points per game last year. He holds the single-season scoring record at Northern Oklahoma as well as those for free throws attempted and made.

Jeremy Johnson Class: Junior Hometown: Oklahoma City, Okla. Height: 6’3” Position: G

Forwards Charles Dotson Class: Junior Hometown: Humboldt, Tenn. Height: 6’5” Position: F

Clint Chasteen Class: Sophomore Hometown: Coppell, Texas Height: 6’5” Position: F

This second year walk-on was named all-district home team his senior year. He is the son of two high school basketball coaches.

Chris Langhorne Class: Senior Hometown: Willingboro, N.J. Height: 6’4” Position: F

The Bobcat’s first signee of the spring signing period is a transfer from Navarro Junior College. He averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds per game last year. Dotson is also an aspiring stand-up comic.

Rockett helped his Western Arizona team to a 31-3 record last year and was named as the team’s Defensive Player of the Year. He also shot 56 percent from the field.

Jason Rogers Class: Freshman Hometown: Dallas Height: 6’4” Position: F

Langhorne made an impact on the team after transferring from the College of Eastern Utah last year. He started 19 games as a transfer last year, including a buzzer beater for a 75-72 win over the University of Texas-Arlington. He also fell two assists shy of a triple-double in a loss to Northern Colorado.

The freshman lettered all four of his years at Madison High School. His 23 points per game also earned him the title of District 103A Most Valuable Player.

Dylan Moseley Class: Freshman Hometown: Frisco, Texas Height: 6’8” Position: F

Star file photo

Centers Justin Neuhaus Class: Freshman Hometown: San Marcos Height: 6’10” Position: C

This hometown hero helped lead his Hill Country High School team to a 28-2 season. Neuhaus, whose father and two brothers also attended Texas State, averaged five blocks per game last year.

Trevor Cook Class: Freshman Hometown: Coppell, Texas Height: 6’9” Position: C

C.J. Webster Class: Freshman Hometown: Missouri City, Texas Height: 6’8” Position: C

Cook was a McDonald’s AllAmerican Nominee who averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds a game as a senior for Coppell High School last year.

This senior is the leading returning scorer from last season. Bobcat fans hope Brickens will bounce back from an injury-plagued season after redshirting the 2003-2004 season.

This big man was ranked the 14th best player in the Houston area by RCS Sports. He averaged a double-double his senior year with 12 points and 12 rebounds per game.

JuShay Rockett Class: Junior Hometown: Long Beach, Calif. Height: 6’5” Position: F

This freshman entered campus as a McDonald’s All-American who was named Offensive Player of the Year last year in District 6-4A. Moseley was also recruited by the Air Force Academy, Cornell and Dartmouth. Markee White Class: Senior Hometown: Long Beach, Calif. Height: 6’7” Position: F

This two-sport athlete started 10 games for the Bobcats last year. He is also currently leading the Bobcat football team in reception yards and has scored two touchdowns.

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BOBCAT BASKETBALL GUIDE

Thursday, November 3, 2005

The University Star - Page 9

Opposition Outlook 05-06 11/9 Exhibition: Angelo State Rams

Division 2 04-05: 11-16 Rashawn Childs, G (Sr.) 12.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg Head Coach: Joe Esposito Seventh season

Conference: Conference USA (Div. 1) 04-05: 14-14 (9-9) Bryan Hopkins, G (Sr.) 17.9 ppg, 3.9 apg, 2.4 spg Head Coach: Jimmy Tubbs Second season 12/6 @ Arkansas Razorbacks (Fayetteville, Ark.)

Conference: SEC (Div. 1) 04-05: 18-12 (6-10) Ronnie Brewer, G (Jr.) 16.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.4 apg Pre-Season SEC Player of the Year Head Coach: Stan Heath 2nd season

Conference: Southland 04-05: 18-11 (9-7) Last season vs. Texas State: 1-1 Pre-Season SLC Coaches #2 Alan Daniels, F (Sr.) 19.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg 1st team Pre-Season All-SLC 4 returning starters Head Coach: Billy Tubbs 6th season

12/11 St. Edward’s Hilltoppers (Austin)

11/19 @ Utah Valley State Wolverines (Orem, Utah)

Conference: Southland 04-05: 8-19 (2-14) Last season vs. Texas State: 2-0 Texas State Pre-Season SLC Coaches #10 Daryl Mason, G (Sr.) 8.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg Head Coach: Orlando Early 1st season 1/28 @ Northwestern State Demons (Natchitoches, LA)

1/12 @ UT Arlington Mavericks (Arlington, TX)

Conference: Independent (Div. 1) 04-05: 16-12 David Heck, F (Jr.) 9.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg Head Coach: Dick Hunsaker Fourth season

Div. 2 04-05: 6-21 Ja’Faar Johnson, G (Sr.) 8.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg Head Coach: Ryan Marks 2nd season

Conference: Southland 04-05: 13-15 (7-9) Last season vs. Texas State: Texas State 2-0 Pre-Season SLC Coaches #5 Steven Thomas, F (Sr.) 17.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg Head Coach: Eddie McCarter 13th season

12/15 @ Texas Pan-American Broncs (Edinburg)

11/23 UT-Permian Basin Falcons

Conference: Red River (NAIA) 04-05: 9-23 (9-13) Marlo Saunders, G (Sr.) 21.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg Head Coach: Randy Lee First season 11/26 @ Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans (Little Rock, Ark.)

Conference: Sun Belt (Div. 1) 04-05: 18-10 (10-4) Zack Wright, G 11.1 ppg, 4 rpg Head Coach: Steve Shields Third season 12/1 SMU Mustangs

1/26 @ Louisiana Monroe Indians (Monroe, LA)

1/7 Lamar Cardinals

11/18 @ Utah Utes (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Conference: Mountain West Division 1 04-05: 29-6 Bryant Markson, F (Sr.) 10.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg Head Coach: Ray Giacoletti Second season

04-05: 13-12 (13-9) Brandon Weasby, G (Jr.) 20.2 ppg, 47.8 percent (3 Pt) Head Coach: Matt Wallis 1st season

Last season vs. Texas State: 1-0 Texas State Pre-Season SLC Coaches #4 Chris Jordan, G (Sr.) 11.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3 apg 2nd team Pre-Season All-SLC Head Coach: Bob Marlin 8th season

1/16 Texas Pan-American Broncs 1/19 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks Conference: Independent (Div. 1) 04-05: 12-16 Derrick East, F (Sr.) 7.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg Head Coach: Robert Davenport 2nd season Conference: Southland 04-05: 12-15 (6-10) Last season vs. Texas State: 1-0 SFA Pre-Season SLC Coaches #8 Marcus Clark, G (Sr.) 13 ppg, 3.9 apg 1st Pre-Season All-SLC Head Coach: Danny Kasper 6th season

12/22 @ Texas Longhorns (Austin)

Conference: Big 12 (Div. 1) 04-05: 25-8 (12-4) Daniel Gibson, G (So.) 22.2 ppg, 3.9 apg Pre-Season 1st team All-Big 12 Head Coach: Rick Barnes 8th season

1/21 Sam Houston State Bearkats

12/30 UT-Tyler Patriots Conference: American Southwest (Div. 2)

Conference: Southland 04-05: 18-12 (11-5)

2/13 @ Southeastern Louisiana Lions (Hammond, LA)

State: 2-0 SE LA Pre-Season SLC Coaches #3 Ricky Woods, F (Sr.) 17.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg 1st team Pre-Season All SLC 2 returning starters 2004-2005 SLC Champions Head Coach: Jim Yarbrough 1st season 2/4 Nicholls State Colonels

Conference: Southland 04-05: 6-21 (1-15) Pre-Season SLC Coaches #11 Stephan Blaszazynski, F (Jr.) 14.4 ppg, 5 rpg 1 returning starter Head Coach: J.P. Piper 2nd season

2/2 Southeastern Louisiana Lions Conference: Southland 04-05: 24-9 (13-3) Last season vs. Texas

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Conference: Southland 04-05: 15-13 (10-6) Last season vs. Texas State: 2-0 UTSA Pre-Season SLC Coaches #6 Andre Owens, G (Sr.) 11.2 ppg, 4 rpg 2nd team Pre-Season All-SLC 1 returning starter Head Coach: Tim Carter 11th season

3/6 SLC Tournament begins

2/8 @ Lamar Cardinals (Beaumont, TX)

Conference: Southland 04-05: 21-12 (13-3) Last season vs. Texas State: 1-0 NW State Pre-Season SLC Coaches #1 Jermaine Wallace, G (Sr.) 11.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg 1st team Pre-Season All-SLC 5 returning starters 3 players named to Pre-Season All SLC teams Head Coach: Mike McConathy 5th season 2001 SLC Champions

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BOBCAT BASKETBALL GUIDE

Page 10 - The University Star

THE TEXAS

NBA season preview By Nathan Brooks Sports Reporter On Tuesday, the 2005-2006 NBA season tipped off, and for all 30 teams around the league, the journey for a championship began. With each new season comes change, and this season is no different. A new crop of rookies entered the league looking to create their own legacy, and big name players like Michael Finley, Larry Hughes, and Antoine Walker changed teams. The league also made a cosmetic change, as it installed a dress code that ended the era of baggy jeans, throwback jerseys and blinding bling among its players. However, one thing that didn’t change is the heated rivalries and bragging rights among the trio of teams in the Lone Star State. Last season, all the teams in the state of Texas won more than 50 games apiece and caused havoc for opposing teams making the trek through Texas. The Texas Triangle (Houston, San Antonio and Dallas), over the last several years, has run through San Antonio, as the Spurs have won three championships in the past seven seasons. This season is no different, as the rich got richer over the summer with the champs picking up Michael Finley from Dallas and Nick Van Exel from Portland. Both former All-Stars signed with the Spurs at discount rates in hopes of winning a championship. The veteran guards look to add leadership and consistency to the San Antonio bench that saw spotty play throughout last season. The Spurs also will look to 30-year old rookie Fabricio Oberto to provide depth behind Tim Duncan and Nazr Mohammed to add the defense and rebounding that center Rasho Nesterovic has yet to show in the post. Mohammed was added at the trade deadline last season for Malik Rose and has shown glimpses of becoming the interior presence that has been missing alongside Tim Duncan since David Robinson retired. The Spurs have one of the deepest rosters in the league and with the emergence of Manu Ginobili into superstar status last year; the Spurs should be the favorite to repeat as NBA Champions. The Houston Rockets improved considerably this summer, as they quietly had one of the best off-seasons coming into this season. Last season, the Rockets were the oldest team in the entire league and lacked the athleticism and speed to get past the Mavericks in Game 7 of the first round in the 2005 NBA Playoffs. Obviously, changes needed to be made to a team that won 51

TRIANGLE

regular season games but couldn’t get past the first round in the playoffs. The Rockets added youth and athleticism in draft pick Luther Head from Illinois, who had an impressive preseason and is expected to contribute off the bench until Bob Sura recovers from off-season knee surgery. Houston also signed Stromile Swift from Memphis and expects him to come in and start alongside Yao Ming and provide the defense and rebounding that has been

missed from that position over the last few seasons. GuardDerek Anderson signed with the Rockets after being cut by the Blazers under the one time amnesty clause and should provide some much needed size and athleticism to the perimeter that was sorely missed by Houston last year. Houston also shipped Mike James to Toronto for Rafer Alston providing the first natural point guard in a Houston uniform m in many seasons. Alston could clash with head coach Jeff Van Gundy but it is unlikely considering this isn’t going to be a team that will lose exhibition games to pro teams from Europe. The pieces may take time to fit but this is the best supporting cast that Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady have had in their short time together. Houston could end up with the second best record out west but with San Antonio is the same division, it is unlikely the Rockets will be seeded higher than fourth come playoff time. Where the Spurs and Rockets made noticeable improvements, the Dallas Mavericks decided for the second straight off-season to let a franchise great go. Dallas cut possibly the franchise’s greatest player in Finley this summer using the league’s one time amnesty clause. This comes after last year’s decision to let Steve Nash walk away and replace him with the underachieving and overpaid Erick Dampier. Nash of course went onto win the league’s MVP trophy and lead the Phoenix Suns to the league’s best record. Finley moved onto rival San Antonio and should help bring another

trophy back to the River City. The Mavericks got an aging Doug Christie and unproductive DeSagana Diop to replace Finley and add depth to a team that is clearly moving towards its youth. Youngsters Josh Howard, Marquis Daniels, and Devin Harris will have the opportunity to show what they can do with extended this season. Dirk Nowitzki will shoulder the offense, but the All-Star needs to make the transition to team leader after the departures of Nash and now Finley. This season is going to look different for Mavs fans as the team has not only seen a change in faces on the court, but with head coach Avery Johnson bringing a larger emphasis on defense. The Mavericks should make the playoffs but it isn’t going to be easy like it has in the recent past. The Texas Triangle has become the most feared road trip in the NBA, and it looks like that isn’t going to change this year. The battle for supremacy among the Spurs, Rockets and Mavericks hasn’t changed either.

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Trades and acquisitions in 2005 By Adam Schoenky Sports Columnist Even if you’re a diehard NBA fan, you may not have thought about the league since you last saw Tim Duncan almost crack a smile after finishing off the Detroit Pistons last June. In the free-market era of the NBA, however, no off-season is without its share of blockbuster events. Just so no one is confused when the season tips off and several familiar faces have switched locations, here’s what went on. Since all three teams in the Texas Triangle (Houston, San Antonio, Dallas) are key factors in the Western Conference, all of them did some tinkering with the lineups. It’s only fitting to start with the champs. The Spurs apparently weren’t content with simply dominating every team they faced; they wanted to have the deepest team in the league as well. The additions of Michael Finley and Nick Van Exel to the roster are two very important steps toward that goal. Finley makes the trip down Interstate 35 from Dallas, who cut him because of a clause in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that allowed them to save money on the contract. Both veterans provide leadership and depth to a team that wasn’t really lacking either. Mark Cuban can’t be happy. After seeing two of his former team leaders go to the Maverick’s rivals, Cuban reacted by picking up a rival team’s veteran of his own. Doug Christie comes to the Mavericks after a stint in Orlando that was almost as short as the lifespan of the reality TV show he had with his wife. Cuban hopes that Christie will help fill the void left by Finley. Coach Avery Johnson hopes his perimeter defense will help put the ‘D’ back in Dallas. The Houston Rockets couldn’t keep quiet after their game-seven meltdown last year against Dallas. Stromile Swift, who Houston acquired from Memphis in the off-season, should be a good fit. His size and shot-blocking ability will take some of the load off of Yao Ming’s shoulders. As far as Tracy “T-Mac” McGrady’s load goes, point guard Rafer Alston will be a nice complement, if he can keep Jeff Van Gundy from challenging him to

a fistfight. Somehow, I don’t see that happening. While all three Texas teams made moves, they paled in comparison to what the Miami Heat are up to. It is obvious that the Heat are gearing up for a championship run. By adding players that were stars on other teams that are now willing to be role players, they may be on their way. Miami picked up established players Antoine Walker, Jason Williams and James Posey. Walker will be vying for Sixth Man of the Year honors, Jason Williams will add depth and free up NBA poster boy Dwayne Wade and Posey should be an adequate replacement for Eddie Jones. If these guys are truly willing to accept their new roles and play to expectations, the entire league should watch out for the Heat. Once again, riding on the coattails will be Gary Payton. The Glove also signed with Miami in the off-season, once again playing prognosticator and hitching on with the team he thinks has the best chance to win it all. I sort of hope he gets it so he’ll go away. One team in the East to have a new look this year is the New York Knicks. Isiah Thomas had his most successful off-season as president of the team, and the additions of Quentin Richardson, Jerome James, and Eddy Curry will give new coach Larry Brown something to work with. There is no reason the Knicks shouldn’t make the playoffs in the East. Brown won’t be the only coach pacing new sidelines this year. Taking his place in Detroit will be former Timberwolves Coach Flip Saunders. Perhaps the biggest move of the summer involved another big-name coach. Phil Jackson decided during the off-season that he needed a ring for the other thumb, so the Zen Master will be back for a run at his tenth NBA Championship and what will I’m sure be an emotional reunion with Kobe Bryant. The publishing houses are already clamoring for the rights to the tell-all book about this one. Now at least you won’t be surprised if you find your favorite player in your rival team’s jersey when tip-off comes. Now that you won’t have to worry about what jersey they’re wearing, you can concentrate on the flashy new suits the players will have on.

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