#89 Stephen F Austin: 2010-11 Basketball Preview
Overall Rank: #89
Conference Rank: #1 Southland Conference
2009-10: 23-9, 11-5
2009-10 postseason: none
Coach: Danny Kaspar (181-113 at Stephen F. Austin, 400-165 overall)
Despite a 23-9 overall record, Stephen F. Austin was left out of the postseason. Yet, the 2009-2010 campaign was the Lumberjacks third consecutive 20-win season and they show no signs of slowing down. Losing point guard Eric Bell and backcourt mate Walt Harris does not sound good, but this is a team that has plenty of options to step into their roles.
Key Losses: G Eric Bell, G Walt Harris, C Will Reinke, F Orren Tims
Many of those options will come from a large list of talented newcomers. This group is backcourt heavy and junior college heavy. Antonio Bostic, Dion Prewster and Zac Downing are all junior college wings who bring a variety of different skills to the Lumberjacks. Without Harris, one of them will likely step into major minutes right away. Incoming freshmen Desmond Haymon and Amos Olatayo will try to out battle some of the more experienced player for quality minutes. Darius Gardner is the point guard of the future and will almost have to be the backup point guard this year. The lone newcomer up front is junior college transfer Brandon Cutler. The 6-6, 210 pound sophomore is the third tallest player on the team and will have to be ready to contribute.
SFA only returns five players, but they also return four of their top five scorers. On top of that list of scorers is 6-2 senior Eddie Williams. There is not much that Williams does not do for this team. Besides leading the team with 13.3 points per game, he averaged 5.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.9 steals and even connected on nearly 41 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. If Williams is making plays and hitting shots, the Lumberjacks are tough to beat. Mark Gomillia did not play too much during his junior campaign, but was relatively productive in the scoring column when he was on the floor. Yet, with the influx of newcomers, especially from the junior college ranks, Gomillia could find it even more difficult to find minutes this year.
The frontcourt may not have size, but they have plenty of talent and experience with senior Jordan Glynn and junior Jereal Scott back. Those two were the only players on the team to start all 32 games a year ago. Glynn is the tough power forward. He is a decent interior scorer, but his ability to hit the glass is what makes him so dangerous. Scott is the better scorer and averaged an impressive 12.8 points per game. He is not as strong on the glass an Glynn, but those two do spearhead SFA’s defensive efforts. Scott is a decent shotblocker, but this is a team that usually plays pretty solid defense without blocking too many shots.
Who to Watch:
SFA lost their diminutive point guard in Bell to graduation, but there is a slightly taller diminutive point guard ready to take over. Denzel Barnes, a 5-7 senior, is a better scorer than Bell, but his turnover numbers need to improve drastically if the Lumberjacks want to return to the postseason. While it is nice that Barnes can shoot and score around the basket, there are plenty of other scorers on this team and Barnes needs to find them first and foremost.
If the junior college transfers pan out as well as they are expected, Stephen F. Austin will easily have another 20 win season and should be right in the mix for a Southland Conference title. The five returning players are all experienced and should form a nice core for Coach Danny Kaspar to build around while the newcomers adjust to their roles. However, the newcomers have more than enough talent to overtake some of the starting minutes sooner or later and the sooner that happens the sooner the Lumberjacks will be the team to beat in the SLC.
Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Denzel Barnes, Senior, Guard, 5.6 ppg
Eddie Williams, Senior, Guard 13.3 ppg
Mark Gomillia, Senior, Forward, 3.1 ppg
Jordan Glynn, Senior, Forward, 8.6 ppg
Jereal Scott, Junior, Center, 12.8 ppg
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