Latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll Honorably Mentions Lady Jags

December 29, 2008 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Women's · Comment 

The Lady Jaguars are starting to be recognized outside of the Sun Belt Conference for thier 10-2 start to the season. They have been rewarded with an honorable mention vote in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and is the only Sun Belt school to receive a vote in the poll this week.

This marks only the fifth time in the schools history that USA has received a vote in a national poll. Last year the Lady Jags had at least one vote for 3 straight weeks in the national poll, receiving as many as 3 in one poll. Previously USA had a vote in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches preseason poll prior to the 2003-2004 season, during the 2003-2004 season they received two honorable mention votes in the AP poll and eight votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

Connecticut topped the polls this week with a perfect 10-0 record with 31 first-place votes.

The Lady Jaguars next game will be tonight at the Mitchell Center when they host Ohio University in its final non-conference game of the season. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05pm.

Go Jags!

Jags 20-0 Run Tops Off 32 Point Win Over Spring Hill

December 28, 2008 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The South Alabama Jaguars faced two opponents in this game, its longest layoff since opening the season in mid November and a 10 point deficit. But the Jaguars woke up from its holiday slumber and beat the cross town challeger by 32 points in the end.

With 7:30 left in the first half, Marcus Coleman hit his sixth 3-pointer in the half to put the Badgers up 39-29 and give them their final double digit lead of the game. The Jaguar defense would come on strong to end the first half only allowing two field goals in the rest of the first half and cutting the Badger lead down to two at the half.

DeAndre Coleman would give USA their first lead of the game at just over one minute played in the second half, 34-33 and opened up a 39-35 advantage. But the Badgers would keep themselves in the game, bringing the contest to 41-40 still early in the second half. Then the Jaguars, over the next five and a half minutes, would take firm control of the game with a 20-0 run that was capped off with two Domonic Tilford 3-pointers to make the score 61-40 with under 11 minutes left in the game. The Badgers would be outscored in the second half 57-23.

Domonic Tilford would lead the Jaguars in scoring with 19 on 8-17 shooting and going 2-8 from 3-point range. He was followed by Brandon Davis with 13, LaShun Watson with 12, and C. J. Garner with 11. DeAndre Coleman fell one point short of a double double with 9 points and 11 rebounds on the night.

Marcus Coleman lead all players in scoring with 30 on 10-18 shooting all of that from beyond the 3-point arc. His next closes scorer was Jeremy Price with 10.

Jaguars out shot the Badgers 50%-29% from the floor, and 80%-55% from the free throw line while the badgers held the edge from beyond the 3-point arc 35%-25%. Also, the Jaguars held the edge in rebounds 48-29 for the game. USA also led the Badgers in point in the paint 56-12, points off of turnovers 15-6, second chance points 20-5, fast break points 16-10 and scoring from the bench 40-12.

USA will return to Sun Belt Conference play on New Years day when they travel to Florida Atlantic for a 1pm tip-off.

Go Jags!

Les Koenning Accepts Position With Mississippi State

December 27, 2008 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

South Alabama’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach has accepted a position with Coach Dan Mullen and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. He has previously coached at Mississippi State from 1986-1989 as running backs and wide receivers coach.

Coach Koenning has been an offensive coordinator since 1998 when he first took the reigns at Duke. Following Duke he has coached at Houston, Texas Christian, three years at Alabama and five years at Texas A&M. Overall Coach Koenning has been part of squads that have gone to nine bowl games.

When asked about Coach Koenning leaving he stated, “I’m really pleased for Les, this is a great opportunity for him. He’s an outstanding coach and recruiter who deserves to be at a school like Mississippi State. This was too good of an opportunity for him to turn down, we wish him tremendous success in the future.”

Also, Coach Koenning had this to say about the South Alabama football program. “I have no doubt that South Alabama is heading in the right direction, and I’m thankful for the past year that I was able to spend there. The opportunity to return to Mississippi State and work with coach Mullen was an opportunity my family and I could not pass up. I wish nothing but the best for South Alabama and all of the fine people I had an opportunity to work with.”

Coach Koenning was named to the USA staff on February 29, 2008 and was the schools first offensive coordinator but never coached in a game for the Jaguars. Now the search is on for his replacement. No words as of yet about possible replacements but coach Jones has indicated previously that they are looking to run a shotgut type spread offense with balance running and passing the ball.

We hate to see coach Koenning go, but us at ThunderJags.com wish him the best in the SEC with Mississippi State.

-Go Jags!

Lady Jags Roundup

December 22, 2008 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Women's · Comment 

The lady Jags have played six games during the December stretch so far and have gone 5-1 to run their overall record to 10-2 for the season and 2-0 in SBC play.

December 2nd the lady Jags hosted Houston Baptist and won a blow-out 83-48. Shakira Nettles scored a game high 21 points on 8-12 shooting, 5-8 from 3-point range and Vontrice Dennis chipped in with 13 points as the only two Jags to score in double digits. Jessica Starling helped with 10 rebounds for a game high as well.

The Lady Jags out-shot houston Baptist in all three categories Field Goals 42%-37%, 3-point Field Goals 44%-22% and Free Throws 77%-47% and out rebounded the opponents 52-32.

The only loss during the stretch came on December 6th at Southern. Poor first-half shooting was too much for the lady Jags to overcome on the road and lost 62-58. The Jags only hit two field goals in the first 10 minutes of the game and fell behind 18-6 and went into the lockerroom with a 35-26 deficit.

The second half, Deidre Jackson’s hot hand continued and prevent USA from chipping away at their lead but rather pushing it out to 45-31. After Coach Petri called a 30-second time out, the lady Jags intensity returned and cut the lead to 54-51 with 3:43 left in the game. Back to back baskets stretched the lead out to 58-51. Starling hit two free throws with 10.3 seconds left to cut the lead but Southern sealed the game with two free throws of their own.

Jessica Starling lead the game in scoring with 17 points and Shakira Nettles scored 11 for the only two Jags in double digits scoring. The lady Jags were out-scored in all three categories, Field Goals 34%-52%, 3-point Field Goals 23%-38% and Free Throws 53%-56%. But the telling numbers are the shooting stats from the first half where the Jags were horrible shooting 27%-58% FG’s and 20%-50% from 3-point range.

The Jags traveled to Memphis, Tennessee on December 11th and came away with an impressive win 66-49. Both teams came out struggling shooting and only made 4 of their first 17 shots combined. With Memphis up by one with just over eight minutes to go in the first half, the lady jags went on a 14-2 run over five minutes and would go into halftime with a 35-23 lead. USA forced 14 turnovers which lead to 15 points and held a 24-14 point advantage in the paint in the first half.

The lady jags kept the heat on by forcing seven turnovers before the first media timeout of the second half. USA had the lead stretched out to 41-25 with 15 minutes left in the game when Memphis hit back to back shots to get within 12 points of the lady jags, but that would be as close as they would get for the remainder of the game. USA would stretch the lead out to 64-38, a 26 point lead, but held onto a 17 point win.

Ra’Shawna Sippio lead all scorers with 18 points and 12 rebounds and Shakira Nettles tossed in 14 to be the only other lady jag in double digits scoring. The lady jags won three of the big four stats: FG’s 36%-34%, FT’s 80%-69% and rebounds 44-43. Memphis did shoot better from outside the arc 20%-15%.

The lady jags then travelled to play Western Illinois on December 13th and came home with a 55-49 victory. It was another tough shooting night that had them use their defense to win the game by forcing 22 turnovers, 10 blocked shots and 11 steals.

USA lead by five at halftime but WIU went on a 13-5 run in the first six plus minutes of the second half to take the lead 29-26 with 13:38 left. After tying the game up, WIU went on a 9-0 run to take their largest lead of the game 38-29. After a timeout, the lady jags made a run of their own going 13-2. Then with 5:53, the defense stifled WIU only allowing two FG’s from that point on with the rest of their points coming from the free throw line.

Jessica Starling lead all scorers with 14 with Shakira Nettles tossing in 12 points of her own. USA only bested WIU in one stats category. They shot 71%-67% from the free throw line, otherwise WIU lead 30%-29% in FG’s, 46%-23% from three-point distance, and 43-40 in rebounding.

On December 17th, the Lady Jags snapped their nine game losing skid to Western Kentucky with a 66-59 win on a career night by Jessica Starling. Starling was 8-13 from the floor which included her 4-8 from three-point range.

USA led by seven at halftime and started the second half with a 11-2 run and by 16:21 left in the game they had pushed out to a 41-25 point lead. Jessica Starling lead USA in scoring with 28 and Ra’Shawna Sippio scored 10 in the game. Arnika Brown from WKU lead all in scoring with 28 and came down with 14 rebounds. USA split the four categories evenly with WKU.  The lady Jags shot 39%-30% FG’s and 35%-22% in 3pt FG’s while WKU shot 75%-67% from the free throw line and out rebounded USA 47-43.

The Jags went to 2-0 in the conference on December 20th with their win at Florida International 65-47. The Jags jumped out early building a 13 point lead which it would not surrender for the remainder of the game. Jessica Starling scored 12 and was closely follwed by Brittney Rutledge who had 11. While the stats were less than impressive, they did win all four stats categories by shooting 39%-32% in FG’s, 38%-33% in 3-point FG’s and 63%-60% in FT’s. Also the Jags out rebounded FIU 49-37.

The lady Jags is in the midst of a nine day holiday break. They will be in action again on December 29th at 7:05pm at the Mitchell Center when they take on Ohio.

Men’s Basketball Recap

December 21, 2008 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

Since I last wrote about the Jaguars Basketball team they have played four games, so I knew I thought I had better write a recap for this stretch of games.

On Sunday December 7th, the Jaguars hosted Houston Baptist at the Mitchell Center and came away with a blow-out win 93-63 to push their winning streak to four games since the Arkansas lass back just before Thanksgiving. The team was led by Domonic Tilford who scored 19 points and was closely followed by Charles Tabet with 17. DeAndre Coleman lead the team with 12 rebounds, 9 of them were defensive. The team as a whole out rebounded Houston Baptist 49-27 for the game, and out shot them 51% to 37% from the floor, 47% to 41% from 3-point range and 80% to 50% from the free-throw line.

On December 13th, the Jaguars traveled to Starkville, MS to take on the Bulldogs of Mississippi State. The Jags trailed the entire first half but Ronald Douglas and Brandon Davis gave the Jags the lead in the first minute of the second half. The lead would change hands a couple times until the Jags had their last lead of the game at 38-37 before the Bulldogs pulled away with a 15-0 run in the next 3:30 of game time.

Brandon Davis lead the scoring with 19 on 7-19 shooting and falling one rebound shy of a double-double. The next leading scorer would Domonic Tilford with 11 on 4-11 shooting, 3-6 from 3-point range. Mississippi State was led by Jarvis Vardado with 21 on 9-11 shooting in 26 minutes of play. The Jags were out shot in two of the three categories: 36%-54% from the floor and 62%-71% from the free throw line. But they did manage to out shoot the Bulldogs from 3-point range 36%-29%. Also the Jags out rebounded the Bulldogs for the game 39 to 33.

The Jags opened the Sun Belt Conference season hosting Western Kentucky at the Mitchell Center. Domonic Tilford had one of the best nights of his career but could not lift the Jags to a victory over the Hilltoppers in a 66-69 loss. Tilford scored 30 points on 9-16 shooting, going 7-11 from beyond the arc and a perfect 5-5 from the charity stripe. LaShun Watson and DeAndre Coleman both scored 10 points each. Brandon Davis came down with 13 rebounds with 9 of them being defensive.

The Hilltoppers were lead by A.J. Slaughter who scored 21 points on 8-19 shoting and going 2-5 from 3-point range. Orlando Mendez-Valdez scored 20 going 7-11 from the floor and 4-8 from 3-point range. Two other Hilltoppers scored in double digits with Sergio Kerusch earning a double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds (13 of them defensive).

The lead changed 12 times over the course of the game, the last with just over seven minutes to go in the game.  The Hilltoppers pushed out to the largest lead of the game, 67-61 with just over two minutes left in the game. Domonic Tilford hit a three with from the top of the key with 19 seconds to go to bring the Jags within one point.  A.J. Slaugter then ended the scoring with two free throws just two seconds later.

The Jaguars were out-shot in all three categories: Field Goals 44%-48%, 3-point Field Goals 40%-44% and Free Throws 57%-89%. But just like the previous game, the Jags out rebounded the opposition 35-31.

Last night, December 20th, the Jaguars rebounded with 62-57 win over Florida International to even their mark in the Sun Belt Conference at 1-1 and snap a two game losing streak. Tilford followed up the 30 point effort against WKU with a 23 point game against FIU shooting 7-13 from the field and going 2-4 from 3-point range. No other Jaguars scored in double digits. The Jags led in two of the three shooting categories, Field Goals 42%-36% and Free Throw 70%-58%, but FIU out-shot the Jags from outside the arch 53%-50%. Also, FIU out rebounded the Jags 37-34.

USA will have an eight day holiday break for the Christmas Holiday but will return to the Mitchell Center with on December 28th to take on the Spring Hill Badgers with a 2:05pm Sunday afternoon tipoff.

Go Jags!

Joey Jones Show Recap 2008-12-17

December 18, 2008 · By · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Coach Jones was back in Mobile for his radio show this week with Brian Turner, the recruiting coordinator for the South Alabama Jaguars. Today marked the first day for Junior college transfers to sign with new schools.

Coach Jones had 13 scholarships available from this signing year and would be able to sign up to about two weeks into 2009 if necessary to use all of the 30 allocated scholarships in a given year. Jags staff have been busy recruiting their areas as well as hotbeds like California and Texas for players. They have been focusing on offensive and defensive linemen.

When the show went on the air, Coach Jones and his staff had already received six faxes from signees and expected about five more to come in relatively soon. Here is a rundown of some of the signees from the show.

Early James, quarterback from Jones County Junior College who is listed at 6’2″ and 191lbs. Coach Jones said he was a dual threat and was very athletic. He can play all over the field from Wide Receiver to Safety in addition to Quarterback. LSU and some other big SEC schools were recruiting him and some had dropped off. His family lives in Moss Point, MS so he wanted to stay close to them which factored into his choice of USA. Many schools do not have the type of offense that West Virginia has so many of the schools recruiting him were trying to decide if they wanted to move him to safety. He was ranged 44th among all junior college players by rivals.com. Last seasons stats: completed 115-239 passes for 1,406 yards and 12 TD’s leading Jones County to a 7-2 record and a #14 ranking in the final National Junior College Athletic Association poll.

Kevin Helms is a tight end from Mississippi Gulf Coach Community College. He is listed at 6’3″ and 225lbs. His hometown is Gulfport, MS. He is skilled at both blocking and has good hands. He can line up on the outside or down in a three point stance and be respected and each. He is willing to block or catch on any given play. Coach Jones also gave the hint that they will be using the tight end alot in their offensive scheme. He was named to first-team all-state and his team was rated fourth in the final NJCAA rankings and he helped lead them to a 12-0 record and the NJCAA National Championship in 2007.

Corey Pittman, also from Mississippi Gulf Coach Community College, is listed as being 6’5″ and 300 lbs from Chickasaw, Alabama. He was selected first-team all-state as a sophomore.

Heath Blount from Northeast Mississippi Junior College is 6’6″ and weighs 290 lbs as an offensive lineman.

Chris Brunson from Tyler, Texas is listed at 6’3″ and weighs 300 lbs as a lineman.

Brian Krauskopf is another offensive lineman from Texas. He is listed as being 6’3″ and weighing 285 lbs. He was named second-team all-region and all-state last season at Blinn Junior College. He helped them to a 9-3 record and a final ranking of 11th in the NJCAA polls. They finished the season 3rd in the nation with an average of 427.5 yards of total offense per game in 2008.

Chris Payne from Vicksburg, Mississippi is a 6’3″ offensive lineman weighing in at 320 lbs.

Levi Slaydon from Pearl River Community College in Mississippi is a 6’3″, 270 lb offensive lineman. His squad finished 8-3 and ranked 13th in the last NJCAA poll. They also was 14th nationally with an average of 370.8 yards per game of total offense.

Steven Pease is a Freshman listed as 5’11”, 175 lb defensive back from Williamstown, New Jersey. He helped Millford Academy (N.Y.) to a 9-3 record by breaking up 10 passes, four tackles for a loss and one interception. He was chosen as the teams most improved defensive player.

Each of these players will enroll at USA in January and will be able to participate in the program’s first ever spring practice. The schedule still can not be released until sometime after the new year since it still has not been finalized.

USA has been recruiting against teams such as Memphis, Southern Miss, other Sun Belt teams, Conference USA teams, and SEC teams. One they are expecting to sign was being recruiting by UCLA.

The Jags may pick up more players in the coming weeks as they go home and think about things. They may decide that they are not where they want to be and after talking with family could decide that South Alabama is the school for them.

Lee Shirvanian asked if Coach Jones believed in giving kickers scholarships. He replied yes, that one reason why he believed in giving them scholarhsips is because they are starting a new program and they need to make sure to have kickers on the team.

After what they have signed, they are pretty much done on offense with the exception of another quarterback. On defense, they want to get more defensive linemen and defensive backs. Also, they would not turn away any good linebackers either, but the DL and DB’s are the spots they identified as being spots of real need.

Continuing with other aspects of recruiting, someone asked if building a program around too many junior college transfers is a bad idea, Coach Turner replied that you want to build your programs foundation with freshmen then use Junior college transfers to fill in needs.

Someone asked if Gene Chizik’s recruiting could put a dent in Saban’s recruiting in the state of Alabama. Coach Turner said that he is a good recruiter wherever he has been but probably not. He was a hot coach coming out of Texas two years ago but his tenure at Iowa State has seen him cool off alot since then.

On the topic of recruiting players who are verbally committed to other schools but are in the midst of a coaching change (hint, Auburn), there is a feeding frenzy for their recruits. When asked if USA would get into that and have they, Coach Jones said yes they will and yes they have and indicated that they have made some calls to players that have been recruited by Auburn.

A caller said that he saw on ESPN that an assistant from Iowa State was being interviewed by Gene Chizik and that two coaches from South Alabama were also being considered for positions. His question was that if they lost two coaches would that set the team back. Coach Jones said that they would not want to lose any of their coaches but they want to move up and he wants the best for them. Its the nature of the business. But if they did leave they would have to find coaches and work hard for the players to make sure that their loss does not negatively impact the team.

If anything about this comes to our ears here at Thunderjags.com, we will pass it along as quickly as possible.

Go Jags!

Mississippi State May Have Florida OC As New Head Coach

December 10, 2008 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

With Sylvester Croom’s resignation after the Egg Bowl (MS State vs Ole Miss), little has been said about their coaching search. Some of that may have been the resignation (read firing) of Coach Tubberville up in Auburn. But Mississippi State is set to have a news conference on Thursday morning to introduce its choice for their head coaching job.

Coach Croom was a defensive minded coach which was quite obvious by the Bulldog’s hard nosed defense but it sorely lacked on the offensive side of the ball. So the Bulldogs wanted to find a coach that was high-energy, a strong recruiter and has an offensive background. If Dan Mullen has agreed to become their new coach, they have found their man.

Coach Mullen’s scoring offense at Florida has moved up from 49th in Division I to 3rd in Division I. Before going to Florida as the Offensive Coordinator, he was with Coach Meyer at Utah as quarterbacks coach and worked with Alex Smith, who was a number 1 NFL draft pick. He has also worked with Chris Leak during the Gators 2006 National Championship season and has worked with Tim Tebow for his 2007 Heisman Trophy year and likely a finalist for the Heisman again this season.

It is unclear if he will stay with the Gators through the BCS Championship game against Oklahoma.

In other coaching news, students and alumni marched in support of Tuberville yesterday. About 70 turned out protest what they believe was his forced exit from Auburn after a 5-7 season and a season ending 36-0 loss to Alabama. Tuberville had won 85 games over his 10 seasons at Auburn.

Some of the people interviewed for the position are Derek Dooley, Turner Gill, Brady Hoke, Rodney Garner, Patrick Nix and Todd Graham. Other names that have been floated as possible replacements are Paul Johnson, Jimbo Fisher, Gary Patterson and Will Mushchamp.

Joey Jones Show Recap 2008-12-10

December 10, 2008 · By · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show, Uncategorized · Comment 

Coach Jones joined the program over the phone since he was just across the state line from Auburn in Columbus Georgia for recruiting. He left out early this morning and will return late tonight. Also Travis Toth joined Lee Shirvanian at Wings Sports Grill, he is the marketing director at USA.

First off Lee wanted to bring everyone up to date on recruiting. Coach Jones said that they are at the point where they can be more specific about what they are looking for such as defensive linemen, linebackers, getting another quarterback or so and they would be looking pretty well. They seem to be set with offensive linemen, running backs and wide receivers for now.

It was brought up that a letter was sent out by the SEC and SBC clarifying an NCAA rule that they had been back and forth on for some time now. The rule maybe was a bit fuzzy so they ruled that coaches could not attend the game or practice of the Alabama – Mississippi All-Star Game coming up soon. Even though they are in a contact period with recruits they cannot go to these events. A lot of good players have played in this game and it’s a huge honor for any high school player to be selected to play in this game.

When asked about the challenges the coaches have when it comes to preparing for this game coach Jones answered that the key was offense. Defensive schemes are easier to prepare and get the kids ready for, but offense is a huge key to get prepared. They will be bringing together kids that play in a multitude of different offensive schemes. Some may have played in the Wing-T, Veer, or Spread offenses so bringing them together and creating a cohesive offense that they can run together is a huge task. The key is to keep it simple so they can learn, understand and execute it over the course of a four day period.

The holidays is coming up and Travis Toth talked about an ad they are running in the Mobile Press-Register as gifts for that sports loving fan this holiday season. They have a choice of two sideline tickets ($75 for the season) or two endzone ($48 for the season). It will come with a certificate for the tickets and a USA Football T-Shirt. So if you know a USA sports fan, this would be a great holiday gift for them to open on Christmas day.

Coach Jones said they have set dates for spring football practice and when I talked to one of the team members last night he told me that it will start February 18th. So after the holidays, they will jump right back into the grind to get ready for South Alabama Football in the fall. When asked about something like an A-Day game, similar to what Alabama and Auburn have in the spring, coach Jones said that they would have something special for the last day of spring practice. He did not indicate if it would be a full on A-Day game like experience or if it would be a more low-key scrimmage but something will be planned and we will know about it on his radio show for certain.

Daniel McCarthy has been hired as directory of compliance so he will be working closely with the football program to make sure everything is done by the book and no rules are broken accidentally. The rule talked about earlier with the All-Star game was mentioned again and he expects that it may be changed in the future. Kids may be recognized at the game who may not have received a scholarship otherwise which is a huge benefit to the kids.

Recruiting trips will continue through December 20th and then they will pick back up on or around January 4th, Coach Jones could not remember the exact date since he was on the road recruiting. USA will be able to sign up to 30 kids in February but they could receive more than those in verbal commitments. Some may not qualify academically, but they are talking to a lot of interested kids that have good grades so that may not be a concern come signing time.

Lee Shirvanian then asked Coach Jones what his first roster could look like. Jones responded that they could have anywhere from 50-60 on scholarship this fall and about 20 of those would be Junior College transfers and the rest walk-ons. He expects them to be 120-130 players by the time they start next summer preparing for the fall schedule. He started recruiting Junior College kids fairly close to home but they are now recruiting them from Texas, California and other places to find the best players they can to fill the positions they need. So far this year, 17 kids have been signed to scholarships and they have 13 more they can sign this calendar year. They have been working on some and can announce them around the December 17th deadline hopefully.

Lee brought up an interesting thing, why don’t Junior Colleges in Alabama play football? Coach Jones and others agreed it would be great for kids in our state. The economy and money are probably the biggest factors.

Coach Jones is not close to releasing the schedule yet for next year. Many of the coaches he is talking to for contracts have been in the midst of their season so negotiations have been put on the back burner for the last few weeks. They will be getting back into that soon. Currently, even the players do not know who they may be playing and I know at least one of them is quite eager to know.

Going back to the rules talk, Lee Shirvanian stated that lately he has not hear much about football rules violations. Mr. McCarthy said that rules compliance for football is much harder than for basketball. Basketball has maybe from 7-10 players they have to monitor. Football they could have 120-130 as Coach Jones indicated on their roster, that they have to monitor and make sure no rules are being breached. Its really a whole team effort to get this done. USA has a group of faculty volunteers that help advise these players when they come to see the school and it really helps that they can talk to faculty from their potential chosen majors too.

When asked about the sports dorms that the NCAA has gotten rid of, Coach Jones was outspoken about them. He likes the sports dorms for players so they are held responsible and are kept out of potentially bad situations. When he was a player at Alabama he knew that there were people there watching out for them. Kids are going to be kids, nothing has changed since he was in college. They do not need babysitting but they can sometimes use a big brother as a mentor.

Lee asked Coach Jones about how soon USA could have a senior in the Senior Bowl, which is held each year in Mobile, Alabama. Coach Jones was very optimistic and enthusiastic stating that it could be in the next few years. They are really bringing in good, talented players that could be selected. Its also a good recruiting tool to say that the Senior Bowl is located in Mobile and that they will definitely be looking at USA for potential players.

Travis Toth then mentioned that USA will be hosting our basketball rival, Western Kentucky on Thursday, December 18th and we need everyone we can get into the Mitchell Center to help kick off the Conference season with a big win over the Hilltoppers. They have been playing well and so has USA. So come out and join us for the game!

Jaguars Rally Leads To Overtime Win At Southern Mississippi

December 4, 2008 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The Jaguars improved their record to 5-3 on the season with the overtime victory at Southern Miss. DeAndré Coleman made a layuup with 31 seconds left in the game on Tuesday to put the Jags on top for good. Coleman, in addition to putting USA in front for good, also was the his second double-double in a row. Ronald Douglas blocked a follow-up shot by Craig Craft which Domonic Tilford then made the rebound and was fouled to seal the game with two made free throws.

The Jags were lead by Domonic Tilford who scored 15 on the night. Both DeAndrae Ross and Ronald Douglas scored 13 while DeAndre Coleman came off of the bench to score 12 and collect 12 rebounds. Leading all scores was Jeremy Wise from USM with 7-20 fieldgoals, 4-11 from three and 10-13 free throws for a 28 point night.

USA was down by six points at halftime but came out in the second half with several quick scores to erase whittle that lead down to one point and taking the lead shortly thereafter.

USA lead 57-52 with 6:15 left in the game but USM came back to force overtime by hitting 3 three pointers in the final 3:30 of the game.

The Jags will take the court again on Sunday with an afternoon tip-off against Houston Baptist at the Mitchell Center at 2:05pm.

Go Jags!

Lady Jaguars Win Big Over Houston Baptist

December 4, 2008 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Women's · Comment 

The Lady Jags cruise to a big win over Houston Baptist 83-48 at the Mitchell Center. The Lady Jags improve their record to 6-1 on the season and they will begin a three game road swing starting on Saturday when they visit Southern.

The Jags rolled up the points with Shakira Nettles leading the way with 21, falling one point shy of her career high but hitting on a career best five three pointers. The only other Jag in double figures scoring was Vontrice Dennis.

USA shot 42% from the floor compared to Houston Baptists 37%. USA also out rebounded Houston Baptist 52-32.

Both teams came out cold with USA only making one of their first seven shots but by the 10:42 mark in the first half they held a 22-10 lead.

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