'Cats Lose 2nd Straight

In a bittersweet matchup against the SFA Lumberjacks, Texas State learned what it will take to get to the next level. The goal to start the season on a winning note may not be as easy.

Neither coach enjoyed having their schedules meet up, especially this early in the season. SFA played like veterans. BI would like to think this game is a product of Kaspar's culture left over the years, but either way there's a while to go still for Texas State.

Texas State lost by 7 points Tuesday night, 64-57, in a game that seemed winnable for a majority of the 40 minutes. They played average defense, forcing 2 blocks and 5 steals. However, their lack of offensive production was ultimately exposed. Joel Wright was the leading scorer again with 20, although he only shot 35% from the field. Wright spoke on adjusting to the new offense.

"I just have to understand that as coach told me, is that they're squeezing in on me when I get the ball. I have to make better decisions when I get the ball. That's my fault a lot. I have to slow down, keep my head and worry about going slow. This transition and trying to go slow is a whole new change. I'm still trying to break habits."

He scored 6 buckets and went to the line 5 times, something his teammates have been having trouble with. Besides Wright, nobody else shot over 67% from the line. In an offense that has yet to fully develop, free throws and attacking the basket are what will win you close games. Both players and coaches agreed after the game. Wright said.

"I think its very important (to get to the free throw line) because we're not getting to the line too much and other teams get to the line way more. I think we've taken a little too many jump shots. We've got to go in there and get something inside sometimes."

PG Phil Hawkins had a forgettable game, going 3-11 from the field (not as bad as 2-11 from 3pt land). The shots he took were good, high percentage shots as far as court positioning. That wasn't his problem. He was just too worried about getting blocked and tried to float through the lane as opposed to attacking the basket. Hawkins' 6 turnovers was a result of not only a new system, but his opponents preparation for Kaspar's offense all together. SFA Coach Brad Underwood mentioned this himself.

"It's about execution... It's about the game plan, and sure they knew "long" (one of Kaspar's plays) and you know a couple things but.."

To where Kaspar chimed in,

"We called a play and they knew it. That's one of the reasons i didn't want to play them. I'm not going to change my whole playbook because we're playing SFA...They know every play we ran."

Kaspar showed everyone in the media room his list of plays, and explained how they're basically half way there on offense implementation.

The Bobcats played uphill mostly the entire game, until the last lead change with 12 minutes left. It was difficult to mount a comeback against an opponent that knows your offense better than you do. This is understandable. Still, the things that can be capitalized upon that don't require understanding a whole system aren't there quite yet. The Bobcats forced 12 turnovers against the Lumberjacks but only scored 10 points in return. Fast break points and free throws are what need to improve in the short term, and the rest should follow.

Players like Koenen, Gant, and Davis all played for a minimum of 27 minutes each, but none of them took more than 5 shots. If Texas State isn't getting offensive production from these players offensively, then the bench has to step in and provide a scoring spark. Kaspar mentioned this and how to get the older guys like Koenen and Davis to become factors.

"What I really want my seniors to understand is, I'm playing you, Reid, 29 mins, Joel 37, Phil 35, and Wes a junior playing 27. We have got to get the old guys understanding that yes you are working harder probably. My practices are longer, harder, and you've still got to be working harder than you are."

All in all, this was a classy win for SFA and Coach Brad Underwood, who had nothing but kind words for what Kaspar has done with SFA. Texas State still has their toughest opponents to come, and on the road.

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