#97 Stephen F. Austin Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #97
Conference Rank: #1 Southland

Stephen F. Austin Team Page#97 Stephen F. Austin Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Stephen F. Austin Basketball Tickets

A couple weeks into the 2013-2014 campaign, Stephen F. Austin had a 3-2 record. They did not lose again until the NCAA Tournament. The Lumberjacks reeled off an amazing 29 wins in a row spanning from November 26th until March 23rd. SFA was rewarded with a 12 seed and a matchup with VCU in the round of 64. And they proved that their gaudy record was no fluke and beat VCU 77-75. In the next round of the NCAA Tournament, the Lumberjacks fell to UCLA, but this is a program building off of an amazing season that everybody in Nacogdoches, Texas will be talking about for a long, long time.

2013-14 Record: 32-3, 18-0
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Brad Underwood
Coach Record: 32-3 at Stephen F. Austin, 32-3 overall

Who’s Out:
Desmond Haymon is a big loss for Coach Brad Underwood and company. He led the team with 14.5 points and was a leader on the floor. Haymon knocked down 61 three-pointers during his senior season, but he is not the only shooter lost. Deshaunt Walker was one of the best sixth men in the nation. He was mostly a three-point shooter, yet he did that amazingly well. On the year Walker averaged 11.7 points per game and connected on 35.7 percent of his outside shots. The third most potent outside shooter is also gone. Nikola Gajic, a 6-5 forward, came out of nowhere to average 9.6 points and 5.0 rebounds during his senior year.

Who’s In:
Coach Underwood has brought in some new shooters to help replace Haymon, Walker and Gajic. Demetrious Floyd spent the last two years at Chipola College and is a proven shooter who can run the point as well. Whether used on or off the ball, Floyd will make an immediate impact for SFA. So will fellow junior college transfer Clide Geffrard. Geffrard is only 6-5, but he tilts the scales at 220 pounds and for this team, he will provide some size and strength. Ty Charles and Jaxon Holden are the two incoming freshmen. Charles, a big 6-5 shooting guard, is the player expected to make a bigger splash right away. He is a great fit for this offense and will be given every chance to earn a starting job.

Who to Watch:
The three returning starters are Jacob Parker, Thomas Walkup and Trey Pinkney. Parker, a 6-6 senior, is a dynamic scorer who is just as comfortable beyond the arc as he is in the paint. After averaging 14.2 points per game last season, Parker should be the team’s top scorer. Parker is also a huge reason why SFA had a great rebounding margin despite their general lack of size. He averaged 7.1 rebounds per game. Thomas Walkup deserves a lot of credit for the rebounding too. He is just a 6-4 guard, but ranked second on the team with 5.3 rebounds. Walkup also averaged 13.1 points per game and will use his athleticism to attack the basket with ease. Pinkney had an amazing sophomore season. He averaged just 1.3 points and 1.3 assists as a freshman, but the point guard stepped into a starting role and never looked back last season. He is never going to score much, but he dished out 3.5 assists and had a little over a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio

Final Projection:
Coach Underwood has only been at SFA for one year, but he was linked to a few bigger coaching jobs. He got a lot out of his players and keeping him is great for the program. Coach Underwood will need to get more out of a couple of last year’s role players too. Tanner Clayton is the biggest player on the roster, at 6-9 and 210 pounds. If this team wants to go big, he will have to play more than the 14.1 minutes per contest. Wing Connor Brooks, shooting guard Justin Dotson and defensive specialist Dallas Cameron all saw some decent minutes last season and are capable of stepping into the starting lineup.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Trey Pinkney, Junior, Guard, 3.0 points per game
Thomas Walkup, Junior, Guard, 13.1 points per game
Connor Brooks, Senior, Guard, 2.7 points per game
Jacob Parker, Senior, Forward, 14.2 points per game
Tanner Clayton, Senior, Forward, 2.9 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.0 (49th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.4 (36, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.3 (69, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 45.4 (260, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.1 (91, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.5 (158, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.1 (134, 4)
Rebound Margin: 4.8 (33, 1)
Assists Per Game: 16.4 (9, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.2 (71, 1)


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