Jags Fall At Troy 73-66

January 31, 2010 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The Jags fall for the fourth straight game, this time at Troy in overtime 73-66. This drops the Jags to 12-11 on the season and 4-7 in the Sun Belt Conference.

Again it was a tale of two halves. The first half saw the Jags play very well and take a 30-21 lead in the locker room. But the second half saw them struggle once again.

The Jags halftime lead was thanks in part to a 1 of 9 start by Troy from the field and a scoreless stretch of 5:30 late in the first half. Both teams combined for a mere 13 points in the final 9:13 of the first half as well.

The second half saw Troy make up their nine point halftime deficit with a 13-4 run about midway through the second half. From that point on during regulation, neither team would lead by more than three points.

An old fashioned three point play from Troy with 1:51 left in the second half would mark the end of the scoring during regulation play. Tim Williams missed a game winning three point shot with 22 seconds left as well as Troy’s Michael Vogler had his game winning lay-up blocked by South Alabama’s Javier Carter in the final seconds.

In overtime, the Jags scored the first points however Troy would answer with six consecutive points to gain a four point lead 63-59. Martino Brock would sink two free throws but then Troy would answer with two field goals for a six point lead for the Trojans.

The Jags would cut the lead to three on two occasions but their lead was too much as the Trojans went 6-for-6 from the free throw stripe to close out the game.

Tim Williams scored a career high 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to tie his career best and get his second double-double of the season. Gary Redus was the only other Jag to score in double digits with 10.

South Alabama won the rebounding game this time coming away with 43 while the Trojans came down with 35. But the Jags had 17 turnovers to the Trojans 12.

A frustrated Coach Arrow had this to say after the game. “We just didn’t get it done at the end,” he said. “We made some good decisions and did some good things but at the end we made some bad decisions. We hurried some shots and didn’t do the things we had to do.”

The Jags next game is Thursday when they travel to New Orleans for a 7pm tip off against the Privateers.

Jags Fall For 3rd Straight Game 70-59 To Florida Atlantic

January 30, 2010 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The Jags dropped their third straight game on Thursday night to fall to 12-10 on the season and 4-6 in the Sun Belt. The Jags have gone from near the top of the Sun Belt’s Eastern Division to next to last (ahead of Florida International).

Since losing Hersey and Sims for the season due to grades and Redus to an injury, the Jags have struggled. Redus is back, but probably won’t be 100% for a couple of games though.

The Jags were dominant in the first half by jumping out to a 16-6 lead while FAU missed their first seven attempts from 3-point range. But then a 20-5 run by the Owls would put them in control of the game.

The Jags had kept up with the Owls during the game but when they were tied 53-53 with 5:09 left in the game after two free throws from Philip Tabet. But then the Owls went on a 13-0 run over 3:38 to seal the game. South Alabama went without a field goal for 9:10 late in the second half, missing 10 straight shots. The Jags defense held the Owls to only 39.7% for the game but could only manage to shoot 32.8% themselves. Plus, once again they were out rebounded 47-38.

Tim Williams was the only Jag to score in double figures managing 14 points and Philip Tabet set a new career high by pulling in 10 rebounds in the game.

Coach Arrow had this to say after the game. “They had big shots and they executed. He [Mike Jarvis] has done a phenomenal job with a young bunch, of getting them to buy into patience on offense. They get after you on defense. We’re not doing enough late. Every game we have lost is at the end and we just don’t execute. We were shooting 46 and 52 percent from the field, now the last two games we’re shooting in the thirties. It’s just poor shot selection.”

The Jags will try to break their losing streak when they play at 11-10 (6-4) Troy on Saturday with tip-off scheduled for 7pm.

Quick Update On The Recruiting Front

January 25, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

With national signing day closing in quickly, it was a good time to look over the current list of verbal commits for the Jags.

Ones who have given South Alabama verbal commitments include Terrell Brigham Quarterback from Waynesboro GA, Calvin Jenkins Quarterback from Auburn AL, Johnny Lockett Running Back from Sweet Water AL, Jeremy McCrae Wide Receiver from Prattville AL, Aram Wynn Offensive Lineman from Saint Petersburg FL, Drew Dearman Offensive Lineman from Vestavia Hills AL, Chris May Offensive Lineman from Tuscumbia AL, Melvin Meggs Offensive Lineman from Petal MS, Ucambre Williams Offensive Lineman from Phoenix City AL, Rodney Thomas Defensive Tackle from Auburn AL, Josh Stinson Defensive End from Prattville AL, Dustin Lane Linebacker from Lithonia GA, Vondree Jackson Safety from LaGrange GA, Jameel Douse Cornerback from Saint Petersburg FL and Shane Doty Offensive Lineman from Fork Union Military Academy.

The latest commit is Shawn Artz Offensive Lineman from Gwinnett GA.

The Jags have also lost a couple recruits. Justin Sorrell, a Junior College defensive back who just signed with South Alabama, has asked for his release because SMU is interested in signing him. Also the new staff at Tennessee has grabbed one of the Jags best commitments in Martaze Jackson. He went to Knoxville recently and gave them his verbal commitment.

Jags Fall To Denver 71-48

January 25, 2010 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

Jags lost for the fifth time in the last six games on Saturday, falling at Denver 71-48. What did in the Jags was 14 three pointers and only four turnovers by the Pioneers. This puts the Jaguars at 12-9 for the season and 4-5 in the Sun Belt.

The Jags entered the game ranked second in the Sun Belt and 32nd nationally in 3-point defense. While the Pioneers was ranked second in the league in both 3-point percentage and 3-pointers per game.

In a low scoring half, the Pioneers went into the locker room with a 29-20 lead.

For the game, the Jags show 37.5% with season lows in both field goals (15), field goal attempts (40) and assists (5).

Coach Arrow was very displeased with the Jags performance. “We didn’t show up tonight,” he said. “We don’t have the manpower to do the things we were doing early in the year, but they have a really good bunch and they’ll pick you apart. If you don’t come ready to play, they’ll pick you apart and shoot the heck out of it from the 3’s. The number one thing we put on the board (in the locker room) was ‘Guard the 3-point line.’ Fourteen out of 28 is not what I’d call guarding the 3-point line.”

He further commented, “Our continuity is just really bad right now. We have kids playing out of position because of injury. Our continuity isn’t anywhere close to what it was. We just have to get back home and start doing the things we were doing earlier in the year.”

The Jags will return home to face Florida Atlantic on Thursday night with a 7:05pm in the Mitchell Center.

Also it has been confirmed that Raymond Sims has been deemed ineligible for the rest of this season by the NCAA.

Jags Fall To UNT, Lose Watson For Season

January 23, 2010 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The Jags fell again to North Texas on Thursday night 86-78 and fall to 12-8 overall and 4-4 in the Sun Belt. The Jags were out rebounded 48-31 in the game.

Why are the Jags having such problems now when they were doing so well early on? Simple, they have been without three players. Raymond Sims and LaShun Watson have been gone. Sims was suspended for ten games for breaking team rules and might possibly miss the rest of the season due to academic ineligibility. LaShun Watson will definitely miss the rest of the season due to being named academically ineligible by the NCAA. Also the Jags have been without Gary Redus due to an injury. So they have gone from 12 scholarship players to nine.

Compound the loss of those three players and the lack of inside production by the Tabet brothers and you have a recipe for problems. The other teams know they are short handed and have a lack on the inside so they have been playing them hard. Really hard. That is why the Jags have been keeping it close early in the game but fading late.

Redus should be able to return soon, which will help alot. But if Sims can get his act in gear and is also academically eligible (some rumors going around that he might not be) the Jags will be in much better shape.

What can be done in the mean time? The Tabet brothers have got to work harder to get rebounds and be an inside force. Phillips needs to be able to come in and make some shots.

We, the fans, need to come out to the Mitchell Center and help these guys out. They are getting knocked around and run up and down the court but are staying in the game down to the end. They need the Jaguar Nation to come out and be that 6th man. They need us to help push them those last minutes in the game, to give them that edge to beat their opponents.

Go Jags!! Bleed it Red!!

January 18th Vanguard Poll Question

January 20, 2010 · By · Filed Under Polls · 4 Comments 

[poll id=”4″]

Your vote can now be heard by by posting below with the best comment appearing in the January 25th issue of The Vanguard.

If you wish to be published in the paper, please leave your first name and which class year you represent.

Thanks for voting and please continue reading the Vanguard and Thunderjags.com.

Jags End Three Game Skid And Southpaw Wins A National Championship

January 18, 2010 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's, News · Comment 

Sorry I have been MIA until now but as you may have noticed, the Jags rebouding and inside game was also MIA for a while. The Jags lost three games in a row before coming up with a big win against Troy on Saturday night.

The Jags lost in overtime against Western Kentucky 67-64 before the BCS Championship game. Then they lost to Arkansas State two nights later 69-63 where ASU outplayed the Jags in the second half to battle back from a 9 point deficit. Both games were played at the Mitchell Center. These were two consecutive losses but three consecutive losses at home in the Mitchell Center.

Then on Thursday, January 14th the Jags traveled to Louisiana-Monroe and lost 61-58 in a close game despite commiting 23 turnovers. This was the Jags 3rd consecutive loss.

The Jags then returned home to the Mitchell Center to face the Troy Trojans. Troy connected on a game tying three pointer with 4.3 seconds left but Allyn Cooks would go the length of the floor to make a lay-up at the buzzer to win the game for the Jags 69-67.

After this span of four games, the Jags are now 12-7 overall and 4-3 in the Sun Belt. The current standings has Eastern Division as Western Kentucky 4-1, South Alabama 4-3, Troy 4-3, Florida Atlantic 4-3, Middle Tennessee 3-3, and Florida International 3-5. The Western Division standings are: Arkansas State 5-1, Denver 5-3, North Texas 4-4, Louisiana-Lafayette 3-3, New Orleans 2-5, Louisiana-Monroe 3-5, and Arkansas-Little Rock 1-6.

The Jags will play their next two games on the road. On Thursday, January 21 they play North Texas at 7pm then on Saturday January 23 they play Denver with a 5pm CST start.

Also South Paw, South Alabama’s mascot, won the National Championship in Orlando Florida. This was his first national championship. This was Southpaw’s first national championship competition and was able to defeat YouDee from Delaware for the title.

January 11 Vanguard Poll Question Post

January 13, 2010 · By · Filed Under Polls · 2 Comments 

[poll id=”3″]

Your vote can now be heard by by posting below with the best comment appearing in the January 18th issue of The Vanguard.

If you wish to be published in the paper, please leave your first name and which class year you represent.

Thanks for voting and please continue reading the Vanguard and Thunderjags.com.

~~~ Admin Edit:
We have had a few complaints that the poll above is, for reasons not yet known, not visible to some users. Because of this, we are posting the questions below, and you are welcome to leave your response in the comments section.

Poll Question: The January 11 Vanguard Sports Poll asked which scenario is best for South Alabama athletics:

  • A move to conference USA
  • Staying in the Sun Belt

Top 5 Stories Of 2009

January 4, 2010 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Football, Men's · Comment 

[EDIT] I had left out my original #2 that I had planned back at the beginning of December when I was mentally planning this article.

Its time for a quick look back as we let go of 2009 and start 2010. Also, since the Mobile Press-Register did not see fit to include South Alabama in their Top 10 stories in the area, here are my top 5 stories from the past year.

Leave comments if you think another story should have been included. Or if it were a top 10 list, what other stories would you include.

Top 5 of 2009

1)  Kickoff of Jaguars football

South Alabama completed its first season in college football with an undefeated inaugural season. With games in coming season against Kent State, NC State, Mississippi State, Navy and Tennessee, it shows that the school is committed to this program.

A four game home-and-home series with Navy. Two-for-One series with NC State, Kent and Mississippi State where the Jags will visit the teams twice in return for a home game against each. Which mean some big time home games against NC State and Mississippi State in Mobile.

The Staff that Coach Joey Jones assembled and the players they have recruiting has this team much farther ahead than coaches, players and observers thought. With that, they had to retool the schedule for 2010 to include more competition as they march their way to Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A).

[EDIT] 2a) Announcement Of Joe Gottfried’s Retirement And Hiring Of Joel Erdmann As Athletic Director

On June 2, Joe Gottfried announced in the Mitchell Center that he was retiring effective August 1. Gottfried, who was the Athletic Director for South Alabama for 25 years said the time was right. He was instrumental in getting first class sports buildings on campus such as the $30 Million Mitchell Center, a $3.5 Million renovation to Stanky Field, a 4,000 clubhouse, intramural fields and the football field house among many others.

Then in July, South Alabama announced the hiring of Joel Erdmann as the new Athletic Director for the University of South Alabama. Erdmann held several positions at South Alabama previously and served as AD at the University of North Alabama and at his hiring he was AD at Southeastern Louisiana University.

2b)  USA defeats two SEC Schools in basketball

Back in late November the Jags had two loses to good opponents in Rice and Tulsa and traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas to take on the Jags former coach John Pelphrey and the SEC. Many people just wrote it off as a typical loss to a big program, but Coach Arrow and the Jags took a page from Lee Corso’s book and said “Not so fast!” They stunned the Razorbacks on their own court with an impressive victory by a large margin, 74-61.

Then after losses to Southern Miss and UAB, the Jags made a trip to yet another SEC school. But this time it was a Top 25 ranked team. The Jags were facing #18 Florida in Gainesville, Florida where the Gator had not lost a home game since December 2004.

Again the Jags were written off from the beginning but stunned the Gators and made a huge splash on ESPN, ESPN News and ESPN.com. Although it was won on a last second put back, it was a huge win. It is only the second time in school history USA has defeated two SEC teams in the same season and the first since 1983-84. Plus it was the first time to knock off a ranked opponent since 2005 when they defeated #25 Houston.

3)   Loss of Dameyune Craig to FSU

Many people thought it was just a matter of time for this coach who has quite a rising status in college football. But nontheless, it was the second assistant in less than a year that was hired away from Coach Jones’ staff to a major Division-I program. This time it was Florida State.

Jimbo Fisher was beginning to prepare taking over the reigns to the Seminole program from Bobby Bowden and one of his first hires was Dameyune Craig. A very good recruiter in the Mobile area that the Jags will definitely be recruiting against to keep local talent.

4)  All Jaguar Football Players Who Are Eligible Receive A Redshirt

Just before the final football game against Huntingdon College, Coach Jones announced that all of the eligible players on the team would get an extra year of eligibility.

Those players who had not already taken a redshirt year, will take the 2009 season as their redshirt year. Unfortunately some players had already used their redshirt year and will not be able to have an extra season with the Jaguars.

5)   Hiring of Gregory (also leaving of Koenning)

In December 2008, before the Jags even took the field for their first game, Coach Joey Jones loss his first assistant to an SEC school. Dan Mullen, who was just hired to replace Sylvester Croom, tapped him to be his offensive coordinator for the Bulldogs program.

Coach Joey Jones then began a search for a replacement that fit Koennings’ profile and the players that they were recruiting. In came Greg Gregory from South Florida, another new program in recent years. South Florida rose through the ranks and has the NCAA record to achieve its first Top 25 ranking faster than other Division I-A school in the modern era and eventually rising to #2 in the polls in 2007.

Jags Dig Deep In Second Half To Beat FAU On The Road

January 3, 2010 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The Jags came back from a 15 point deficit at one point in the second half to get a huge win over Florida Atlantic in overtime, 96-93. Three Jags scored at least 20 points in the game as well

Early in the second half the Owls took their largest lead of the game at 15. They had a double digit lead as late at the eight minute mark. But South Alabama would not give up. With about 50 seconds left, they were down by five 81-76. Bryan Sherrer would hit both of his free throw attempts with 43 seconds left to cut the lead to 81-78.

Redus would foul on the inbounds where the Owls would convert both of their attempts to extend their lead back to 5 points, 83-78, with 34 seconds left. Tim Williams would hit a layup to once again cut the lead to three with 32 seconds to go, 83-80. Lashun Watson would foul on the inbounds with 27 seconds remaining. Again the Owls would make both of their attempts, once again extending their lead to five, 85-80.

Then some Jaguar magic would happen. After an Owl timeout with 27 seconds remaining, Tim Williams would nail a three pointer with 24 seconds left to get within two points, 85-83. Gary Redus would foul to stop the clock with 19 seconds left. But Raymond Taylor would only make the first of his two shots to leave the Owls clinging to a three point lead, 86-83.

The missed free throw would be rebounded by LaShun Watson and on the other end Tim Williams would hit his second consecutive three to tie the game at 86 with 17 seconds remaining.

The Jags would force a turnover with 3 seconds remaining, but Allyn Cooks three point attempt missed and sent the game to overtime.

In overtime, the Jags would score first for their first lead of the entire game. Jags would go up by five with 27 seconds remaining but the Owls could only manage to score once more for the final score of 96-93.

This win marked Coach Ronnie Arrow’s 171st win at the helm at South Alabama in his 11 seasons. This ties Cliff Ellis for the most in school history. It also improves the Jags to 11-4 on the season and 3-0 in the Sun Belt. While FAU falls to 5-9 overall and 1-2 in the conference.

Tim Williams would lead all scorers with 23 points on 9 for 16 shooting and 2 for 4 from three point range, making the two when they counted the most. Bryan Sherrer added 21 while Allyn Cooks added 20. Gary Redus scored 11 and LaShun Watson scored 10 to round out the double digit scorers.

Coach Arrow spoke after the game on the Jags victory. “We didn’t show up ready to play, number one, for whatever reason,” he said. “Give FAU credit, they have a bunch of young guys that were hungry to play and came out and hit shots. I thought it showed a lot on our part to come back and win like that.”

Coach Arrow spoke to Lee Shirvanian about the play late to tie the game and send it into overtime. “Our guys executed and got him open and (Williams) hit the shots,” he said. “We called ‘knockoff throwback’ and he nailed the shot. It takes two to tango; Allyn did a great job of penetrating and pitching back to Tim. That’s what it’s all about – Allyn doing his job and Tim doing his job.”

The Jags will return to the Mitchell Center to host Western Kentucky on Thursday with a 5:05pm tip-off. The game will be aired on Fox College Sports.

Go Jags!

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