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 Game Thread - Vs. Georgia Southern 
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Post Game Thread - Vs. Georgia Southern
Not sure if anyone is even still around over here, but here's the game thread I posted on "the other site":

It's 2019 and conference play has arrived. Texas State just wrapped up its best non-conference season since before some of your grandparents could even walk the halls in San Marcos at 11-2. Conference play doesn't start slow as the Bobcats are set to welcome what is expected to be two of the best teams in the Sun Belt to Strahan Arena in week 1.

First up are the Georgia Southern Eagles Thursday night at 7pm.

NET Ratings
Here is how the entire conference shapes up in the NET ratings in games played through January 1st. Unfortunately for Texas State and the Sun Belt it wasn't a great non-conference season for the league as a whole. Barring one of the top teams (like TXST) going near undefeated for the rest of the season, it's looking like the Sun Belt is destined to be a 1-bid league for the 11th straight season. An odds site I follow has the Bobcats with a 1.1% chance of earning an at-large bid (18.7% chance of earning an automatic bid).

88. Texas State - 11-2
111. Georgia State - 9-4
139. Georgia Southern - 8-5
159. Troy - 7-5
164. ULM - 7-5
169 - Louisiana - 9-4
212. Arkansas State - 6-7
224. Coastal Carolina - 6-6
234. App State - 5-8
258. UTA - 4-9
266. Little Rock - 5-8
298. South Alabama - 7-6

As you can see, we won't be getting many favors from the bottom half of the league. Losses, particularly at home, will cause our rating to plummet. Georgia Southern should provide a chance for a boost with a win however.

TXST News
- Both of TXST's power forwards Alex Peacock and Quentin Scott sat out in Saturday's win over Howard Payne with ankle injuries. I have not heard if either is available vs. Georgia Southern or not yet. I'm hoping both were held out for precautionary reasons vs. HPU and will be ready to go vs. GS. The Bobcats started backup small forward Shelby Adams vs. HPU and played two small forwards (Pearson and Adams) most of the night. Adams recorded his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds in his first career start.
- Backup center Alonzo Sule recorded a career high 23 points and a career high 10 rebounds on December 8th in a win vs. Houston Baptist for his first career double-double. He was awarded Sun Belt Player of the Week honors for the performance. It was the third time this year a Bobcat has earned the award (Pearson has won it twice).
- Nijal Pearson is currently 14th in the country in 3-point FG% among players with 50+ attempts at 49.3%.
- PG Jaylen Shead leads the Sun Belt in assist-to-turnover ratio with 5.2 APG to 1.8 turnovers per game.
- On December 15th, Nijal Pearson scored 16 in a win at UTRGV to move into 10th all-time in scoring at TXST. Surpassing Cam Johnson (one of the best players of the Davalos era).
- The win at UTRGV put TXST at 10-1 on the season, which tied the 2nd best start in program history with the 1952-1953 team.
- That win also made TXST the 10th team to reach 10 wins in D1 this season.
- The Bobcats also broke into the Mid-Major Top 25 for the first time in program history after that win at 20th. After a 3-point loss at Arkansas and a blowout win vs. Howard Payne, the Bobcats now rank 21st.
- The Dec. 19th CBSSports Bracketology had TXST as a 14-seed facing North Carolina in the first round.
- The 14 points given up in the first half to Howard Payne on Saturday were the fewest in a first half in the Kaspar era. After giving up 15 in the 2nd half it was the first time in the Kaspar era the Bobcats held an opponent under 20 in both halves. 29 total points is the fewest surrendered by TXST in the shot clock era.
- 23 steals recorded vs. Howard Payne was also a program record.
- Kaspar recorded his 550th career victory over Howard Payne. It was also his 85th win at TXST, tied for 6th most in program history.
- Another record shattered in the Howard Payne game was margin of victory. The Bobcats won by 76 points. The previous record was 63 set in 1957.

Scouting Georgia Southern
The Eagles closed out their non-conference schedule with a 94-90 loss at Dayton to head into conference play with an 8-5 record. They have currently lost 2 straight with losses at Dayton and Radford. Other losses include ETSU, Arizona, and UCF. They started the season 5-0 with wins vs. Carver College (non-D1), George Mason, Florida Atlantic, Pepperdine, and Montana. Other wins include Mercer, Bradley, and Brewton-Parker (non-D1). They went 21-12 last year, and finished 3rd in the Sun Belt at 11-7. They beat ULM in the Sun Belt quarterfinals before falling to rival Georgia State in the Sun Belt semi-finals to end their season.

The Eagles were picked tied for 2nd in the preseason poll with Louisiana.

A good reason for Georgia Southern's success the last 3 seasons has been in part to likely the best point guard in the league in 5-11 senior Tookie Brown. Brown has been a first-team all Sun Belt selection all three years in the league (freshman of the year 3 years ago too) and was picked to the preseason first-team this year. If he makes the first team this year he will be the first Sun Belt player ever to be a 4-time first teamer. He was also named a Lou Henson All-American last year (Mid-Major All-American team) as well. Earlier this season he became the Eagles all-time leading scorer in program history. So far this season he's averaging 16.9 PPG (9th in the Sun Belt), 5.0 APG (3rd in the Sun Belt), and 4.1 RPG. He's 4th in the Sun Belt in FG%, making 52.5% of his shots. He was the 3rd leading scorer in the league last year at 18.9 PPG, 2nd in FG% at 53.2%, and 2nd in steals with 1.8 per game. He was top 30 in the nation last year in FT attempts and makes, ranking 1st in the Sun Belt in both categories. Shead and Harrell will have their hands full with Brown obviously. His one knock is he's a pretty average 3-point shooter. Despite being only 5-11 Brown does most of his damage near the rim and at the free throw line along with finding opportunities for his teammates to score.

One of those teammates is 6-4 senior SG Ike Smith. Brown and Smith have played together for 4 years now and have great chemistry. Smith was named All-Sun Belt Third Team in the preseason and was a First Team All Conference selection two years ago. Unfortunately for Smith, he seemed to have peaked that sophomore year when he averaged 19.6 PPG. Last year he dipped to 12.0 PPG and he sits at 14.7 PPG so far this year. All that said, I'm not sure if Smith will be available Thursday night. He has missed the last 3 games and I've read it's either a pinched nerve or a back injury. From what I read, GS fans aren't ultra confident he will play and some may think it could be season ending. The Eagles are 7-3 with Smith in the starting lineup and 1-2 without him.

Another possible injury for Georgia Southern is starting center Montae Glenn. The 6-8 senior left the game in the first minute vs. Dayton and didn't return. Glenn was averaging 9.3 PPG and averaged 9 as a starter last year. Both teams could be without two key players. Smith and Glenn combined are more integral to Georgia Southern's success than Peacock/Scott are for TXST though. Even though you hate to see injuries on either side, these are probably advantage Texas State.

In the absence of Smith and Glenn the next guy to keep on eye on is redshirt sophomore 6-4 G Quan Jackson. After coming off the bench last year and scoring 7.4 PPG, Jackson has exploded to 16.2 PPG this year to sit 2nd in scoring on the season for the Eagles. He had 24 points in the loss at Dayton on Saturday. He's also currently leading the Sun Belt in steals with 2.6 per game.

Last Year
Texas State and Georgia Southern met twice last year with the road team winning tight games both times. First Texas State went to Statesboro and beat the Eagles 62-61. Tookie Brown missed a 3 at the buzzer to secure the win for Texas State. Late in the season, Georgia Southern came to San Marcos and beat the Bobcats 81-77 however when the Bobcats were in the middle of a long losing streak.

This will be the first of two regular season meetings this year as well as Texas State will head to Statesboro later this month on January 26th.

Odds/Time/TV
Tip-off is set for 7pm Thursday night from Strahan Arena. The game will be televised on ESPN+ as I think all conference home games will be.

The line recently opened with Texas State as a 4 point favorite.


Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:29 pm
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Post Re: Game Thread - Vs. Georgia Southern
NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICE

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Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:56 pm
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Post Re: Game Thread - Vs. Georgia Southern
:sombrero: :sombrero: :sombrero:
:texasstate: :texasstate: :texasstate:



I haven't seen much on UNC this year, but I'm starting to like our chances at advancing from the first round come March. However, this game is pivotal to let us know how we will stack up during the conference tourney, which as you indicated X, will be our only ticket into said first round game of the dance.


Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:07 am
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73-70 Bobcats win.


Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:31 pm
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WOO HOOOOOOOOO

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Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:00 am
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:sombrero: :sombrero: :sombrero:
:texasstate: :texasstate: :texasstate:


Much like the Arkansas game before the sideline whistles started blaring (we were up 19-6 and it wasn't even that close), this game was well controlled by Texas State from the tip. They've cleaned up quite a few issues on the offensive end (Nottingham attacking the basket more instead of relying solely on the 3-ball, Terry and Peacock playing more disciplined under the boards, Adams starting to assert himself more when he is on the court), and play like one unit on defense (notice any time we are in zone, all five players on the court shift as one almost on cue).

Early on we had issues with both their bigs (who were both in double digits by halftime), but they were largely neutralized after the half. That bodes well for games down the road. I'd be surprised if we lose more than four games during conference.


Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:36 am
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Not to be a contrarian, but we also had a 14 point lead with around 7 to play, then went cold for 3 to 3.5 minutes, during which time we couldn't buy a bucket, while Southern cut into that lead. Around the 3.5 minute mark, they started fouling us . . . which enabled us to put a few points on the board, but again, our FT shooting down the stretch was horrible.

By the time the final horn sounded, it felt more like a "we survived" then a we won.

I agree this game shouldn't have been as close as it was, but we have to do a better job of finishing and we have to get better from the FT line.

I give GS credit for not giving up and fighting furiously at the end to try and pull it out.

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Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:53 pm
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Post Re: Game Thread - Vs. Georgia Southern
Bobcat87 wrote:
Not to be a contrarian, but we also had a 14 point lead with around 7 to play, then went cold for 3 to 3.5 minutes, during which time we couldn't buy a bucket, while Southern cut into that lead. Around the 3.5 minute mark, they started fouling us . . . which enabled us to put a few points on the board, but again, our FT shooting down the stretch was horrible.

By the time the final horn sounded, it felt more like a "we survived" then a we won.

I agree this game shouldn't have been as close as it was, but we have to do a better job of finishing and we have to get better from the FT line.

I give GS credit for not giving up and fighting furiously at the end to try and pull it out.




True, the same thing happened at Drake and Arkansas, where we had issues with the full court press and then could not break through their high 2-3 zone where they collapsed the passing lanes and were forcing tough passes from the 5 to the 2 minute mark (largely forcing us to put up hurried shots as the shot clock expired, leading to said drought). A large part of that is the lack of movement from off the ball players (standing around instead of constantly moving to create more passing lanes than the closed ones).

That's easily fixed with more practice for that particular scenario.


Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:16 pm
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