It’s the first full weekend of college basketball and there have already been some…uh let’s say, eye-opening results from the first few nights.
Here’s a round-up of what’s happened so far in the very early start of the season and what are some things to look forward to this weekend.
Baylor and UTSA lost to...:
Last season was a subpar year by Baylor’s standards winning less than 20 games and going below .500 in Big XII play. Well, losing to Texas Southern 72-69 in the season-opener at home isn’t the way you’d want to start the new season. Baylor surrendered a 13-point halftime lead that was at one point, 17.
On the other side, what a way for Johnny Jones to start his first year at Texas Southern. LSU transfer Jalyn Patterson debuted for the Tigers with a game-high 23 points on 5-of-11 shooting from 3-point range including a big shot with under a minute to play that tied the game. He followed it up with the game-winning shot the very next possession.
In a bit of a defense for the Bears, they were without Makai Mason and still have to replace Jake Lindsay who is out for the year. Plus, TSU was a tournament team a year ago with some returning talent that are expected to challenge in the SWAC.
And heading further south, UTSA…what?
Now, it should be noted that All-Confernece sophomore Jhivvan Jackson won’t be back until December after tearing his ACL last season, but even without their best player, if the Roadrunners are expecting to compete for the C-USA crown (And they are), Wednesday night’s 77-76 loss to DII St. Edward’s is a massive failure.
But UTSA didn’t exactly look bad or necessarily overmatched, the team just looked off and likely had an unfortunate, but all-possible off night from beyond. UTSA went an abysmal 5-of-26 from 3 while St. Edward’s shot only marginally better from deep at 34.3 percent, but by comparison that was enough. This one could be chalked up to just being one of those off shooting nights that's prone to catch any team.
"You can’t be just hoping a shot goes in,” Henson told Greg Luca of the San Antonio Express-News. “If you don’t expect it to go in, it’s not going to go in. So tougher mental plays as far as shot selection and not turning the ball over.”
Although monumental, this only counts as an exhibition for the Hilltoppers while this is UTSA's first official game of the season.
Beard, Tech making waves:
If you needed anymore evidence that Chris Beard and Texas Tech are still on the rise, Thursday morning they received a verbal commitment from consensus Top 50 recruit Jahmius Ramsey from Duncanville for 2019. RedRaiderSports.com was the first to report.
Per ESPN College Insider Jeff Borzello, Ramsey is the highest-ranked recruit in Texas Tech history and the team’s first Top 100 commit in over 10 years.
What to Watch
The Marlene Stollings era in Lubbock:
To put it lightly, Texas Tech women’s basketball was bad last season (7-23). Marlene Stollings, one of the best offensive minds in the game, was hired to revitalize a once-proud program and she will make her debut Friday evening against Jacksonville State. Last season, her Minnesota team finished fifth in the nation averaging nearly 85 points per game.
Tech ranked near the bottom-half of the country in a lot of categories on both sides of the ball a year ago, so don’t expect Stollings to fix things overnight. But junior forward Brittany Brewer should have the ultimate greenlight to shoot as the Lady Raiders try to find some semblance of consistent scoring.
The best shooter in the state of Texas starts her senior season:
Texas State senior guard Toshua Leavitt is probably the best shooter in the state, full stop. Texas State kicks off its season Friday night at 8 p.m. against New Mexico. Leavitt averaged just under 4.5 made 3’s per game as a junior. If you have a chance, be sure to catch at least a few of Leavitt's games now that she's the focal point of the Bobcat offense.