Team preview: Stephen F. Austin
Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2006-07 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.
(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)
Stephen F. Austin men's basketball coach Danny Kaspar could easily look back at his team's 2005-06 campaign and think "what if?"
What if he hadn't lost the now-departed Marcus Clark, SFA's all-time assist leader, for two Southland Conference games and for all but 10 minutes of two other league games contests? What if 6-4 guard Josh Alexander -- the league's freshman of the year -- hadn't missed a game against UT-Arlington, one the Lumberjacks lost by six, with a hip injury?
More importantly, what if the Lumberjacks had just found a way to close out the close games better? Considering SFA lost 10 games by six points or fewer and five by four points or fewer, their 17-win season, it appears, easily could have been a 20-plus-win campaign.
"With four newcomers, we finished tied for fourth, and I think we really could have finished third," Kaspar said. "But this time last year we also weren't sure what we had and we were wondering what was going to happen. I thought we actually had a pretty good year considering we had such big losses from the year before."
So instead of "what if," Kaspar can actually look at a team that has more returning experience than last year's and wonder just what surprises the Lumberjacks might be able to pull off this season.