The Jags Rally For A Big Win To End The Regular Season On Senior Night

February 27, 2010 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

Martino Brock slamming the ball home and taking the momentum away from the Pioneers in the second half of the game at the Mitchell Center.

The Jags rally from a seemingly insurmountable deficit on Senior night to beat Denver Thursday at the Mitchell Center in their regular season finale. This win puts the Jags at 16-14 overall and 8-10 in the Sun Belt Conference while Denver falls to 16-12 and 9-8 in the Sun Belt.

Denver opened the game with a three pointer, which was the theme of the first half. The Pioneers would go 9-13 from three point range and hold the Jags to a season low of scoring in the first half to build a 33-19 lead at halftime.

The second half would be different though.

Denver would come out of the halftime break to go on a 12-4 run while forcing the Jags into three turnovers on their way to a 45-23 lead with 15:11 left in the game.

The Jags pulled together and went on a 14-0 run to cut the Denver lead to 8 points. In the span of six possessions, the Pioneers would turn the ball over five times. But once Denver ended their scoring drought with a lay-up, the Jags would go on a 6-0 run with four of them coming from freshman Jayson Guerrier.

Denver would score on a lay-up with 6:38 left in the game to extend the Pioneer lead back to six. But this is when Tim Williams would take over. Williams would make two free-throws with 2:55 left. Then he would also nail a three pointer with 1:30 left to cut the Poineer lead to one point at 49-48.

Denver would go to the line and only make one of two free-throw attempts, but would get the rebound off the miss but would promptly turn it over to the Jaguars. On the ensuing Jaguar possession, Williams would knock down a three pointer with 31 seconds left to give the Jags their first lead since the 7:06 mark in the first half.

Denver would turn the ball over once more, for their 21st of the game, and send Williams to the line once more. He would hit the first but miss the second to extend the Jags lead to 52-50.

However, Denver would make a shot from the baseline to tie it at 52.

Williams would bring the ball up the court then on the dribble drive, he would shoot an awkward looking shot that would kiss high off the glass and bank in with second seconds left to give the Jags a two point advantage at 54-52.

The Pioneers had two chances to tie the game at the end but could not get a shot to go.

After the game Coach Arrow said, “This was a game of nothing but pride and heart. In the second half, I thought we played our style. The press was the difference in the game. It caused more turnovers for them, and I really think they got tired. They didn’t make a three in the second half. I think their legs got a little tired.”

Furthermore he said, “We wanted to send our seniors out as winners and we did that. I think that was really important. But the bottom line is we as coaches can’t make players play. They have to go out there and do their thing. It’s a war out there and they decided in the second half that it was a war and they were going to show up for it and do something about it. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Tim Williams scored half of his points in the game in the final three minutes of the game. He ended the game with a game-high 22 points. Javier Carter was the only other Jag in double figures with 13 coming off the bench.

The three seniors, brothers Charles and Philip Tabet along with Bryan Sherrer, were honored before the game. Both Charles and Philip started while Sherrer was on the bench with his knee injury.

The next game for the Jags will be in Hot Springs, Arkansas for the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on March 6-9. The opponent will be officially named on Sunday, but early indications point to a rematch between the Jags and the Pioneers.

Jags Hold On To Win Conference Opener Against UALR On ESPN2

December 17, 2009 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

Jags overcome a rough first half to hold of the Trojans of Arkansas-Little Rock to win their conference opener in front of a nationally televised audience.

Jags had a small lead early in the first half but a 12-0 run by the Trojans gave them the lead. The Trojans would stretch out their lead to as many as 10 in the first half before the Jags cut it to within six at halftime 34-28.

The Jags would come out a different team in the second half starting with an 11-3 run to regain the lead. After that, the Jags never gave up the lead but they did allow them within one point. But the Trojans chance to tie was squandered when their leading scorer of the game went to the line and missed the first of two free-throws with 13 seconds to go.

Redus would be fouled on the ensuing possession by the Jags. His two free-throws would fall giving the Jags a three point lead, 74-71 with seconds to play. The Trojans got a fairly decent look at the goal on a last ditch three-point attempt but was off the mark.

Bryan Sherrer would score a career high 21 points in the game to lead all scorers. Gary Redus would add 16 and Martino Brock would add 11 rounding out the double digit scorers for the Jags. As a team, the Jags out rebounded UALR 47-29 and held them to under 40% shooting.

The Jags will next play in the Coors Classic on Saturday at the Mitchell Center where they will host the UAB Blazers with the University of Alabama vs Kansas State following them. Tip-off of the Jags game will be 5:30pm and Alabama vs Kansas State 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Jags game.

Also on Thursday, the Jags announced the addition of two televised games to the schedule as well as a tiem change. The Jags game on December 22 against Florida in Gainsville will be televised by CSS and streamed online at espn360.com. The January 7 game against Western Kentucky in Mobile will be aired on Fox College Sports and well as the Hilltopper Satellite Sports Network. The tip-off of this game was moved up to 5:05pm.

Go Jags! Bleed it Red!!

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2009-09-22

September 22, 2009 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

The show started with Lee and Coach Jones joking about having enough time to get ready for Army Prep. Coach Jones likened it to getting ready for a bowl game, which Lee pointed out would not be too far in the future. Lee also mentioned a pep rally this evening at Bel Air Mall from 6-7pm plus a pep rally on campus, probably at the Mitchell Center on Friday.

Mentioning the need for game time experience, Coach Jones said that game experience is invaluable. The team can practice for weeks on end, but game experience is needed to reinforce what they have gone over on the practice field. They understand why they ran something 45 times the last week when they see and understand it on the field during a game.

Speaking about Army Prep, coach Jones said they are very disciplined, more so than Hargrave but probably not as athletic as Hargrave. As we have mentioned over the last two week, Army Prep runs the triple option (defending the triple option, Jags continue Prep).

Army Prep copies the varsity team down to a T. Everything from Offense, defense, and special teams are all the same between the two squads. Coach Jones mentioned that it will be a challenge and the Jags must match their discipline but that he felt really comfortable about his team.

Lee asked about the triple option and Coach Jones answered that the quarterback can give the ball to the full back up the middle or keep it around the end or pitch to the back off the end. Its just like the wishbone offense except they line up in the double split formation. This is where they have two split ends that line up about a yard outside the tackle.

Lee called Army Prep and was told by their athletic director that these kids can not and will not be recruited by South Alabama. They were very secretive about any information about the players. All of these players have been tagged for West Point Academy. Coach Jones said he has heard it both ways, that they can and they cannot recruit their players. But he decided to be on the safe side and not recruit any Army Prep players.

Coach Brian Turner came in for the second segment. Lee introduced him and congratulated him on his defensive lines work against Hargrave in the first game.

Lee then turned to recruiting since Coach Turner is the recruiting coordinator for the Jaguars. Coach Turner said that they can make 42 evaluations as per the NCAA. So they have six coaches traveling seven times during the year to make their number of 42 evaluations. The coaches are still evaluating players and their board has about 100 players that they are watching or have already offered scholarships to. Coach Jones said that they ahve to re-evaluate and re-rank players from time to time to make sure they do the best with their resources. They have been doing that over the last week. Coach Jones said that when you have two scholarships for defensive linemen or a receiver, you want to make sure you use those two scholarships wisely.

Lee asked about Coach Turners thoughts on kids verbally committing early and the possibility of an early signing period. He said No if its in December. He thinks it would hurt schools like South Alabama if it were to be in December. But if the early signing period was in May he would be for it. Lee asked what if it was in September? Coach Turner said he possibly would be for it.

Lee asked how many scholarships can USA give in February? Coach Jones said they have about 25 scholarships to give, but they also have some gray shirts commitments so they probably have about 20 to sign actually in February.

Beginning segment three, Lee mentioned again that Coach Jones will be at Bel Air Mall this evening from 6-7pm signing autographs and attending the pep rally scheduled there.

Lee and Joey talked about some college football happenings around the nation briefly and then asked if USA could play any Sun Belt schools earlier than their first full year in Division-I. Coach Jones said yes, they could but in 2012 they would still be a Division I-AA school and that Division I school can only schedule one per year. Most of the schools already have one scheduled but that they are also still working on the schedules that far out.

Lee then asked Coach Turner, how many defensive line players are in the rotation during a game. Coach Turner said that they have nine players in the rotation. During Hargrave they had 10 but due to a knee injury one will be out for Army Prep. He also said that is a good part of being a young team is having the ability to rotate a large number of linemen into the game.

The fourth and final segment started with the injury report. Coach Jones said they are very healthy except for John Mark Patrick, who went down late in the Hargrave game with a knee injury. They think he should be back this season and hope to have it back for Georgia Military.

Lee asked about transfers from other schools. Coach Turner said that the player has to initiate the contact and then before the coaches and talk and try to recruit the player, they have to have a release from the school. Coach Jones said that if a player transfers between schools in the conference, they have to sit out a year but Coach Turner said that he would not want a player transferring to another school within the conference.

Lee also brought up how he liked how the Auburn players were coached to give the ball to the officials, even in the end zone. It makes for a more speedy game and it seemed more classy. Coach Jones agreed, he does not like kids to showboat or toss the ball around. USA also runs a more up-beat offense but they have taught the players to hand the ball to the official especially during the hurry-up drills.

Joe Gottfried Honored At His Retirement Ceremony

August 27, 2009 · Filed Under Athletic Department, News · Comment 

Joe Gottfried was honored today for his 28 years of service to the University of South Alabama. University President Gordon Moulton hosted the ceremony held on Thursday afternoon at the Mitchell Center. Gottfried served the last 25 years at athletic director before he stepped down from this position on August 1st.

He is a 1963 graduate of Ashland College and would earn his master’s degree from Morehead State in 1969.

Coach Gottfried, a 1963 graduate of Ashland College and 1969 graduate of Morehead State where he received his master’s degree, came to USA as an Assistant Athletic Director in 1981. He served in that position through 1984 when he was promoted to the position of Athletic Director. Previous to USA he had successful coaching stints at Ashland and Southern Illinois. In addition to being in the USA Athletic Hall of Fame, he is also a member of the Ashland College and Crestline (Ohio) High School Halls of Fame.

The Jaguars athletics experienced success both in competition as well as in the classroom under his direction. Plus he probably had the most impact on the school’s architecture in recent years, with the development and improvement of the athletic facilities. Gottfried was also very instrumental in adding football as the 17th program for the school. He initially lead discussions in an attempt to bring football to the USA campus in 2001 and was finally approved by the Board of Trustees on December 6, 2007.

Gottfrieds impact can be seen in the $30 million Mitchell Center, which is the home of the men’s and women’s basketball program as well as offices for athletic department presonnel, Stanky Field which underwent a $3.5 million renovation prior to the 2005 season, a 4,000 square-foot baseball clubhouse built in 1996, the intramural fields on the west side of campus, the softball complex built prior to the 2007 season which was the first-ever for the program, a new locker room for the softball and soccer programs, improvements to Jaguar Gymnasium, the Striplin Center, “The Cage” soccer facility, the USA Track Complex, the Bruce David Lubel Memorial Tennis Courts, the football field house and the football practice fields.

However just as important the athletics is the academics which also flourished under coach Gottfried. With the addition of football, the athletic department is at an all-time high of more than 300 student-athletes. In the latest Academic Progress Rate report released by the NCAA last month, 13 of 16 programs in competition at South Alabama scored above the 925 standard set by the NCAA. Also under coach Gottfried, 83% of South Alabama’s student-athletes that have completed their eligibility have graduated. There have been 37 individual student-athletes that have been named to the Sun Belt Conference Commissioner’s List for maintaining at least a 3.5 GPA while 32 others have made the Sun Belt Acadeimc Honor Roll with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in 2007-2008.

Also 75 South Alabama student-athletes have earned All-America recognition while 62 of the schools coaches were selected the SBC Conference Coach of the Year in their sports. South Alabama has claimed the Vic Bubas Cup 10 times in a 13 year span. No school in league history has earned the award more than USA. South Alabama teams have won 104 league titles, appeared in 54 NCAA Championship events, and have had 123 individual student-athletes qualify for NCAA postseason play. Including two track and field athletes who have won NCAA titles. Plus, in baseball, 95 players have signed with prefessional teams including 17 who have made it to the Major Leagues.

Thank you coach Gottfried for your hard work and dedication to South Alabama Athletics, thank you for taking time to talk to students and fans, and thank you for putting South Alabama in the position continue to improve its level of competion for many years to come.