Blowout Exhibition Win

Coach Kaspar's defensive minded team beat Sul Ross State, 81-53 Monday evening in San Marcos. It was only an exhibition game, but the 'Cats showed they are buying in to Kaspar's system.

Monday night was an all defensive night for Texas State. They forced 21 turnovers and only allowed 7 assists in their 40 minutes of play. Joel Wright, last years leading scorer, put up a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Although he has been looked at to score the ball, Wright said there was a different outlook.

"We're not focusing on offense anymore. We're focusing on getting stops and getting points that way. I think its easier when you get points from stopping a team. I think you feel much better. I think it gets you pumped up when you stop a team and get a bucket off of it."

The 21 turnovers Sul Ross gave up were converted into 24 points for Texas State. In fact, combining their points off of turnovers with their second chance points equated to more than half of Texas State's offense. If this is what buying into Kaspar's system results in, defense and hustle points may be the 'Cats best offense.

Offensively, the starters accounted for 46 points. Emani Gant, Wright, and Phil Hawkins all scored in double digits. Freshman Kavin Tilbury came off the bench within the first 5 minutes and helped as well with 13 points and 2 assists. Tilbury spoke after the game as well.

"I really believe in his system. The in and out, playing off screens, and slipping to the basket is what you need to do to be successful at this level."

Texas State still has a way to go. The players need to grow into the system over time, especially offensively. Kaspar said his motion offense hasn't taken off quite yet because of so much more to learn. Also, the team has worked so much on defensive play. This new offense should be exciting to watch, especially when players like Joel Wright and Phil Hawkins attack the basket and draw more fouls.

This is a good first step for the basketball program, one that hasn't been successful for some time. Hopefully there is more growth to track as the season progresses.

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