#133 Lamar Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Lamar Cardinals
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #133
Conference Rank: #1 Southland
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Lamar has been quite consistent over the last three seasons. They made the CIT in 2017 and 2018 and last year the Cardinals won 20 games for the first time under Coach Tic Price. Once again they should be right in the mix for a Southland title, but this is a very experienced group that could take the next step and return Lamar to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012.
2018-19 Record: 20-13, 12-6
2018-19 Postseason: None
Coach: Tic Price
Coach Record: 85-80 at Lamar, 252-202 overall
Key Departed Players:
Nick Garth, Guard, 16.6 ppg
Josh Nzeakor, Forward, 15.0 ppg
Laquarious Paige, Guard, 5.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Jordan Hunter, Senior, Guard, 11.4 ppg
T.J. Atwood, Senior, Guard/Forward, 10.4 ppg
V.J. Holmes, Senior, Guard, 5.1 ppg
Davion Buster, Sophomore, Guard, 8.1 ppg
Christian Barrett, Senior, Forward, 7.5 ppg
Edwin Jeudy, Senior, Forward, 5.2 ppg
Michael Kolawole, Senior, Guard, 4.4 ppg
Grehlon Easter, Sophomore, Guard, 2.8 ppg
Key New Players:
Ellis Jefferson, Junior, Guard, JC Transfer
Anderson Kopp, Freshman, Guard
Corey Nickerson, Freshman, Forward
Lamar surprised many last year in large part due to the play of a now senior class. Jordan Hunter came from New Mexico and averaged 11.4 points and a team high 3.6 assists during his debut campaign with the Cardinals. V.J. Holmes was not much of a scoring threat, but the 6-4 guard earned 23 starts and averaged 5.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals. Once again he will be a very productive glue guy for this team. T.J. Atwood, a 6-6 wing, and fellow seniors Christian Barrett and Edwin Jeudy are all solid options in the frontcourt. Atwood is the best scorer of the bunch, but Barrett is a beast on the glass and could be a double-double machine during his senior season. That is an impressive senior class that has the potential to lead this team to the NCAA Tournament. But there is more. Davion Buster averaged 8.1 points per game as a freshman and Coach Price has also brought in three newcomers who could make an immediate impact. Ellis Jefferson has the most experience and the combo guard will add some quality depth and another shooting threat.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.7 (42nd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.4 (149, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.6 (96, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.0 (189, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (256, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.3 (182, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.7 (246, 10)
Rebound Margin: 6.8 ((12, 1)
Assists Per Game: 14.6 (79, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.3 (292, 5)