Stephen F. Austin Men's Basketball 2013 NIT Tournament Capsule

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
Southland (27-4, 16-2)


Stephen F. Austin had about as quiet a season as possible for a team that won over 25 games. In non-conference play the Lumberjacks knocked off teams like Oklahoma, Tulsa and San Diego. They were equally impressive during Southland play. The conference got much tougher this year with the addition of Oral Roberts and the emergence of some other quality teams like Northwestern State, but Coach Danny Kaspar almost always had an answer.

Big Wins: 12/18 at Oklahoma (56-55), 1/12 at Oral Roberts (61-50), 3/02 Northwestern State (64-63)
Bad Losses: 12/05 at Texas A&M (54-62), 1/26 at Northwestern State (57-61), 2/16 at Southeast Louisiana (50-54)
Coach: Danny Kaspar (13 seasons at Stephen F. Austin)

Why They Can Surprise:
Even when outmatched physically, Stephen F. Austin can stay in just about any game because of their defense. This is a team that led the nation with just 50.2 points allowed per game. They also rank in the top ten in field-goal percentage defense and three-point field-goal percentage defense. Point guard Hal Bateman spearheads the defensive effort, but to only give up that many points per game, it has to be a team effort. This is also a team that is surprisingly effective on the glass. The frontcourt is not big or deep, but everybody can crash the glass since the Lumberjacks will very rarely look to run the other way in a hurry. Bateman leads the offensive effort with his smart ball control. He is not much of a scorer, but Bateman does an amazing job dictating tempo and that is what the Lumberjacks are all about. Forward Taylor Smith is often the beneficiary of Bateman’s passes, but fellow forward Jacob Parker and guards Antonio Bostic and Desmond Haymon are capable of good scoring outputs on any given night.

Why They Can Disappoint:
A lack of experienced depth could be an issue for SFA, but the bigger problem will come when the Lumberjacks inevitably fall behind against a quality opponent. Obviously this is not a team that is built to score quickly. Not only are they not used to running up and down the floor; anything that is not a two-point shot that runs through the offense comes with some difficulty. The Lumberjacks barely take any three-point shots. Haymon and Parker are capable of knocking down the long ball and putting some points on the board in a hurry, but the team only makes about four per game. Even with the clock stopped, SFA has difficulties scoring. The team as a whole, mostly due to Smith, yet with little help from everybody else, is awful at the free-throw line. Coach Danny Kaspar will want to keep the game close as usual, yet with the tougher competition this team will fall behind at some point and not be able to catch up.

Probable Starters:
Hal Bateman, Senior, Guard, 7.1 ppg, 5.6 apg, 2.9 rpg, 1.6 spg
Antonio Bostic, Senior, Guard, 10.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg
Desmond Haymon, Junior, Guard, 10.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Jacob Parker, Sophomore, Forward, 7.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Taylor Smith, Senior, Forward, 15.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 2.9 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Trey Pinkney, Freshman, Guard, 1.3 ppg, 1.4 apg
Thomas Walkup, Freshman, Guard, 4.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 65 (239th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 50.2 (1, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.6 (37, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.5 (6, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game:  4.2 (330, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: n/a
Free-Throw Percentage: 60.7 (336, 10)
Rebound Margin: 7.2 (12, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.7 (21, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (124, 3)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Syracuse
2008    NIT        First Round loss to Massachusetts
1987    NIT        First round win over James Madison
1987    NIT        Second round loss to Arkansas-Little Rock

*all team stats through 3/10


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules