Basketball Season Preview

Gone are the days of trying to outscore your opponent by hitting the 90 point or 100 point mark every game. When Danny Kaspar was hired earlier this spring, two traits were immediately infused into the Bobcat program: defense and a winning attitude.

Texas State is Coach Kaspar's third head coaching program and if he duplicates what he's done at his first two head coaching jobs, Incarnate Word and Stephen F. Austin (SFA), the Bobcat faithful are going to be in for one heck of a ride.

In nine seasons (1991-2000) at Incarnate Word (UIW), he led the Crusaders (now Cardinals) to 20+ wins in each season. In five of those seasons his teams posted 25+ wins and numerous trips to the NAIA post season tourney.

Kaspar was then selected as the Head Coach at SFA in the Southland Conference where he developed a national reputation for defense and winning. As the head man he took a Lumberjack program that been non-existent and in his 13 seasons, netted eight 20+ win seasons, 3 SLC regular season titles, 2 NIT bids and the schools first and only NCAA berth back in 2009.

In his final year (2012-2013) with the Lumberjacks, he guided them to a 27-5 overall record. He earned the distinction of being the Nation's Top Mid-Major coach for his team's performance. SFA had victories over Oklahoma, Tulsa, and FIU. Schools which were all a apart of bigger conferences.

The Schedule
The 'Cats aren't scheduling cupcakes either in Danny Kaspar's first season. With 4 high major's scheduled (Houston, SMU, Texas & Utah) and a non-conference tournament, Texas State will look to build team chemistry and open some eyes as Sun Belt play starts at the beginning of January. An early tilt with SFA, Kaspar's former school, headlines the home non-conference slate. TXST has been picked to finish 8th in the 10 league team. In it's final season in the Sun Belt, Western Kentucky is picked to win the title again.

Assistant Staff
He's assembled a staff that has years of experience and tremendous recruiting ties to the Lone Star State. Assistant Coach Rob Flaska, a holdover from the previous regime brings his 30 years of experience to the bench. Bobcat Fans are welcoming back Terrence Rencher who did a previous 2 year coaching stint with the 'Cats from 2009-2011 and now returns to San Marcos. Wrapping up his trio of assistants is Coach Talvin Hester. Another native Texan with deep ties to the state. All 3 assistants have coached throughout the state and are entrenched in the recruiting scene. It's those ties that have already netted 2 commits, both Texans (Jonathan Wiley & Austin Evans), for the 2014 class.

Any coach will tell you that he's only as good as his players. This years 2013-2014 team may not be the tallest, but their is length and athleticism. Our staff has been to multiple practices and the players have fully bought into Coach Kaspar's mentality. It's easier to get points off of defensive stops than to try and outscore your opponent bucket for bucket every single game. Practices are intense and high energy. Two of the biggest leaders so far have been seniors Joel Wright and Phil Hawkins. Leading the way for a new era of basketball.


Projected Opening Game Starters:
G Phil Hawkins 6'0" (Sr.)
G Victor Bermudez 6'4" (Jr.)
F Reid Koenen 6'7" (Sr.)
F Joel Wright 6'7" (Sr.)
F Emani Grant 6'8" (So.)

F Kavin Gilder-Tilbury 6'7" (Fr.)
G Jeremiah Moore 6'4" (Jr.)
G Ray Dorsey 6'3" (So.)
F Corey Stern 6'7" (Sr.)
G Wesley Davis 6'3" (Jr.)
G Amari Bryant 6'2" (Fr.)
G Nate Velasco 6'1" (Jr.)
G Naiel Smith 6'5" (Fr.)
F Gordon Ball 6'8" (Sr.)
F Kendell Ramlal 6'7" (Fr.)

The starters have at least three players who will put up double digits in the scoring column: Hawkins, Wright and Gant. Joel Wright is a pre-season All Sun Belt nominee and has the potential to put up double-doubles night in and night out. Gant has a nice long frame who can score down low and have an impact defensively on the glass and in the lane. Hawkins can get to the rim with his quickness and score if needed. He is what makes the offense go.

Again, there are no players listed taller than 6'8", they do have plenty of length and athleticism with 7 players listed at 6'7" or bigger. Corey Stern, Gordon Ball and Kevin Tilbury have shown that they can be scoring options for Coach Kaspar when needed. The mindset has changed to a defensive one, but the Bobcats do have players who can still torch the nets.

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