A&M-Commerce Lions at St. Edward's Hilltoppers
Friday, November 9 • 8 p.m.
Recreation and Convocation Center • Austin, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (0-0); St. Edward's (0-0)
A&M-Commerce Lions vs. UT-Permian Basin Falcons
Saturday, November 10 • 5:30 p.m.
Recreation and Convocation Center • Austin, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (0-0); UT-Permian Basin (0-0)
A&M-Commerce tips off the 2012-13 basketball season on the road, heading to Austin for a pair of games at the St. Edward's Shootout. The Lions open up the season facing host St. Edward's on Friday, November 9 at 8 p.m., followed by a meeting with UT-Permian Basin on Saturday, November 10 at 5:30 p.m.
Lions on the Web
Fans unable to make it to Austin can still stay up to date with every A&M-Commerce basket. Live video of both games will be available at Athletics.StEdwards.edu at a charge of $5.95 per game through Stretch Internet. Live statistics of both games will also be available at LionAthletics.com.
Scouting the Hilltoppers
2011-12: 11-15 overall, 3-11 Heartland Conference (7th), 8-7 home
Head Coach: Andre Cook (Skidmore College, 1994). Fourth season at St. Edward's (32-46, .410)
• #32 Shimeek Johnson (Sr., G): 468 pts. (18.0 ppg.), 43.5 FG%, 35.1 3FG%, 201 (7.7 rpg.), 52 ast., 16 blk., 24 stl.
• #24 Ziljan Jones (Jr., G): 303 pts. (12.1 ppg.), 45.8 FG%, 36.5 3FG%, 95 reb. (3.8 avg.), 112 ast., 39 stl.
• #11 Matt Miner (Jr., G): 188 pts. (7.2 ppg.), 35.4 FG%, 32.5 3FG%, 75.6 FT%, 41 reb. (1.6 rpg.), 33 ast., 22 stl.
• #44 Chris Wacker (Jr., F): 136 pts. (5.2 ppg.), 42.4 FG%, 68.8 FT%, 139 reb. (5.3 avg.), 24 ast., 26 blk., 20 stl.
• #34 Tyler Foster (Jr., G): 61 pts. (3.1 ppg.), 37.3 FG%, 28.1 3FG%, 40 reb. (2.0 rpg), 10 ast., 4 stl.
Series Information: A&M-Commerce and St. Edward's meet for the 18th time Friday as the Lions hold a 13-4 edge in the all-time series, including three-straight wins over the Hilltoppers. A series that started in 1923-24, the two have played off and on over the past 90 years, with nine of them being since Sam Walker took over the program in 2000. Under Walker, A&M-Commerce is 7-2 against the Hilltoppers, including a pair of victories in the 2010-11 season.
Scouting the Falcons
2011-12: 15-13 overall, 8-6 Heartland Conference (T-4th),
Head Coach: Dwaine Osborne (Clearwater Christian, 1994). Fourth season at UT-Permian Basin (38-43, .469)
• #21 Madison Turner (So., G): 223 pts. (8.0 ppg.), 43.5 FG%, 37.6 3FG%, 82.4 FG%, 78 reb. (2.8 rpg), 47 ast., 7 blk., 21 stl.
• The rest of the 2012-13 UT-Permian Basin roster is comprised of newcomers.
Series Information: Saturday marks the first-ever meeting between A&M-Commerce and UT-Permian Basin.
Walker Returns For 13th Season at Helm of Lions
A&M-Commerce head coach Sam Walker returns for his 13th season at the helm of the Lions. Walker has already made his mark among the A&M-Commerce record book, entering the season with an overall record of 192-148, ranking second all-time in wins and fourth in program history in winning percentage (.565). Walker guided the Lions to the Lone Star Conference tournament in 2011-12, marking the seventh-straight season A&M-Commerce had made an appearance in the postseason, the longest streak of any LSC team.
Returners Look To Improve on 2011-12 Campaign
By A&M-Commerce standards, 2011-12 was a disappointing season as the Lions finished just 10-17. But a handful of key returners will be looking to improve on last season's result, led by seniors Esteban Arriola, Andrew Davis and Abdoulaye N'doye. Davis was the Lone Star Conference's Academic Player of the Year while N'doye led the LSC in blocks as the two will form a formidable presence in the key. Junior Devondrick Walker emerged as a scoring threat for A&M-Commerce in his first season as a Lion while Quince Jackson came on strong at the end of the season, joining Arriola as a deep threat for the Lions.
Newcomers Expected To Make Immediate
Coach Walker looked to bolster his roster in the offseason, adding a handful of talented players to fill key positions with a number of them expected to compete for the starting job out of the gates. Guard Stefon Carson rejoins the Lions after taking a hiatus last season with fellow guard Jason Smith transferring from A&M-Corpus Christi and Tyrie Wooten adding some depth to an already talented backcourt. At the forwards, Donavon Gage and Kenny Brown should see a great deal of playing time with Gage impressing the fans this past week by winning the slam dunk contest at Lion Hoop Night.
Lions Picked Ninth in Preseason LSC Poll
A&M-Commerce was picked ninth in the Lone Star Conference preseason poll, picking up 91 points and finishing four points behind eighth-place Angelo State. The Lions finished eighth in the conference in 2011-12, winning its final three regular season games to qualify for its seventh-straight Lone Star Conference tournament and keeping intact the longest postseason streak in the conference. Tarleton State edged out reigning champion Midwestern State for the top spot in the preseason polls, with West Texas A&M, Incarnate Word and Cameron rounding out the top-five.
Following this weekend's St. Edward's Shootout, A&M-Commerce returns to the Field House for its home opener this Tuesday, November 13 when the Lions face Dallas Baptist at 7 p.m. Its then back on the road as A&M-Commerce heads to Stephenville for the Tarleton State Texan Tip-Off Classic, facing East Central on Friday, November 16th before a rematch with UT-Permian Basin on Saturday, November 17th.