Lions announce hoops schedule
SAGU seeks encore to 27-11 record
Team had country's largest turnaround last year
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- After supplying the school’s first winning season in over a decade, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball team will enter the 2012-13 season will fans demanding an encore.
SAGU had the largest turnaround in the NAIA last season, improving their wins by 15. They were 12-21 in 2010-11.
Head Coach Donnie Bostwick, entering his second year on the sideline, hopes to reload the Lions, a team that registered a 27-11 mark a year ago.
The 27 wins equaled the win total under former coach Terry Bryan.
SAGU has released their new schedule for the 2012-13 campaign. It includes 30 games, half of them played in the Sheaffer Full Life Center. Six non-conference matches will precede 24 clashes with fellow members from the Red River Athletic Conference.
With seating for about 1,500, the FLC allowed the Lions to play before great crowds last season.
The Lions open on November 6 when they host Dallas Christian College. The Crusaders were 11-20 last winter.
After an exhibition contest at NCAA Division II Tarleton State University (27-6) six days later, the squad travels to Kansas for two games in the Sterling Classic, Nov. 16-17. There, they will take on Tabor College (15-16) and Sterling College (17-14), both from the 10-team Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
SAGU faced Sterling last year on a night that introduced a new tradition, the Southwestern Snowstorm. When the home team scored their first basket it prompted a heavy storm of snowballs in the form of thousands of ping-pong balls. More special themed events will be announced later.
Big 2012 home games vs. Westmont (Cal), LSU-Shreveport
Possibly as stern a test as the Jungle Kings will face this season will come during Thanksgiving weekend when much of the student body will be off campus. Nationally ranked Westmont College, from Santa Barbara, California, comes calling on Nov. 24.
The Warriors' (19-9) top player, 6-foot-3 guard Preston Branson (17.4 ppg), is from Trinity Christian Academy of Addison, Texas, the same as SAGU’s Caleb Feemster. The 5:00pm game could be a “can’t miss” classic that will serve as a tune-up for both teams.
Westmont hails from the Golden State Athletic Conference, where Branson led all scorers.
The Lions faced two GSAC teams in March; Master's College and Hope International at the National Christian College Athletic Association's nationals. SAGU topped Master's 80-73 then ralled from a 17-point deficit to edge Hope, 84-81, to finish third.
The Master's College swept Westmont a year ago. Hope's Royals split with Westmont.
SAGU will play a third of their conference games before the Christmas break, five of them on the road. LSU-Shreveport (27-8), who won the RRAC tournament, will tangle with the Lions in Waxahachie on December 13.
In January, four of the first six league competitions are away from home. After traveling to 9-of-14 RRAC matches, seven of the next nine will be in the Sheaffer Center, with five-in-a-row during one stretch.
Two of the three teams who finished ahead of the Lions (all ranked in the Top 25) do not venture into town until the final three weeks. Texas Wesleyan University (25-8), visits on February 2.
Regular season champion Our Lady of the Lake University (27-8) is slated for Feb. 21. The Saints figure to be the team to beat again this season.
Both Wesleyan and LSUS will send new head coaches into the fray this season.
Following the Lions Tracks
The last nine home dates, in January and February, will be broadcast on SAGU TV. The high definition livestream is the best production in the NAIA, and is available on various internet applications.
Fans can also follow the team on LiveStats webcasts, a digital play-by-play of all home games. Stories and score alerts will be communicated on the to-be-announced SAGU’s new Twitter account that Lions enthusiasts will want to follow. The team will be introduced during the annual Midnight Madness event in October.
SAGU brings back 6-of-top-9 scorers
Coach Bostwick, 147-31 in five years, returns Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx), Craig Grigsby (Houston, Tx), Mike Nwelue (Lewisville, Tx), Jonathan Walter (Garland, Tx), James Ford (Victoria, Tx) and Feemster.
That group averaged 17.1, 10.9, 6.7, 6.3, 6.3 and 5.1 respectively. Rambo was #33 in scoring while his 84 trifectas ranked #14.
The club graduated guards Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx) and Jared Gibson (Dallas, Tx), and must also replace forwards Nathaniel Duce Ward (Waco, Tx), Christian Wood-Dvorak (Halletsville, Tx) and James Southerland (Macomb, Ill).
Dvorak will be playing football at Texas State University. Horne and Ward were starters, along with Rambo, Grigsby and Nwelue (NEW-well-a-way).
Rambo, Horne and Grigsby were All-Conference selections. Rambo was a First-Team All-American choice with the NCCAA, where his scoring ranked #14.
During the Lions trip to nationals, where they lost only to Ohio's Cedarville University (23-9) (NCAA Division II), the team went 2-1. Rambo earned All-Tournament honors.
Two years ago Horne led the NAIA in scoring (24 ppg) while Ward was tops in rebounds (12.7). Gibson was #2 in the nation in threes with 103.
While the Lions' 2011-12 offense and three-point attack drew much of the focus, it was their defensive prowess that sparked the team. SAGU allowed only 71.9 points per game after surrendering 86.6 the year before.
The team was already potent from beyond the arc in the 2010-11 season, making 269 triples, or 8.4 per game. That ranked #8 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
The 2011-12 campaign saw those numbers rise to 372 and 9.8 treys per outing, rating third best in the nation.
Southwestern’s entire schedule is posted below.
2012-13 SAGU Men's Basketball Schedule
|Date||Opponent (Record Last Yr)||Location||Time|
|11/6||Dallas Christian College (11-20)||SAGU||7:30|
|11/12||Tarleton State Univ exhibition (27-6)||Stephenville, TX||TBA|
|11/16||Tabor College Sterling Classic (15-16)||Sterling, KS||TBA|
|11/17||Sterling College Sterling Classic (17-14)||Sterling, KS||7:30|
|11/19||Dallas Christian College (11-20)||Dallas, TX||7:30|
|11/24||Westmont College (19-9)||SAGU||5:00|
|11/26||Arlington Baptist College||SAGU||7:30|
|11/29||Huston-Tillotson University (1-28)||Austin, TX||7:30|
|12/1||Jarvis Christian College (9-21)||SAGU||7:30|
|12/3||Texas College (18-14)||SAGU||7:30|
|12/8||Bacone College (3-26)||Muskogee, OK||7:30|
|12/10||Langston University (10-19)||Langston, OK||7:30|
|12/15||Univ of the Southwest (10-18)||Hobbs, NM||4:00 (MST)|
|12/17||Texas Wesleyan University (25-8)||Ft. Worth, TX||7:30|
|1/5||Univ of St. Thomas - Houston (18-13)||SAGU||7:30|
|1/10||Our Lady of the Lake (27-8)||San Antonio, TX||7:30|
|1/12||Paul Quinn College (9-21)||SAGU||7:30|
|1/19||Jarvis Christian College (9-21)||Hawkins, TX||7:30|
|1/21||Texas College (17-14)||Tyler, TX||7:30|
|1/24||Wiley College (19-11)||Marshall, TX||7:30|
|1/26||Bacone College (3-26)||SAGU||7:30|
|1/28||Langston University (10-19)||SAGU||7:30|
|2/2||Texas Wesleyan University (25-8)||SAGU||7:30|
|2/4||University of the Southwest (10-18)||SAGU||7:30|
|2/7||Huston-Tillotson University (1-28)||SAGU||7:30|
|2/9||Univ of St. Thomas - Houston (18-13)||Houston, TX||7:30|
|2/16||Paul Quinn College (9-21)||Dallas, TX||7:30|
|2/21||Our Lady of the Lake (27-8)||SAGU||7:30|
|2/23||Wiley College (19-11)||SAGU||7:30|
|2/25||LSU-Shreveport (27-8)||Shreveport, LA||7:30|
|2/28-3/2||RRAC Tournament||Waxahachie, TX||TBA|
|3/8-10||NCCAA Central Region Tournament||Lakewood, CO||TBA|
|3/14-16||NAIA National Tournament||Kansas City, KS||TBA|
|3/14-16||NCCAA National Tournament||Lake Winona, IN||TBA|
Central Standard Time Zone unless otherwise noted.