A&M-COMMERCE OPENS 2011-12 CAMPAIGN AT SOUTHERN ARKANSAS, DRURY
A&M-Commerce Lions at Southern Arkansas Muleriders
Thursday, November 17 • 7 p.m.
Watson Athletic Center • Magnolia, Ark.
Records: A&M-Commerce (0-0); Southern Arkansas (0-2)
A&M-Commerce Lions at Drury Panthers
Saturday, November 19 • 3 p.m.
O'Reilly Family Event Center • Springfield, Mo.
Records: A&M-Commerce (0-0); Drury (1-0)
Texas A&M University-Commerce tips off the 2011-12 basketball season this week with a pair of games, beginning Thursday, Nov. 17 at Southern Arkansas. The Lions then head north to Springfield, Mo., for a showdown with Drury on Saturday, Nov. 19.
Lions On The Web
Lion basketball fans will be able to keep up with all the action this weekend. J.P. Heath will broadcast A&M-Commerce's season opener at Southern Arkansas on KETR 88.9 FM and online at KETR.org. Live stats of both games will be available at LionAthletics.com.
Scouting the Muleriders
2011-12: 0-2 overall, 0-0 Great American, 0-0 home.
2010-11: 11-15 overall, 3-11 Great American, 7-7 home.
Last Two Games: L vs. Arkansas-Fort Smith (78-77), L vs. Dallas Baptist (82-78).
Head Coach: Eric Bozeman (Arkansas Tech, 1981). Fifth season at Southern Arkansas (43-65, .398), 10th season overall (114-132, .463).
Mulerider Key Players:
• Chris Davis (Jr., G): 38 pts. (19.0 avg.), .684 FG pct., 4 reb. (2.0 avg.), 3 ast., 2 stl.
• Rodney Hill (Jr., G): 37 pts. (18.5 avg.), .542 FG pct., 4 reb. (2.0 avg.), 9 ast., 3 stl.
• Chase Spruiell (Sr., F): 30 pts. (15.0 avg.), .556 FG pct., 8 reb. (4.0 avg.), 1 ast., 4 stl.
• Casey Cheshier (Sr., F): 22 pts. (11.0 avg.), .700 FG pct., 9 reb. (4.5 avg.), 1 blk., 1 stl.
• Teviin Morris (So., G): 11 pts. (5.5 avg.), .375 FG pct., 2 reb. (1.0 avg.), 2 ast., 1 stl.
Series Information: A&M-Commerce and Southern Arkansas meet for the 32nd time Thursday with A&M-Commerce holding an 18-13 advantage in the all-time series. The Lions have won six-straight over the Muleriders, including a pair of victories in 2008-09. Southern Arkansas' last victory against A&M-Commerce was a 74-69 victory in Magnolia in 2004.
Scouting the Panthers
2011-12: 1-0 overall, 0-0 Great Lakes Valley, 1-0 home.
2010-11: 23-8 overall, 13-5 Great Lakes Valley, 14-1 home.
Last Game: W vs. Hendrix College (80-51). Play at Southwest Baptist Thursday.
Head Coach: Steve Hesser (Oklahoma State, 1980). Eighth season at Drury (148-60, .712).
Panther Key Players:
• Alex Hall (Jr. G): 26 pts., .647 FG pct., 3 reb., 1 ast., 4 stl.
• Brandon Lockhart (Jr., G): 11 pts., .571 FG pct., 4 reb., 5 ast., 3 stl.
• Teddy Simniok (Jr., F): 10 pts., .667 FG pct., 5 reb.
• Ian Carter (So. F): 4 pts., .286 FG pct., 7 reb, 1 ast., 3 blk.
• Korry Tillery (Fr., F): 6 pts., .500 FG pct., 4 reb., 1 ast.
Series Information: A&M-Commerce and Drury meet for the ninth time Saturday with the all-time series knotted at four wins apiece. It marks the first meeting between the Lions and Panthers since the 1994-95 season when the teams split a two-game series: A&M-Commerce winning 79-68 in Commerce with Drury returning the favor 90-82 in Springfield.
Walker Closes In On History in 12th Season As Head Coach
A&M-Commerce Sam Walker returns for his 12th season as the Lions' head coach, and his 20th with the program, with a pair of milestones on the horizon. Walker enters the year with an overall record of 182-131 and is within striking distance of a pair of career milestones in 2011-12, the first of which being his 200th career victory, sitting just 18 victories shy. Walker also ranks second all-time among career victories at A&M-Commerce, trailing only Jim Gudger (203-193) and needing just 21 victories to match his career mark. Walker, who has the fourth-highest winning percentage among Lion head coaches (.581), came to Commerce as an assistant coach in 1992 and served as an assistant coach under Paul Peak for eight years before being named head coach prior to the 2000-01 season.
Desmond King Named Lone Star Conference Preseason Player of the Year
Lion senior forward Desmond King was picked as the Lone Star Conference's Preseason Player of the Year. King was a first team All-Lone Star Conference North Division selection in 2010-11 after being named the conference's Newcomer of the Year in the North Division after transferring from Paris Junior College. He started all 26 games he played last year, averaging 16.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, both of which led the team. King was also a two-time LSC North Division Player of the Week, recording-double digit point totals in 23 games while surpassing 20 points in seven games. The voting was done by the conference's head coaches, sports information directors and media representatives.
A&M-Commerce Picked Fourth in LSC Preseason Poll
The Lions were picked to finish fourth in the new-look Lone Star Conference, garnering 175 total votes and one first-place vote. Tarleton State was the preseason number one, tallying 255 total votes and 11-first place, followed by Midwestern State and West Texas A&M. A&M-Commerce finished second in the Lone Star Conference North Division in 2010-11, advancing to the quarterfinals of the LSC Championships in Bartlesville, Okla.
A&M-Commerce Holds Its Own in Preseason Bout With Arkansas
A&M-Commerce put together a solid showing at Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas, giving the Razorbacks a tough challenge in a 97-80 exhibition defeat at Bud Walton Arena on Friday, November 4.Lone Star Conference Preseason Player of the Year Desmond King had an impressive season debut, posting a double-double with 24 points and 19 rebounds on the night for the Lions. King shot 11-of-16 from the floor and had 10 offensive boards in 31 minutes for A&M-Commerce. Three other Lions finished with double-digit point totals as Brad Hambrick posted 14 points to complement his four rebounds and three assists while Devondrick Walker added 11 points in his A&M-Commerce debut and LaBree Sledge finishing with 10 for the Lions. A&M-Commerce trailed by just four late in both the first and second halves before the Razorbacks pulled away, but the performance gave coach Sam Walker and the Lions confidence heading into the regular season.
Following the road games at Southern Arkanas and Drury this weekend, A&M-Commerce will return to the DFW Metroplex, competing in the Patriot Thanksgiving Classic, hosted by Dallas Baptist University. The Lions face the host Patriots at the Burg Center on Friday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m., then take on Arkansas-Fort Smith at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26. A&M-Commerce then opens up both its home and Lone Star Conference schedule, hosting reigning LSC champion Midwestern State at the Field House on Wednesday, Nov. 30. Opening tip is set for 8 p.m.
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