Men’s Basketball Coach’s Clipboard: The Cru are Ready to Hit the Road Once Again

After over week off, the UMHB men’s basketball team is ready to hit the road once again, this time to face five different opponents in seven days. Hear how head coach Clif Carroll is preparing his team for the week ahead, learn about UMHB’s opponents, which includes one division one team, and a projected starting lineup for the Cru in this week’s “Coach’s Clipboard”.

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Editor’s Note: This article previews the games ranging from Tuesday-Saturday of this week. Next week’s Monday and Tuesday games will be covered in another “Coach’s Clipboard”.

Thoughts from head coach Clif Carroll:

On Aedan Welch’s impact so far : “Aedan is kind of our rock right now. He’s our leader. He’s a senior. It always means a little bit more to seniors and with this blanket waiver deal, pretty much everyone gets their season back, but he’s going to med school. he’s getting married, he’s ready to move on with life. So this is it for him. He’s completely bought into what we’re doing, he’s completely bought into me as a coach. He’s been so much fun to just go out and battle with everyday. I know that no matter what happens, I got somebody on my side. And he’s big and strong so if anybody tries to fight me, it’s going to be a long day! He’s been awesome, his role is going to be a little bit different this year, we’ll need a little more out of him than he had here in the past, so I think he’s having fun with that and taking on that challenge.”

On playing five games in seven days: “These guys are 18 to 22 years old. Their bodies are capable of so much more than they think, so I’m trying not to let them realize that we got five games in seven days, because if you start thinking about it, you get tired. If you just roll out there and play, sometimes they don’t think about it. We’ll do a good job of keeping ice on our legs, when we’re not playing to get off our feet, we won’t have any kind of hard practice, just shootarounds and walkthroughs. I just told the guys, ‘You want to play in the NBA? Here you go, this is an NBA schedule right here’.”

Projected Starting Lineup

PG- Josiah Johnson, Sophomore- 28.0 PPG*, 2.0 APG, 7.0 RPG

G- Carson Hammond, Junior- 13.5 PPG, 4.0 APG*, 6.0 RPG

G- Kyle Wright, Sophomore- 15.5 PPG, 1.0 APG, 6.5 RPG

F- Sam Reaves, Sophomore- 0.0 PPG, 1.0 APG, 4.5 RPG

F- Aedan Welch, Senior- 11.5 PPG, 3.0 APG, 11.0 RPG*

*- Team high

Notes:

  • Both Byrale Carter and Centenary transfer Ty Prince are expected to make huge impacts for the Cru in conference action, though both will not be available until mid-January, Carroll confirmed Friday.
  • While Kobe Richardson is not in the projected starting lineup (Carroll is not likely to start four guards), the Forsan, Texas, native will likely be UMHB’s sixth man, at least for now, coming off the bench early and often. He shot a team-high 80% from the field in the Cru’s first two games.

About the opponent: Sul Ross State

Date: December 8

Time: 3:00 p.m.

Place: Richardson, Texas

Watch: https://utdcomets.com/watch/?Archive=659&type=Live

Notes:

  • Though Sul Ross State will serve as the home team, this will be played at a neutral site, as UT Dallas will host the contest in the school’s 3,200 seat gym. It will be the first of a three-team round-robin type event that includes UT Dallas.
  • It will be the first time Carroll will face his former team, as he served as the Lobos’ head coach from 2015-2020, taking the program to three ASC Wst Division titles, and one ASC Conference Championship in the 2017-18 season. He began his career at UMHB on May 4, 2020.
  • Sul Ross returns for starters, including Tristian Licon, a Basketball Times Preseason All-American this season. The senior guard will be hard for UMHB to contain, as he averaged 19.3 points per game last season.
  • So far, the Lobos are 1-2, with the only victory having come against McMurry.

About the opponent: UT Dallas

Date: December 10

Time: 3:00 p.m.

Location: Richardson, Texas

Watch: https://utdcomets.com/watch/?Archive=659&type=Live

Notes:

  • The Comets have yet to play a game this season, but will kick off a day prior to this matchup with UMHB, facing Sul Ross State.
  • At the helm of the program is head coach Terry Butterfield, who is in his 21st season at UT Dallas.
  • Leading the offense will be Demetrius Underwood, who is back on the court after being sidelined for the entire 2019-20 season with an injury. As a junior in 2018-19, he averaged 20. 5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.

About the Opponent: Sam Houston State

Date: December 12

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Place: Huntsville, Texas

Watch: https://gobearkats.com/watch/?Live=4&type=Live

Notes:

  • The Bearkats, a member of the Southland Conference, will be the second division one team UMHB will face this season, as the Cru battled Texas State in a exhibition on November 25.
  • The contest against UMHB will be sandwiched between two of the toughest games of the season for SHSU. On Wednesday, the Bearkats will travel to face No. 7 Houston, and the following Wednesday will take on the nation’s current No. 13 team in the Texas Longhorns.
  • Currently 2-3 on the season, SHSU has not beaten a division one team yet this season, though the team has faced No. 14 Texas Tech, Boise State and SMU this season.
  • Look for 6’3 guard Zach Nuthall to challenge the Cru, as he averages a team-high 22.4 points per game.
  • It will be an exhibition game for the Cru, but an actual game for SHSU that will count towards the Bearkats’ record.

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