Nothing terribly new to add here…since I last posted, the Mavs beat UL-M, lost to a good LA-Lafayette team, which ends a year that saw us transition to a new conference and we did ok but without the great defensive skill we’ve seen in the last two years. 15-17, 10-10. The Shorthorn sports department did a great job covering the team, including a nice piece from Gus Contreras about what it was like to write about the team for the paper.
Our first year in the Sun Belt started with some nail-biter losses against Big 12 schools, some nice wins, some really bad halves in which we gave up big leads against some of the top teams in our conference…but also gave some hints at how good we could be in the future (Lonnie’s scoring in the paint, Outler’s incredible outside shooting against Georgia State, Bilbao’s non-stop hustle, Williams with impressive play in the paint, and did Walker dominate in the tournament or what?). I think next year we’ll be in the top 3 or 4 in the conference and depending on the non conference schedule, maybe around the 20-win mark.
The NCAA tournament continues to demonstrate how all teams are somehow connected…the teams you’re seeing play now are teams we’ve played, or a team that we’ve played has played or a team that we’ve played has played a team that played that team. It’s interesting to see teams that have a stellar record since the first part of the season can cool off at the wrong time of the season…or teams from smaller conferences can play 40:00 of once-in-a-decade flawless basketball and put their programs on the map for a year or two because a big win over a traditional powerhouse that 19 out of a 20 times would likely beat them by 15 or 20 points.
I’ll post a 2014-2015 preview with recruiting info and scheduling tidbits as we get closer to the season.
With five scholarships I think (Shaq, Edwards, McIlvain, Dowell, Lagerson), we’ll likely see another recruit or two signed during the April signing period April 16-May 21.
So far we have:
Erick Neal, 5’9″ point guard from Dallas
Julian Harris, 6’5″ forward from Mansfield Lake Ridge
Kevin Hervey 6’7″ forward from Bowie High School
We’ve got a ton of guards next year, and our big men on the roster are Bilbao (6’8″, will be a sophomore in 2014-2015), Anthony Walker (6’9″, senior in 2014-2015) and Brandon Williams (6’10”, sophomore in 2014-2015)…so with that much youth at the 4-5 position, I’d think we’ll see a BIG junior transfer post player and maybe one more 6’5″-6’7″ junior transfer wing that can play some defense and score a bit.
And yes, my bracket is a mess also. That’s why I love March.