Men’s basketball coach’s Clipboard: Can the Cru remain undefeated in conference play?

BELTON, Texas- The final week of the season has arrived for the UMHB men’s basketball team. It certainly seems like the season has gone too fast, but here we are, with the Cru still sitting at a perfect 11-0 record in conference play, having clinched the ASC West Division title last Saturday. Sul Ross and Howard Payne conclude the season for UMHB, as the Cru and head coach Clif Carroll are simply trying to take it one game at a time. They are so close, yet still far from finishing the conference schedule without a blemish on their record. Here is everything you need to know about these final two games for the Cru in this week’s “Coach’s Clipboard”.

Projected Starting Lineup:

PG- Josiah Johnson, Sophomore- 30.5 PPG, 3.0 APG, 8.0 RPG

G- Carson Hammond, Junior- 11.5 PPG, 4.2 APG, 5.1 RPG

G- Kobe Richardson, Freshman- 4.6 PPG, 1.2 APG, 1.8 RPG

F- Ty Prince, Junior- 16.0 PPG, 4.4 APG, 6.9 RPG

F- Aedan Welch, Senior- 8.6 PPG, 2.8 APG, 6.8 RPG

About the opponent: Sul Ross State

Date: March 4

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Place: Belton, Texas (Mayborn Campus Center)

Watch: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/umhb/

Notes:

  • Sul Ross enters the matchup 9-9 on the season and 7-6 in ASC play. The Lobos currently are third in the ASC West Division Standings, just behind UMHB, the West Division title winner, and Hardin-Simmons.
  • The two opponents squared off in Richardson, Texas on December 8, winning 89-75. That ignited a flame inside the Cru as UMHB would begin what has become an 11-game winning streak just three games after the loss to the Lobos. In the first meeting between the two in conference play, former SRSU head coach and current UMHB head coach Clif Carroll led the Cru to a 83-75 road win in Alpine, Texas.
  • Sul Ross State is led by senior guard Tristen Licon, who is undoubtedly one of the ASC’s best players. Licon is averaging 21.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Licon has gone toe-to-toe with UMHB’s Josiah Johnson, who leads division three in points per game, in both contests between the Lobos and Cru this season. In the December 8 game, Licon put 35 points on the board, while Johnson was held to 18. However, when the Cru battled Sul Ross in Alpine, the tables were turned, as Johnson scored 20 points and Licon had just 11. With Johnson coming off a 53-point outburst against Concordia, it would not be far off to say a similar performance might be in the works on Thursday night.
  • As a team, Sul Ross is quick on defense, averaging 7.9 steals per game, and takes calculated shots, shooting 43 percent from the field. The Lobos tend to take high number of shots from three-point range, and have gone 33 percent from behind the arc this season. In order to earn a victory, the Cru will need to defend the perimeter well while still keeping SRSU out of the paint. In the last meeting, the Lobos managed to score 22 points in the paint, with 6’3 forward Julian Paredes hard to stop and 6’5 Omar Boone coming off the bench.

Preview for Saturday’s game against Howard Payne will be added to this article on Friday

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