Monday, February 8, 2010

LSC Roundup 2-8

2010 Signing Day Lists
Abilene Christian
Angelo State
Central Oklahoma
East Central
Eastern New Mexico
Incarnate Word
Midwestern State
Northeastern State
Southeastern Oklahoma
Southwestern Oklahoma
Tarleton State
Texas A&M-Commerce
Texas A&M-Kingsville
West Texas A&M

Men's Basketball News
Green wills MSU past Tarleton State, 72-69
Javelinas women, men cruise past Wildcats

Box Scores and Stats

Sports Editor

WICHITA FALLS - Craig Green poured in a career-high 33 points and No. 7 Midwestern State (20-1, 6-1) took over sole possession of first place in the Lone Star Conference South Division by completing a sweep of Tarleton State (17-5, 5-2) in a 72-69 dogfight at D.L. Ligon Coliseum Saturday night.

Green's biggest shot of all was a 20 foot jumper from the top of the key to give the Mustangs a 71-69 lead with 50 seconds remaining.

The senior guard from Keller scored 20 in the second half including 17 in the final 8:27. He was 10-15 from the floor including 6-9 from downtown and added seven points at the free throw line.

Tarleton still had its chances with time running out.

An Effran Bryant 3-point attempt sailed wide, but the rebound went off an MSU player and out of bounds. Bryant got another good look on the ensuing inbound pass, but his shot rattled out and a Jeremiah Wilson tip-in was no good.

"We had some good looks. We had a point-blank tip-in but it didn't go down," Tarleton head coach Lonn Reisman said. "It was a great game between two very good basketball teams. They just got the best of us tonight."

Charlie Logan finally hauled in the rebound for Midwestern and was immediately fouled with 9.5 seconds to play. He made the first free throw but missed the second, giving the Texans one last hope trailing 72-69.

It wasn't meant to be, however, as Tarleton failed to get a shot off. Bryant was forced to dribble into a crowd in the right corner. He got the ball to Corin Henry, but he was immediately double-teamed and time expired before he could get a look at the basket.

Tarleton was forced to play the final 2:01 without leading scorer Devon Hills, who fouled out with 16 points.

"We had some foul trouble and that certainly affected us," Reisman said. "But the difference in the game was turnovers. We didn't take care of the ball."

Tarleton gave the ball away 20 times. The Texans also hit just 1-12 from outside the arc in the second half, finishing 5-21 (23.8 percent) for the game. They shot 46.9 percent overall.

Hills was joined in double figures by Wilson with 15 and Bryant with 13. Wilson also had nine rebounds. Donta Smith finished eight points and eight boards.

Midwestern shot 39.6 percent, becoming the first team this season to knock off Tarleton while hitting less than 40 percent. The Mustangs stretched their home winning streak that dates back to last year to 22, and won their sixth straight overall since dropping their South opener at Angelo State.

Chris Hagan scored 13 for Midwestern and Charlie Logan tallied 10 to go with eight rebounds.

Tarleton was ahead 48-40 with 14:32 remaining, but Midwestern rallied and the lead was never more than four in the final 12:30. The score was tied 10 times, eight in the second half. Three of the four lead changes came in the final eight minutes.

The opening half followed a near opposite script from Wednesday's first meeting between the two teams. In that game, the Texans shot 20 percent in the first half. Midwestern shot 66.7 percent and stormed out to a massive 47-14 halftime lead on its way to a 66-49 win.

This time the Texans hit 57.7 percent from the floor and five different players scored at least five points in the opening 20 minutes. Midwestern shot just 36 percent in the half and Tarleton led 36-33 at the break after being ahead by as much as seven.

Women's Basketball News
Box Scores and Stats

LSC, Bartlesville Sports Commission agree to one-year extension for 2011

RICHARDSON, Texas – The Lone Star Conference and Bartlesville Sports Commission (BSC) announced a one-year extension to continue playing the LSC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships in Bartlesville, Okla., through March 2011.

“From day one, the Bartlesville Sports Commission has embraced the Lone Star Conference and its basketball teams. They have strived for excellence in every aspect of hosting this event,” said Stan Wagnon, LSC Commissioner. “Our decision to return in 2011 reflects our appreciation of the special things that have been happening in Bartlesville these past few years, and certainly we’re going to encourage them to be a part of the bidding process for the three years after that.”

The 2010 championship completes the initial three-year agreement between the league and BSC. This year’s event is set for a five-day run from March 3-7 at Bruin Fieldhouse. All-session advance tickets can be purchased now from the LSC or member institutions at a discounted price ($35) until February 24.

For the 2012-13-14 championships, the conference intends to proceed with a competitive bidding process. At a recent meeting in Atlanta, the LSC Council of Presidents agreed that extending the current deal while also starting a new bid process would allow the league to continue building on the success in Bartlesville and at the same time evaluate other communities that see value in partnering with the LSC.

“Our purpose for seeking bids on the 2012-13-14 championships is to be fair to ourselves and ensure we continue to give our championship events the very best chance to be enjoyable, meaningful and successful,” Wagnon said. “By starting that process now, we give communities throughout our region the opportunity to plan and evaluate whether their city is equipped to partner with the LSC like we’ve had in Bartlesville.”

An exact timeline for the bidding process has yet to be determined, but is expected to begin soon after the 2010 basketball tournament. Communities or organizations interested in hosting any LSC championship events should contact Commissioner Stan Wagnon in the LSC office.

Recruiting News
Gunter running back picks SOSU
Local Roundup
Recruiting notebook: Six state players named to ESPN 150 watch list
Blackcat duo ink to play college ball

Fowler confident handful of HS signees can help right away
Sports Editor

When recruiting in the NCAA Division II ranks, you're always looking for the diamond in the rough - the high school standout that slips through the Division I cracks.

Tarleton State interim head football coach Cary Fowler believes he's found a pair in Garland Naaman Forest running back Jerome Regal and Jefferson defensive back Devin Figures.

"They are both legitimate players," Fowler said. "I can't believe somebody else didn't do a better job recruiting them."

Regal rushed for 1,624 yards and 19 touchdowns in 10 games as a senior at Naaman Forest after transferring from Richardson Berkner in the spring of his junior year.

"Initially he did (get some Division I looks). Tarleton did a great job digging him up," Naaman Forest head coach Mark Elam said. "He's a tremendous runner with great acceleration and great vision."

Elam termed Regal, who is 5-10, 190 and runs a 4.5 in the 40, as a quiet kid, an intelligent player and a fierce competitor.

"I think he'll have a great career at Tarleton," Elam said.

Fowler, who has coordinated Tarleton's recruiting efforts in addition to serving as defensive coordinator the last two seasons, certainly hopes so.

If you're one of the best in the Garland district, you're a great football player," Fowler said. "I think he can help us right away."

The same can be said of Figures, who boasts 4.4 speed in the 40.

Jefferson coach Scott Hale says Figures, who played free safety in high school but will likely move to cornerback, received offers from North Texas, UTEP, Sam Houston State and Northwestern State.

"He was just busy doing a lot of other things because he plays all sports here. Toward the end of the process we got kind of worried, but Tarleton was there and I know they are glad he fell to them," Hale said. "I think he really wanted to go (to Tarleton) and is happy with how it all worked out."

Hale says the transition to corner should be easy for Figures.

"He's only 5-10 or 5-11 but at 180 or 185 he's not small for a corner," Hale said. "He has great man-to-man coverage skills and is very aggressive."

Figures also has the potential to be a special teams weapon.

"He has great speed and hands. He was an all-state kick returner for us," Hale said.

Fowler says a tip from a friend led him to Figures.

"A friend of mine from UTEP called and told me it didn't work out and they weren't going to be able to sign him," Fowler said. "I was stunned because he is a legitimate Division I cornerback."

There are others among the class who may help sooner rather than later, according to Fowler.

He is high on Brandon Lowery, a versatile running back from Sachse who rushed for better than seven yards per carry and led his team in receiving, as well as Jeremy Dickey, who played quarterback at Liberty and was recruited as an athlete.

"I really like Dickey He has the ability to help us in a lot of ways," Fowler said. "We just have to find the best fit for him."

Dickey is the nephew of former North Texas coach Darrell Dickey.

Defensive end Justin Grisham of Dallas First Baptist Academy is 6-5, 250 and earned Fowler's praise for his constantly churning motor.

"He's big and strong and he plays the game extremely hard all the time," Fowler said.

Stacy Whitaker of Jacksonville and Garrett Hughes of Daingerfield join Figures to make for what Fowler believes is a great class of defensive backs.

"(Whitaker) is listed at 6-2, 180 and he runs a 4.4. It's rare that you find that blend of size and speed in a Division II kid. We really like him," Fowler said.

But Fowler is also quick to emphasize that Tarleton already has good depth returning in the secondary.

"It's hard to play for us in the secondary right now because we have some really good players coming back and we red-shirted two last year who could very well have started for us," he said.

Steven Pipes may not be ready to crack the line-up right away, but Fowler believes the Odessa Permian product may be a future starter at quarterback.

"He came to a camp we had here last summer and we were really impressed," Fowler said. "He's only 6-0 or 6-1 so he's not as tall as what you'd like to see, but he has a strong arm that would remind you of Scott Grantham."

Fowler is especially impressed with the intangibles Pipes possesses.

"He faced all the 'Mojo' pressure at Permian and that's a lot for a young guy, but he handled it well," Fowler said. "He's a winner and we're excited about him."

Football News
Greats Smith, Rice headline seven-member Hall class
Smith, Rice part of seven-man Pro Football Hall class
Tarleton State wants to move quickly in football coaching search
Texas vs. Nation: Who scored on golden opportunity?

Reisman expects new FB coach to be named in March
Sports Editor

The search is under way for the 25th football coach at Tarleton State University, but it could last up to a month.

"We're going to be expeditious, but we're not going to make a split-second decision. I hope to have a coach in place by early March," Tarleton athletic director Lonn Reisman said. "We are going to find the right man for Tarleton."

The job opened up when Sam McElroy resigned Tuesday to become defensive line coach at Texas Tech. Reisman verified that the position will be opened up for a nationwide search.

"We're going to open it up and look at all candidates for the job," he said. "I've already had people from all over call and express their interest."

Reisman declined to divulge names of interested coaches, saying he does not want to damage their status at their current positions.

One candidate who is not shy in expressing his interest is current Tarleton interim head coach Cary Fowler.

Fowler, who has served as both defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator the last two years, announced Tarleton's 2010 recruiting class Wednesday and is directing the Texans through off-season drills.

"My dream has always been to be a head football coach...," Fowler said in a story published Friday. "...I hope it happens at Tarleton State."

Fowler says the off-season schedule will not change, including plans to begin spring football on Feb. 22.

"(Strength and conditioning) Coach (Rod) Cole's calendar for our strength and conditioning workouts is already set for us to start spring ball on time," Fowler said. "We don't want to interrupt our progress as a program."

The Texans finished the 2009 season No. 10 in the nation according to the final American Football Coaches Association poll after claiming a share of the school's second Lone Star Conference title and third LSC South crown.

Tarleton won a playoff game for the second time in school history last fall, and won 10 games for just the third time ever.
Fowler hopes dream comes true at Tarleton State

Sports Editor

For Cary Fowler, this week has been a whirlwind of activity.

Fowler began the week as coordinator of both Tarleton’s defense and recruiting efforts.

Today is his third as interim head coach.

Tarleton athletic director Lonn Reisman immediately put Fowler in temporary control of the school’s football program until a full time replacement for Sam McElroy is named.

McElroy resigned this week to become defensive line coach at Texas Tech.
Fowler was thrown right into the fire, taking over on national signing day Wednesday.

The transition actually began Tuesday night when Fowler and staff began calling recruits to share the news of McElroy’s departure.

“I told them, ‘You didn’t commit to being Tarleton McElroy’s, you committed to being Tarleton Texans,’” Fowler said.

The Texans added 25 high school recruits to nine college transfers for a total of 34 new players in the class of 2010.

Handling interim head coaching duties - including signing day tasks - is nothing new to Fowler. It’s the third time in his career he’s been in this position.

“It’s not really new territory for me. It’s the third signing class I’ve announced without being the school’s full time head coach,” Fowler said. “It can be a touchy situation, but it’s something God has prepared me for and helped me to handle.”

While managing signing day activities, Fowler was also focusing on the current Texans’ offseason program.

“We’re going to be out there working, rain, sleet, snow, I don’t care. They don’t move a playoff game just because it isn’t dry in Central Washington,” Fowler said, referring to Tarleton’s season-ending road loss in the second round of the national playoffs last fall.

Fowler welcomes all challenges, and says he hopes to tackle them on a more full-time basis.

“I’ve been in this league (the Lone Star Conference) longer than any current head coach or assistant coach and the best program with the best winning percentage over the last decade is Tarleton State. Everything you look for in a successful program is here,” he said.

Before coming to Tarleton in 2008, Fowler served seven seasons as defensive coordinator at Midwestern State, where he was named NCAA Division II Assistant Coach of the Year in 2005. He guided the No. 1 defense in the LSC at MSU in 2007. His Tarleton stop troops achieved the same feat in 2008.

Previous to his stint at Midwestern was a nine-year relationship with NCAA Division I-FCS Murray State, where he was a safety and special teams player in 1992 and 1993 before becoming a graduate assistant in 1994 and full time secondary coach and recruiting coordinator in 1997. He became linebackers and free safeties coach at Murray State in 1999.

Through it all Fowler has dreamed of being a head coach, and Tarleton is where he hopes his years of work reaches fruition.

“It’s like I tell my players - If you don’t have dreams and aspirations of playing in the NFL you’ll never reach your full potential as a college player. It’s the same for coaches. If your dreams and aspirations aren’t to be a head football coach someday, you’ll never reach your full potential as an assistant coach or coordinator,” Fowler said.

“My dream has always been to be a head football coach and I’m not letting anything stand in the way of making that dream come true,” he continued. “I hope it happens at Tarleton State.”

Baseball News
Buffs coach eager to open baseball season
Buffs open season with 7-4 win over McMurry
Tigers' new look
ACU completes series sweep of Harding
Rams wrap up opening series with doubleheader win

Softball News
MSU loses in seventh, 4-3
Haas, St. Mary´s Softball Win Division II College Classic with 5-0 Record
ACU White washes Incarnate Word 12-0

Track & Field News
Gonzales grad wins pole vault

General News
ACU women's tennis team sweeps pair of matches

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Lone Star Conference

Angelo State University

Cameron University

Eastern New Mexico University

Texas A&M-Commerce

Tarleton State University

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Texas Woman's College

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

West Texas A&M University

Western New Mexico