South Alabama Men’s Basketball Program Lose Scholarships, Practice Time

June 28, 2010 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's, News · Comment 

It was announced a couple weeks ago that the South Alabama basketball program will be punished for not meeting the NCAA mandatory minimum academic progress. But USA was not the only school to get punished.

The Jags will lose two scholarships which reduces them from 13 scholarships to 11 scholarships. Additionally, it’s weekly practice time will be cut from 20 hours per week to 16 hours per week.

The NCAA mandatory minimum score is 925 on the Academic Progress Rate while the men’s basketball program only managed an 888 score, the men’s tennis team scored a 896. Both were sanctioned. Athletic Director Joel Erdmann said that the penalty is what is referred to as “phase-two historical penalty.”

UAB was the other program in the state that faced similar problems as USA. All 21 programs at Alabama scored above minimum, while the football team scored a 957 which is well above the Division-I average of 944. The Alabama men’s basketball team raised its score 44 points to 966, which was the only sport that has failed to reach the minimum in the last three years.

The men’s basketball program at Auburn was on shaky ground with a 916, but did not face penalties because no ineligible players left the program during the last year. The Jags, if you remember, had two players leave the program due to ineligibility. LaShun Watson and Raymond Sim were both ineligible for the second half of the basketball season due to academics.

The formula for calculating this can be complex. Programs with an APR under 925, generally, cannot replace scholarships held by a student-athlete who left the program while academically ineligible in the prior academic year. Then the NCAA can add to the penalties for chronically under performing programs. Such as what USA faced, limits on practice time, but they can also include a ban on postseason play.

The sanctions faced by the UAB basketball program, which scored below 900 for three consecutive years, but the NCAA agreed to waive the ban after UAB presented an improvement plan. Their plan included stringent admissions standards and closer supervision by the administration.

Of the ten teams the NCAA said were subject to postseason bans, only Portland State men’s basketball team will be barred from postseason play. UAB football and Jacksonville State men’s basketball received full or conditional waivers.

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

January 30, 2010 · 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.

Jags Fall To UNT, Lose Watson For Season

January 23, 2010 · 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!!

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

January 3, 2010 · 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!

Jags Win Fourth In A Row And Their First Against University of Mobile

December 10, 2009 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The Jags won their first ever meeting against the University of Mobile Rams on Wednesday 70-51. The Jags secured the win with a 17-0 run in the first half to cruise to the victory.

This was the fourth consecutive win by the Jags to go to 7-2 on the season. The Jags never trailed in the game. After the Rams pulled within one point with 13:50 left in the first half at 14-13, the Jags ripped off 17 straight points over the next 9:29 before a three pointer by Mobile ended the run. At that time the Jags were up 31-16.

At halftime, the Jags were up 38-23 on 50% shooting from the floor. Early in the second half the Jags would stretch it out to 24 points and at one point they would lead by as much as 26. The Rams would put together a 12-0 run late in the second half to pull within 14 points of the Jags but they would score the final five points of the game.

Three Jags would share the honor of lead scorer for the team. Tim Williams, Bryan Sherrer and LaShun Watson would all score 13 points. The next highest scorer was Martino Brock with nine points.

The Jags next game will be on Saturday at the Mitchell Center when they host Southern Mississippi for a 7:05pm tipoff. Then they open play their first Sun Belt team, University of Arkansas-Little Rock at on Wednesday, December 16 which will be broadcast on ESPN2.

Go Jags!

South Alabama Men Advances To Quarterfinals With Win Over Troy

March 9, 2009 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

After losing both meetings to the Trojans during the regular season, South Alabama finally found a way to win at the perfect time. With strong performances by key players, including a very visibly sick DeAndre Coleman, and Troy’s inability to hit clutch shots in the final minute of the game lead to the 78-75 victory.

The game started rough for the Jaguars with the Trojans hitting two 3-pointers and four missed shots by the Jags in the first 70 seconds of the game to jump out to an 8-0 lead. Coach Arrow quickly called a 30 second timeout to regroup his team.

At the 14:54 mark of the first half the Trojans again stretched their lead to eight points 16-8 but the Jaguars would start to come alive finally. The Jags would take the lead with a 10-1 run over 2:36. But the Jaguars could not go ahead by more than a single point, trading the lead several times in the first half. However, Troy would eventually regain a narrow lead and go into the locker room up by four, 41-37.

The second half would see more close play with the lead changing hands a couple times before USA was able to push out to a four point lead with 14:37 left in the second half. However that lead would be short lived and a few more lead changes would occurr before USA would take the lead for the final time of the game at the 11:31 mark.

USA would go out to their largest lead of the game at eight points with 3:57 remaining but they could not put Troy away for good. Ronald Douglas would get fouled and he would make both of his free throws at the 2:13 mark and DeAndre Coleman would be fouled and make both of his free throw attempts at the :34 second mark, but the Jaguar free throw shooting would be abysmal for the rest of the game.

After Coleman’s free throws the Jaguars were up 77-73 and a potentially costly fouled by Bryan Sherrer allowed Troy to pull back within two points with the clock stopped. The inbounds play saw DeAndre Coleman get fouled by Kenny Ware of Troy but Coleman missed his first attempt but sunk his second to give the Jaguars a three point lead with 28 seconds to go at 78-75.

In the final 28 seconds there were three missed shots by Troy and four missed free throws by the Jaguars. However its still a win for the Jaguars.

Troy’s Brandon Hazzard had a game high of 22 points going 8-20 from the floor, 4-12 from 3-point range and 2-4 from the free-throw line. Michael Vogler and Richard Delk both added 12 for the Trojans.

Domonic Tilford scored 20 points to lead the Jaguars going 7-20 from the floor, 2-8 from 3-point range and 4-4 from the free throw line. LaShun Watson added a career high 18 points. A sick DeAndre Coleman scored 17 points. Finally Brandon Davis scored 11 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double.

The Quarterfinal games for the Men’s Bracket will have #1 Western Kentucky squaring off against #4 North Texas at 6:30pm then the #6 Jaguars will take on #2 UALR at 9:00. With two more victories the Jaguars will automatically receive a berth in the NCAA Tournament.


Jaguars Win In Impressive Fashion Over FAU

February 15, 2009 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The Jaguars showed what they can do when they are hitting on all cylinders. They never trailed during the game and shot over 67% from the floor for the contest in their fourth consecutive home victory to get them above .500 for the season in the Sun Belt Conference.

Throughout the first ten minutes of the first half, FAU would not let USA get too far from their sights and would close the gap to within one point. But with a 15-3 run the Jags would never look back for the rest of the half gaining a 15 point advantage several times in the final four minutes of the half, going into the locker room up 46-31.

The second half would see both teams trading baskets but USA would eventually inch out to a 21 point lead at 60-39 at the 14:13 mark in the second half. FAU would not give up, battling back with a 15-5 run in just under four minutes to close the lead to 11 points, 65-54.

FAU and the Jaguars would continue trading shots until FAU closed the lead by one more point to 10, 77-67, with 4:48 remaining in the game. But USA would finish the game with a 14-3 run for the final score of 91-70.

Coach Arrow said after the game, “I thought tonight that we went ahead and put them away. We shared the ball really well tonight. Twenty-six assists is super. We executed our plays and in transition. When we took the lead early, our defense got steals, layups and deflections. We played with a lot of energy to start the game.”

Florida Atlantic’s Paul Graham III lead all in scoring with 27 points on 10-22 shooting, going 3-8 from 3-point range and hitting all four of his free-throw attempts. Shavar Richardson added 24 points as well as being the only other player in double-digits for FAU.

Brandon Davis lead the way for the Jags with 23 points on 9-10 shooting from the floor and 5-6 from the free-throw line, he did not attempt any 3-point shots. Domonic Tilford scored 17 points hitting 3 of the Jaguars six 3-pointers for the game. LaShun Watson scored 12 points and had a tie for the most assists for the game with DeAndre Coleman with 7. Bryan Sherrer scored 11 and CJ Garner added 10 points to round out the double digit scorers.

USA as a team has 8 blocks and 13 turnovers compared with FAU’s one block and 9 forced turnovers. USA led with 46 points in the paint to FAU’s 20 and 27 fast break points to FAU’s 2.

The Jaguars are back in action on Thursday when they travel to Middle Tennessee State for a 7pm tip-off against the Blue Raiders who won their previous match-up at the Mitchell Center 82-67. A win against MTSU would move USA over MTSU into 3rd place in the Eastern Division.


USA Win On Buzzer Beating Shot Against FIU

February 13, 2009 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

South Alabama finally got to celebrate after a buzzer beating shot this season. Over the previous several weeks, USA have been on the losing end of the last second shot brigade but LaShun Watson nailed a 3-pointer as the clock expired to give the Jaguars a much needed 66-65 win Thursday night at the Mitchell Center.

USA would score first on a Ronald Douglas layup but it would be FIU who would gain the lead for the next three minutes of the game. A jumper by Brandon Davis would tie the game again at the 16:41 mark.

Over the next five minutes a team would get a small lead then the other would come back on a short run to retake a short lead. This was until the Jaguars went on an 11-0 run over a four minute span to firmly take the lead by eight at 25-17 and would not give it up again the rest of the first half. FIU would close the gap to three points with a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left in the first half to go into the locker room down 35-32.

The second half would start with USA shooting 7 for 11 from the floor while holding FIU to only 2 for 10 and taking a 10 point lead in the meantime. USA held a 10 point lead three times in the second half, once at the 11:14 mark, the second at the 9:26 mark and the third at the 5:34 mark.

However the lead would not last with FIU going on a 10-2 run with back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers by Alex Galindo while USA could only muster two free-throws during that stretch. USA was then up 62-60 when CJ Garner was fouled with 1:15 left in the game, he only made one of this two shots. Then a layup by FIU shrunk the lead to one with 1:07 left and FIU called a 30 second time out.

Watson missed a jumper with 43 seconds left that would have put USA up by three points but FIU would come away with the rebound and call another time out with 33 seconds left. Coming off the time out, FIU’s Alex Galindo hit a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left forcing USA to take a time out with 7 seconds left to set up a game tieing or game winning play.

Coach Arrow said after the game, “It was a flare play for (Dominic) Tilford, and Bryan (Sherrer) had enough about him to see they jammed him, but he found LaShun (Watson) and he nailed the shot.”

FIU’s Alex Galindo lead all in scoring with 26 points on 8-15 field goal shooting while hitting 8-11 from 3-point range and both free-throw attempts. Russell Hicks added 15 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double. Tremayne Russell also added 12 points in the losing cause.

LaShun Watson lead USA in scoring with 17 no 7-11 field goal shooting, going 2-2 from the free-throw line and hitting his only attempt at a three for the game at the buzzer. Brandon Davis added 14 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double. Ronald Douglas added another 10 points in the win. Davis’ 10th double-double of his career and leads all active USA players in that category as well as moving into 9th place all-time in rebounding in USA history.

Again, poor free-throw shooting by USA combined with 10-19 3-point shooting by FIU made for a close game.

USA improves to 14-11 for the season and evens their Sun Belt record to 7-7 while FIU falls to 10-17 and 5-9 in the SBC. USA will get a day off before hosting Florida Atlantic on Valentines day with a 7:05pm tip-off at the Mitchell Center.

So go out for an early Valentines Dinner with your special someone and then head over to the Mitchell Center to support your JAGUARS!!

Jaguars Win Another Road SBC Game Against ASU

January 18, 2009 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

Jaguars have fared very well on the road in the Sun Belt Conference this season and it continued against Arkansas State with a 74-67 victory in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

The Jaguars would put together the games first run late in the first half when USA held ASU without a field goal over 6:14 outscoring them 9-1 to take the lead at 26-20 with just over two minutes left in the first half. The game would be tied up at 28 in the final 30 seconds of the first half. But LaShun Watson would bank in a long jumper at the buzzer to take the Jags into the locker room with a two point lead.

USA would break open the close game early in the second half with a 16-1 run and would hold on for the remainder of the game for the win.

Domonic Tilford would lead all scorers with 20 on 7-15 shooting and hitting 3-6 from 3-point range and 3-4 from the free-throw line. DeAndre Coleman would score 16 on 4-11 shooting and 8-10 from the free-throw line plus adding 15 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. LaShun Watson would score 11 and added 7 rebounds. Brandon Davis would score 10 to round out the double digit scorers for USA.

Donald Boone led Arkansas State with 17 points while JeJuan Brown added 14 and Daniel Bryant added 11 to round out the ASU double digit scorers.

USA had 34 attempts and hit 21 from the free-throw line while ASU had 27 attempts and hit 20 of them. USA led scoring in the paint with 34-26, pts off turnovers 24-15 but ASU outscored USA from the bench 38-14.

USA will be in action again on Thursday, January 22nd when they host UALR who leads the Western Division by two games. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05pm at the Mitchell Center.

Jags Lose A Heartbreaker To Arkansas 79-77

November 26, 2008 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

After leading at halftime 45-55 the Jags lead for 14:57 second of the second half but gave it up for the most crucial 3 seconds of the game. Domonic Tilford came out in the first half with the hot hand and ends the game with 23 to lead the Jags in scoring. Brandon Davis scored 18 and LaShun Watson scored 10 to mark the only other Jags in double digits.

USA had a chance to push the lead out to three points with 19.6 seconds left but Daniel Hayles missed both shots leaving the door open for the Razorbacks last second shot. USA was 17-25 from the foul line for the night. While USA hit on a higher percentage of foul shots, 68% to 61%, if two more had fallen for USA the game would have been tied.

Arkansas shot 55% from the three-point arc, making 12 of 22. In all of the Jaguars losses, this has been a common theme. But combine that with sloppy play in the final minutes of the game and you will typically find the recipe for a loss.

Arkansas was lead by Courtney Fortson with 25 and closely trailed by Stefan Welsh who scored 24 on the night.  The largest contributor from the bench was Rotnei Clark with 12, otherwise the rest of the players, both starters and from the bench, combined for a total of 18 points.

It was an emotional game with the return of Coach Pelphrey to the Mitchell Center for the first time since his departure for Arkansas. However, the crowd was unusually quiet since the USA Outlaws were not in attendence en mass as usual. Also for the Coors Classic, the students were not crowded together as per what is usual for a typical USA home game. This factor may have worked to Arkansas’ advantage since they had a young team playing a more experienced squad.

USA will have to shake off this loss quickly because they will take the court again on Friday when Maine, Tulane and UC Davis come to town for the USA Basketball Classic at the Mitchell Center. Tulane and UC Davis will play at 5pm and the Jags will play Maine 30 minutes after that game finishes. The Tournament will wrap up on Saturday with the consolation game starting at 5pm and the championship game (hopefully with USA playing) starting 30 minutes after it ends.

Go Jags!