Bostwick talks about being picked #2 in the SAC
Lions Head Coach discusses fans and home games
SAGU begins conference season the first week in January
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The start of Southwestern Assemblies of God University’s first men’s basketball season in the Sooner Athletic Conference was delayed this week.
But the challenge, like the two games just postponed due to winter weather, awaits the Lions.
A twenty game conference season will determine the league champion.
The Sooner will likely have a few of its best teams invited to the NAIA’s national 32-team tournament.
Four clubs did so last season, with two among the Top 16 seeds; No. 4 John Brown University (28-7) and No. 10 Oklahoma Baptist University (25-8).
Oklahoma City University (17-11) and the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma (17-10) also made the tourney, which is held over seven days in one location (Kansas City, Mo).
The group combined to go 2-4, with JBU and OBU going 1-1 in the tournament.
The eleven Head Coaches in the S.A.C. recently ranked the teams prior to the start of the season. Oklahoma Baptist was the top pick, narrowly edging SAGU. The Bison did have a 6-4 margin over the Lions in first place votes.
Read the article that listed the results of the poll at: http://www.sagu.edu/news/athletic-news/mens-basketball-news/3014-sac-coaches-pick-lions-to-finish-second
John Brown, who won the regular season crown, surprisingly received just one first place pick.
Donnie Bostwick, SAGU’s third year Head Coach, spoke highly of the SAC and implored Lion fans to play their part during the season.
Question 1: What do you think of being picked #2 and the Sooner after a month of games?
Coach Bostwick: “Preseason polls and predictions are based on the previous season. The 2nd place prediction honors last year’s team and our returning players.”
“If you look at the SAC team’s current records, you’ll see that 10 of 11 teams are above .500 right now. The one team who is under .500 has a quality win over a good NCAA D2 program.”
“The parity in the SAC this season is amazing. You could easily finish first or ninth. Every game is going to be important.”
Q2: The conference has a line-up of teams akin to the Yankees’ Murderers Row of the 1920’s. What is the basketball tradition in the S.A.C.?
CB: “Contenders for the crown. OBU, JBU, TWU, OCU, and USAO have all won National Championships.”
“And right now you could argue that Wayland Baptist, St. Gregory’s, and MACU could be favored to win the SAC based on their preseason success.”
“It will be decided on the floor this season.”
Q3: How does the Sooner rate nationally?
CB: “The SAC has always been considered an elite NAIA conference. It is still considered one of, if not the elite conference in the country.”
Q4: What is more important, winning home games or winning away games?
CB: “Home court advantage is huge in competing for a conference championship. Our fans have made SAGU a great place to play and opponents definitely face a difficult task in the Sheaffer Center.”
“Championships are won on the road though and three of our home games are during times where our student body is on break.”
“Last year we were very good on the road (won the first 14). I hope that trend continues.”
Note: The Lions finished the season 14-1 in road games. They were 14-2 at home. SAGU was 5-2 at neutral sites.
Q5: After starting with a major game at Oklahoma Baptist on January 2, the Lions host MACU on January 4 with students out of town. Where does the team get fans for such a game?
CB: “Mid-America Christian comes here on a Saturday. We could really use our local students, staff and alumni.”
“Our local communities are really missing out if they have not been out to watch one of our home games.”
“It is one of the best family friendly entertainment opportunities in the area.”
“SAGU basketball is some of the best small college basketball anywhere!”
About the Lions
SAGU finished last year at No. 2 in the NAIA after going 33-5, including 4-1 in the national tournament.
The Lions were in the Red River Athletic Conference last season.
Fellow RRAC members LSU-Shreveport (27-7) and St. Thomas – Houston (28-6) also participated in the NAIA tourney.
The River Pilots (3-1 in KC) narrowly missed meeting SAGU in the final. A three-pointer as time expired by eventual champion Georgetown College sunk LSUS in the semi-final.
Georgetown also eliminated St. Thomas, John Brown and SAGU in the championship. The RRAC trio united to go 7-3 in KC.
SAGU is currently ranked No. 5 in the NAIA. The next Coaches Poll will be released on Tuesday, December 10.
Lions at Paul Quinn, Dec. 10
The Lions play at Paul Quinn College on Tuesday in southeast Dallas. The tipoff is slated for 7:30pm.
Follow scoring updates on Twitter at the following handle: @SAGUSportsNet.