#59 Stephen F. Austin Men's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks

2015-2016 Overall Rank: #59
Conference Rank: #1 Southland

Stephen F. Austin Team Page#59 Stephen F. Austin Men's Basketball 2015-2016 PreviewBuy Stephen F. Austin Basketball Tickets

Over the last two seasons, Stephen F. Austin has gone 35-1 in Southland play. Unfortunately for the rest of the conference, the 2015-2016 version of the Lumberjacks could be their best yet. Two years ago SFA made a big splash in the NCAA Tournament by upsetting VCU. Last year many pegged the Lumberjacks to upset Utah as a 12 seed, but it was a tough matchup for SFA and they fell 57-50. They should get another chance at an NCAA Tournament upset with Thomas Walkup leading the way. The 6-4 wing averaged 15.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists last season. Walkup is not a shooter, but nobody in the conference is better at attacking the basket than Walkup.

2014-15 Record: 29-5, 17-1
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Brad Underwood
Coach Record: 61-8 at Stephen F. Austin, 61-8 overall

Who’s Out:
Jacob Parker is a significant loss though. The 6-6 forward averaged 13.9 points and 5.5 rebounds and knocked down a team high 55 three-pointers. Parker teamed up very nicely with Walker and it will be interesting to see how Walker operates without his scoring mate. The only other player lost who averaged over ten minutes per game is Tanner Clayton. The 6-9 forward provided depth in the frontcourt and was usually quite effective on the glass. Connor Brooks and Bobby King saw action in most games, but didn’t play a huge role. Justin Dotson, Jaxon Holden, Jason Martin and Caleb Johnston are also gone after seeing limited playing time last season.

Who’s In:
A big group of newcomers will help fill in the team’s overall depth. Coach Brad Underwood needed some size and he got it with junior college transfers JaQuan Smith and C.J. Williams. Smith is not going to do much scoring, but at 6-9 and 250 pounds, he can hit the glass effectively and block some shots. Williams has a more polished offensive game. Freshmen Jovan Grujic and T.J. Holyfield will add more frontcourt options. But the real stars among the incoming freshmen are on the wing where small forward Nathan Bain and shooting guard Lansari Johnson could make a big impact right away. Jonny Dahl, Payton Stephens and Tyler Underwood will also suit up for the Lumberjacks.

Who to Watch:
Not including Walkup, four other players return who started at least 14 games last season. Perhaps most important of them all is point guard Trey Pinkney. The senior dished out 3.9 assists per game last season and committed just 1.5 turnovers. But this team needs some scorers too in order to help replace the production lost with Parker. Ty Charles and Jared Johnson figure to fill that role. Charles had a great freshman campaign, averaging 8.6 points and 5.0 rebounds. The big 6-5 guard was very effective from long range, but will also attack the basket. His ability to hit the glass is extremely important on a team that will play small. Johnson is mostly a shooter. The senior guard could diversify his game a little more, but as long as he keeps shooting 41.1 percent from beyond the arc, he will push for ten points per game. Dallas Cameron is the other player who started a handful of games in 2014-2015. Cameron averaged 4.9 points per game.

Final Projection:
Demetrious Floyd and Clide Geffrard return to the regular rotation. Floyd is another quality outside shooter and Geffrard will need to play more minutes in the frontcourt this year. At 6-5 and 220 pounds, Geffrard is the biggest player on the roster who played last season. He proved to be a versatile scorer, but is certainly not the tough interior player this team needs on the glass. Smith and Williams will have to be ready to contribute major minutes or this team will struggle mightily on the glass. But even if they do struggle, the Lumberjacks are clearly the best team in the Southland. And by March, Stephen F. Austin will be ready to give another four or five seed a run for the money.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Trey Pinkey, Senior, Guard, 3.5 points per game
Jared Johnson, Senior, Guard, 8.3 points per game
Ty Charles, Sophomore, Guard, 8.6 points per game
Thomas Walkup, Senior, Guard, 15.6 points per game
Clide Geffrard, Senior, Forward, 8.5 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.6 (10th in nation, 2th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.3 (113, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.7 (7, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.8 (218, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.7 (52, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.9 (48, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.6 (38, 2)
Rebound Margin: 5.4 (29, 3)
Assists Per Game: 17.5 (1, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.0 (293, 5)


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