The South Alabama Jaguars men’s basketball team will try to extend their three game winning streak when they face Arkansas State tonight in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The Jags completed a three-game sweep at home with wins over Louisiana-Monroe, Western Kentucky and Florida International.
The Jags enter the game with an 11-8 record overall and an 8-3 record in Sun Belt play. Arkansas State holds a 12-8 record overall and a 6-5 record in Sun Belt play.
Arkansas State has won two of their last three games coming off of a 63-38 rout of Florida Atlantic on Saturday. ASU holds a 9-2 record at home. The Jags have won their last three games including a 60-58 win over Florida International last Saturday. The Jags are 5-3 on the road.
Augustine Rubit leads the Jags in scoring and rebounding averaging 19.1 points per game and 10.9 rebounds per game. Mychal Ammons is next with 10.9 points per game average and 7.2 rebounds per game average. The Jags will be without Freddie Goldstein for the second consecutive game after he suffered a broken colarbone against Western Kentucky.
The Jags are 45th in the nation in blocked shots with 4.8 blocks per game with Javier Carter leading the Jags with 38 blocks this season.
Ed Townsel is leading the way for the Red Wolves with an average of 14.8 points per game. Brandon Peterson is the only other Red Wolf that averages double-digits scoring with 11.4 points per game. Peterson also added an average of 9.6 rebounds per game and 23 blocks on the season.
The Jags and the Red WOlves are set to tip off at 7:05pm in Jonesboro, Arkansas. THe game can be heard on 105.5FM WNSP and WNSP.com.
On the heels of the announcement that Terrence Upshaw had decommitted from South Alabama and committed to Samford, the Jags landed another running back, and a big one at that.
Kaleb Blanchard was among the large group of recruits who visited South Alabama over the weekend of January 25. He saw what the school and the city had to offer with tours of the football facilities and the school itself as well as taking in a Mardi Gras parade and the Senior Bowl.
According to multiple sites, he seemed to liked what he saw and was ready to commit.
Blanchard is rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports, ESPN Recruiting Nation and Scout.com while being rated a four-star prospect by Rivals. He is listed as having offers from Arkansas, Louisiana-Lafayette, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Cincinnati, Louisiana Tech and Tennessee by the recruiting sites.
He is listed as a 6′ 200-pound running back from Denham Springs High School in Denham Springs, Louisiana. According to Scout.com he is listed as having a 4.45 40-yard dash. 247Sports has him ranked at the #42 player at his position. Rivals.com has him ranked #35 nationally at his position and #15 in the state of Louisiana.
Blanchard suffered and injury that cut his Junior season short yet still managed 400 yards rushing with six touchdowns. In more recent news he was named the offensive MVP of the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in December.
His recruiting opened back up after the new staff hired by Brett Bielema at Arkansas pulled his offer recently.
There are reports that South Alabama will open the 2013 season against Southern Utah at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on a Thursday night on August 29.
Head coach Joey Jones and the University of South Alabama football team have completed their 2013 football schedule. The Jags have added a fifth non-conference game to fill the 12 game schedule after Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic negotiated their early exit from the conference this summer.
The Jags 2013 schedule of 12 games will be evenly split between road games and home games. They will have four Sun Belt Conference games at home and three road games. Of the Sun Belt teams returning this season, the Jags played road games against Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas State while playing a home game against Troy. The Jags did not face Western Kentucky last season.
This season the Jags will face ULM, ULL, Arkansas State, Troy and Western Kentucky with new additions of Georgia State and Texas State. They will have five non-conference games with only two of them scheduled to be at home. The newly added Southern Utah will visit Mobile on August 29 as mentioned before and Kent State will visit on October 19th.
The Jags will travel to play Tulane on September 7, University of Tennessee on September 28 and Navy on November 16.
The official Sun Belt Schedule will be released this spring. That is when we will know for certain who the Jags will face, where they will face them and when they will face them.
As for Southern Utah, they went 5-6 last season playing as a member of the Big Sky Conference.
KLTV in Tyler, Texas reports that former South Alabama basketball player Xavier Roberson has been charged for a home burglary that took place on Christmas eve.
Roberson was suspended indefinitely in December by interim head coach Jeff Price for breaking then unidentified team and University rules.
Roberson, according to the report, was identified as one of the suspects and was arrested by the Humble, Texas police department on January 21 then transferred to Tyler, Texas on January 24.
The KLTV posts states that the Tyler Police responded to a burglary alarm on December 24 at a residence. Upon arrival, they discovered that a burglary had occurred. Dispatch received a call from a person who gave a vehicle description for a suspect. Another police officer saw the vehicle and attempted to stop them. The suspects threw stolen jewelry from the vehicle as they managed to get away. One of the suspects was identified as Roberson later.
He is being held on $300,000 bond as the police are still trying to identify two other suspects.
This is a very sad development for a gifted student-athlete.
The full report can be seen here.
The South Alabama men’s basketball team held off Florida International to sweep a three-game home stand, 60-58. The Jags needed a steal in the final seconds of the game to help preserve the win. South Alabama improves to 11-8 overall and 8-3 in Conference play.
Augustine Rubit earned his eleventh double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds while Dre Conner had a career-tying four steals in the game, including the final one to seal the game. Conner also finished with with a career best six assists as well.
The Jags would take a 31-22 lead into the locker room at halftime. At the 15:12 mark in the second half and leading 37-30, the Jags would hit a cold streak. FIU would go on a 15-2 run to take a 45-39 lead over the next three-and-a-half minutes.
A three pointer by Antoine Allen would cut the six point FIU lead in half and get the Jaguars momentum back. With just under five minutes left in the game, Dre Conner would make a layup and also sink the foul shot for a conventional three-point play to give the Jags a 52-51 lead. Barrington Stevens III would hit a three-pointer shortly after to regain the lead again for good with 3:29 left in the game.
Neither team was able to score in the final minute-and-a-half of the game and only one shot fell from the floor in the final 3:29 of the game.
Allen finished the game with 11 points and Stevens III finished with 10 points including all three of his shots from outside the arc. Mychal Ammons would add nine points and five rebounds as well.
Jerome Frink and Malik Smith scored 12 points each to lead FIU in scoring.
“That was fun,” interim head coach Jeff Price said after the game. “It was probably a lot more fun to watch than to coach. I just can’t say enough about our guys on how resilient they are, and how they fight and continue to overcome things. We got tired in the second half and I thought the first five minutes we really didn’t start well. I felt we got fatigued after that and got our heads down. But we found a way to fight back. It was just a great team effort, I’m just really happy for our guys.”
“I thought Barrington stepped up and made a couple of shots,” Price said. “We’ve got to start relying more on Barrington to have a two-guard mentality because he’s a really good shooter. He knocked down a couple of shots. It’s going to be like this for this season. We have five guards and we can move Mychal out there if we have to. We feel like Mychal is more effective inside, though.”
“South Alabama is a very good team with really good players,” FIU head coach Richard Pitino, son of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, said after the game. “Jeff (Price) is a very good coach. They hit some good shots because they are good players. You have to give all the credit to them. They won the game. Our guys competed in the second half the way I wanted them to, but all the credit goes to South Alabama.”
FIU falls to 11-9 on the season and 6-5 in conference play. The Jags continue to hold onto second place in the Eastern Division, trailing Middle Tennessee State by two games and leading third place FIU now by two games.
The Jags will now have a two-game road swing through Arkansas with their first contest coming in Jonesboro against Arkansas State on Thursday for a 7:05pm tipoff. ASU won the first game between the two teams 63-54 back on December 29 in Mobile. Jags hope to add to their three-game winning streak.
Head coach Joey Jones announced additions to his staff to fill open positions. Freddie Roach and Travis Pearson have joined the program and were in the football field house on Friday hitting the ground running.
Former University of Alabama linebacker Freddie Roach will join Brian Turner in coaching the defensive linemen. Roach was a four-year letterman for the Crimson Tide from 2002-2005. He was an assistant on the Alabama staff with the strength and conditioning program and was on the staff for the 2009 national championship team.
Roach was on the Murray State staff last season as defensive line coach. Prior to joining the Murry State staff, he helped the East Mississippi Community College team to a 12-0 record and the National Junior College Athletic Association national championship.
He ended his collegiate career as Alabama’s 10th all-time leading tackler and signed with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2006 but was released during the preseason due to injury. Travis Pearson was hired to coach the linebackers for the Jaguars.
Pearson was the defensive coordinator at Colquitt County High school the last two seasons where they had back-to-back semifinal appearances in the state 5A playoffs. He was also the head coach and athletic director at Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery for two years prior to Colquitt County HS. In 2002-2004 he was the head coach at Elmore County High School. His final year at Elmore, he was selected the Metro 4A Coach of the Year after finishing the season 12-1 and an appearance in the quarterfinals.
He also served as director of football operations at Iowa State for the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
“You can tell when you meet Freddie Roach how hungry he is to be a great coach. He has that look in his eyes that I’m sure he had when he played,” Coach Joey Jones said. “He is going to demand a lot out of our players. And he is very technical, when I interviewed him he knew everything about playing defensive line. He understood it inside and out, from hand placement to the steps and how to attack offensive linemen. He’s a great coach now, and is going to be a tremendous coach as he gets some maturity about him.”
“I’ve known coach Pearson over the years going back to meeting him when he was the defensive coordinator at Oxford High, I’ve always been real impressed with the presence he had around the players,” Jones said. “He is one of the best coaches that I’ve seen: he is a motivator, he knows football and kids will do anything for him. When you’re coaching linebackers, you need a guy like that.”
“Everything is on the rise here,” Roach said. “It’s a new program with great facilities, the administration has done a great job of helping to get it going, and there are great coaches including a lot of Alabama guys. There are just a lot of great things going on, and I wanted to be a part of it and help this program be successful. I am in this business to help kids mature and become men, and also teach them how to play football. I was fortunate to play for and work with a bunch of great coaches, I’ve been fortunate all my life, so I would like to take what I’ve been given to help guys learn and accomplish what I have and more. And, there’s nothing like being back home.”
“First, I’ve known coach Jones, what he is about and the vision he has for this program, and that excited me,” Pearson said. “The opportunity to coach at South Alabama is also exciting to me, especially since I am from Southern Choctaw an hour and 45 minutes up the road. I want to win, particularly a conference championship, and get this program where coach Jones wants it to be. I think coach Sherrer is going to do an outstanding job and it is going to be a pleasure working with him as well.”
Sources have indicated that that’s not quite the end of the staff changes however. First year director of football operations, Chase Smith, may get a promotion to running backs coach to replace Tommy Perry who left for a position at North Texas. Prior to being named director of football operations before last season, Smith served as an offensive graduate assistant. He received his bachelor’s degree in 2005 and masters degree in 2008, both in physical education, from Jacksonville State University.
He also served as assistant coach at Spanish Fort High School from 2007-2010.
That would move Brendt Bedsole off the field and back into the position of director of football operations. Bedsole has performed that job since the beginning of the program until he was promoted to linebackers coach last season.
It is unknown who will take on the position of special teams coordinator that Coach Tommy Perry also held.
It’s a very opportune time to announce the hire as the Jags have their big recruiting weekend this weekend with about 21 recruits on-campus for visits.
A Report on WNSP this morning by Lee Shirvanian said that Senior Freddie Goldstein will miss the remainder of the season after sufferring a broken collarbone against Western Kentucky last night.
Goldstein was averaging 8.1 points per game and averaging over 29 minutes per game of playing time for the Jags. He had also hit 31 three-pointers on the season.
The Jags are now down two guards on the team with the loss of Goldstein and Xavier Roberson. Roberson was suspended indefinitely for breaking team and athletic department policy.
The South Alabama men’s basketball team used a strong second half performance to defeat longtime conference rival Western Kentucky 65-57 Thursday night at the Mitchell Center. The Jags broke open the game with a 14-2 run midway through the second half to take control for good.
The Jags inprove to 10-8 overall on the season and 7-3 in Conference play and was the schools first back-to-back win since December 22. The Hilltoppers fall to 11-10 on the season and 5-5 in conference play. The Jags stay one game ahead of FIU for second place in the Eastern Division and continue to trail Middle Tennessee by two games for first place. WKU is tied with FAU for fourth place in the Eastern Division.
At halftime the Jag led 28-23 but early in the second half the Hilltoppers would catch up and take a 33-30 lead with 16:46 left in the game. But neither team would lead by more than three points until Augustine Rubit put in two free throws and Antoine Allen hit a three-pointer with 11:10 left in the game.
Hilltopper’s Aleksejs Rostov would answer with a layup but Allen would answer it with another three-pointer to begin a 9-0 run where the Jags would push out to their largest lead of the game, 51-39, with 8:36 left in the game.
“…right around that 12-, 13-minute mark we had a timeout and said, ‘Let’s just get this done guys and finish strong.’ As soon as I said that, it’s like they looked at each other and finished strong,” Price said after the game. “We just finished the game very strong.”
However the Jags struggles from the foul line allowed the Hilltoppers to work their way back into the game late. Brandon Harris would hit a three-pointer to cut the Jaguar lead to 60-54 with 53.7 seconds left. Jaguar players would only manage to hit two of their next four attempts from the foul line for an eight point lead.
Harris would be fouled while shooting a three-pointer by Javier Carter and he would pour in all three shots to cut the lead to 62-57 with 38.0 seconds left in the game, their closest margin since the 10:09 mark. Allen would sink both of his free throws and the Jaguar defense would tighten up and force two misses.
“Obviously just a really hard fought game,” interim head coach Jeff Price said after the game. “I thought our guys were tremendous. At a stretch at the 12-minute mark in the second half where we just turned it on and got that thing up to 10 points, mostly based out of the intensity of our defense. We keep stressing creating an offense out of our defense and getting stops and we’re going to have nights where we aren’t shooting the ball well and continue to defend and be intense and help each other. We were great helping each other.”
“Aug’s huge,” Price continued. “I’m so pleased with his effort. (He had) 19 (points), 11 (rebounds) with another double-double. Not that as much as just his will to win has been so good. And want the ball and finish plays and make things happen. He’s just been so good at that. His effort has just been tremendous and he’s willing this team to win right now. He’s been great. His motor has been great. He’s been playing heavy minutes. We try to give him rest as much as we can in practice. He comes to games ready to play. He’s running the floor great and he’s demanding the ball. He gets pushed off his spot a lot but comes back and gets it. He takes a beating and he keeps on ticking. He just has been tremendous.”
Augustine Rubit would earn his 10th double-double of the season with 19 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. He complimented that with four blocks, two steals and two assists.
Antoine Allen went 3-of-6 from outside the arc to chip in 19 points and seven rebounds. Mychal Ammons would add 10 points and seven rebounds.
Javier Carter added seven points and two blocks to extend his streak to 12 consecutive games with a blocked shot and is one block behind Reginald Poole for 16th place on the Sun Belt’s career list with 168 blocks.
Freddie Goldstein would score three points before leaving the game in the first half with a shoulder injury. He did not return for the remainder of the game.
The Jags will host their third and final game of this three-game homestand when they host FIU on Sunday for a 4:05pm tipoff.
The South Alabama football team received another verbal commitment following a recruiting visit over this past weekend. Terrence Upshaw gave his verbal commitment to the Jaguars following an official visit to the university over the weekend of January 18th.
Upshaw is a 5’10”, 190-pound running back from Northview High School in Duluth, GA. He is ranked a two-star recruit by some of the recruiting sites. He rushed for 1,267 yards and 27 touchdowns last season and gained over 1,600 yards of total offense. He also added two touchdowns on pass receptions and a touchdown on a kickoff return and punt return.
In a phone interview with AL.com, Upshaw had the following to say. “I like that it is a new, upcoming program and I like what (head) coach (Joey) Jones is doing with the team. The dorms and facilities and the football facility is really nice… They run the same offense that my high school does. Coach (Robert) Matthews (offensive coordinator) said I should be able to come in and play early.”
Upshaw had a scholarship offer from Vanderbilt but when South Alabama came to recruit him, he really liked the coaches and his visit to the campus.
Upshaw’s high school coach considers Terrance “one of the most overlooked kids in our Metro Atlanta area.”
Upshaw is a two-time all-region player and broke the single-season rushing record and single-season touchdown record in two seasons at his high school. In two seasons he totalled 45 touchdowns.
National Signing Day is Wednesday, February 6th. Verbal commitments are non-binding.
The South Alabama’s men’s basketball team have had a week off to rest and prepare for their run towards the end of the regular season and into the Conference tournament. To begin that run they will host their longtime rival Western Kentucky Thursday night at the Mitchell Center at 7:05pm.
South Alabama are coming off of a 71-56 win over Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday of last week to improve their record to 9-8 overall on the season and 6-3 in Sun Belt play. That SBC record has the Jags in sole possession of second place in the eastern division.
“The break has been good for us,” interim head coach Jeff Price said. “It’s a little different not playing on Saturday, but it gave us a chance to regroup and work on some things in practice that we haven’t been able to do, and be able to tweak some things on both ends of the floor, so it’s been good for us there. It’s been good for us to get some rest as well.”
“We broke up our off days so we weren’t off too much in a row,” Price continued. “You always have that concern that Western played on Saturday and we have to play after not playing for a week. Hopefully once the game starts we’ll get that out of the way.”
The Jags are 2-1 this season coming off of a break of a week or more. The last one was a 63-54 loss to Arkansas State on December 29th.
Western Kentucky comes in after losing four of their last five games and twice during a three-game homestand prior to their trip to Mobile. After starting the season 8-2 they have gone 3-7 since then for an overall record of 11-9 (5-4 SBC).
The Hilltoppers will be without the team’s leading scorer in Jamal Crook who has not been able to play since December 16 due to an injury. Last season he scored 24 points against the Jags at WKU and was averaging 14.5 points per game this season.
“Their obviously a good team and losing Jamal Crook really hurt them,” Price observed. “They’ve had to get their chemistry back together and find the answer at the point (guard position) and I think they’ve found that now. They’re certainly a capable basketball team and a well-coached team that has guys that are very worthy, all-conference type players.”
“They’re not quite as quick and athletic (without him),” Price noted. “He’s tremendous with the ball, pushing the ball in transition and very athletic so it makes them a little bit different.”
T.J. Price is now the leading scorer on the team with an average of 14.1 points per game. Brandon Harris averaged 19 points per game last week with 22 points against UALR was selected the Sun Belt Player of the Week earlier this week.
“Harris is a very capable shooter. He’s a streaky shooter, but when he shoots it well he’s really good,” Price obverved. “He takes care of the ball well and T.J. Price is a go-to guy that shoots the ball well from the outside and gets to the basket well. George Fant has been tremendous for them around the paint.”
Augustine Rubit scored 23 points against ULM in the teams last outing last Thursday. That was his sixth 20+ point game in his last nine games and is ranking second in the conference in scoring with an average of 19.3 points per game while also ranking first in rebounding with an average of 10.9 rebounds per game.
The Jags and the Hilltoppers tipoff at 7:05pm at the Mitchell Center.