he brackets are set for the Lone Star Conference championship this week in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The top four teams from each division have earned a spot in the tournament which begins with women’s first-round games on Wednesday, March 2.
All the championship games will be aired live via internet video streaming at www.lonestarconference.org. The webcasts are available free of charge. Each webcast includes both video and audio, with viewers needing only a computer with a high-speed DSL or cable modem connection to the internet. Veteran broadcaster Chris Needham has the call for all the games.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
NORTH MEN’S OFFENSIVE
Caprest Rhone, East Central University, JR, Guard, Ft. Eutis, Va., Leavenworth HS
Rhone averaged 14.0 points while shooting 52.4 percent from the floor (11-of-21) and 50 percent from 3-point range (5-of-10) in the Tigers’ two games last week. He tallied 10 points on 50 percent shooting in a win over Southeastern Oklahoma State and led ECU with 18 in a two-point loss at Texas A&M-Commerce as he hit 4-of-7 shots from 3-point land in that game and was 7-of-13 from the field overall.
NORTH MEN’S DEFENSIVE
Bobby McAdoo, East Central University, SO, Guard, Kingston, Okla., Kingston HS
McAdoo averaged 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals in ECU’s two games last week. He finished with five steals and four rebounds in a home victory over Southeastern Oklahoma State and collected nine boards and a pair of steals in a loss at Texas A&M-Commerce. He also scored six points in each game.
SOUTH MEN’S OFFENSIVE
Lionel Foster, West Texas A&M University, JR, Guard, Houston, Texas, Alief Hasting HS
Foster, the LSC’s assist leader, dished a season-high 12 assists along with a season high 17 points to help lead the Buffaloes to a 68-56 win over Incarnate Word on Feb. 22. He hit seven of nine shots from the field, to go with a perfect three-of-three from the line against the Mustangs. He followed with a 15-point, seven assist outing in the Buffs’ 74-54, regular season-finale at Eastern New Mexico. That game saw Foster hit 11-of-11 from the foul stripe.
SOUTH MEN’S DEFENSIVE
Courtney Carr, West Texas A&M University, JR, Forward, Selma, Ala., Selma HS
Carr was a key element in the Buffs outrebounding two opponents by an average of 13 boards and gaining to key wins this past week. Against Incarnate Word, the Selma, Ala., native grabbed seven defensive and nine total rebounds as well as blocked a shot to help the Buffs take a 81-71 win over Incarnate Word. He then grabbed four more rebounds as WT outmuscled Eastern New Mexico by 19 rebounds, in taking a 74-54, regular-season finale win in Portales.
NORTH WOMEN’S OFFENSIVE
Alex Richardson, University of Central Oklahoma, JR, Center, Edmond, Okla., Santa Fe HS
Richardson led UCO to a pair of season-ending victories as the Bronchos nailed down a runner-up finish in the North Division, averaging 20.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots a game while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 76.4 percent from the line. The junior center had 21 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots in a 76-71 overtime win over Southwestern Oklahoma, scoring six of UCO’s 10 OT points. She came back three days later with 20 points and 12 rebounds in a 74-59 road rout of Cameron.
NORTH WOMEN’S DEFENSIVE
Ashley Beckley, University of Central Oklahoma, SR, Forward, Turpin, Okla., Turpin HS
Beckley helped lead UCO’s defensive efforts in a pair of wins that locked up a North Division runner-up finish for the Bronchos. The senior forward averaged 21.0 points, 6.0 rebounds (4.5 defensive), 3.5 steals and 1.0 blocked shots in wins over Southwestern Oklahoma and Cameron. Beckley had 27 points, four rebounds (two defensive) and a career-high six steals in an OT win over SWOSU, making three of those steals in the extra session. She followed with 15 points, eight rebounds (seven defensive), a blocked shot and a steal in a 74-59 rout of CU.
SOUTH WOMEN’S OFFENSIVE
Nolisha Markham, Midwestern State University, SR, Forward, Tulsa, Okla., East Central HS
Markham closed her collegiate career with a flourish as the 5-10 forward from Tulsa averaged 21.5 points and 7.0 rebounds a game while ripping the nets at a 72.6 percent clip (16-of-22) including 5-of-8 marksmanship from the arc. She matched a career high with 27 on 11-of-14 shooting with two 3-pointers to go along with eight rebounds against tournament qualifying Angelo State Wednesday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. She then helped the Mustangs to their first win over Abilene Christian at Moody Coliseum since 1992 by netting a team-high 16 points and six rebounds on 5-of-8 shooting with three treys.
SOUTH WOMEN’S DEFENSIVE
Precious Herrin, Eastern New Mexico University, JR, Forward, Shreveport, La., Southwood HS
Herrin’s defensive performance helped limit the Zias’ opposition to just 65 points per game last week. In Eastern’s win over Texas A&M-Kingsville, she grabbed eight defensive boards, a steal and blocked three shots. For the game, she posted a double double, with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Against West Texas A&M, she had a steal, five defensive rebounds and 12 points. Herrin went a perfect six-for-six from the free-throw line over the two games.
ABILENE – ACU director of athletics Jared Mosley announced Monday that
men's head basketball coach Jason Copeland tendered his resignation,
and a national search will being immediately for his replacement.
Copeland's resignation comes at the end of a 9-17 season that saw the
Wildcats finish 1-13 in the Lone Star Conference South Division. The
resignation also sets off ACU's fourth search for a head men's
basketball coach since 1999.
"I want to thank Jason for the work that he has poured into our
program in trying to get things turned around," Mosley said. "We
simply have not been able to make the strides that either one of us
had hoped, but it wasn't for a lack of effort or hard work on his
part. Jason has been a great fit within the ACU environment and
within the Abilene community.
"It's always hard to see good people and leave, but we wish Jason and
his family all the best in the days to come," he said.
Copeland became ACU's head coach on May 4, 2005, and showed steady
improvement in each of his first three seasons. ACU went from eight
wins in 2005-06 to 10 wins in 2006-07 to 20 wins and a spot in the
Lone Star Conference Post-Season Tournament in 2007-08.
However, the last three seasons have seen a reversal of those fortunes
as ACU has sunk to 10 wins in 2008-09, eight wins in 2009-10 and nine
wins in the just-completed 2010-11 season.
Perhaps Copeland's biggest downfall was his inability to win LSC South
Division games. In six seasons under Copeland, the Wildcats were just
16-56 in division games (.216 winning percentage), and three times in
his six seasons the Wildcats won just one division game. In fact, the
Wildcats were just 2-24 in division games over the last two seasons.
The only time the Wildcats finished above sixth in the division in any
of Copeland's seasons was the 2007-08 season when the Wildcats posted
a 6-6 division record to finish tied for third in the division,
earning the program's first berth in the LSC Post-Season Tournament
since 1997-98. The 20-win season was the first for the program since
the 1998-99 team finished 21-8 and reached the NCAA Division II South
Central Region championship game.
The 2007-08 Wildcats knocked off Southwestern Oklahoma State in a
double-overtime thriller in the first round of the conference
tournament for the program's first post-season win since the regional
tournament semifinals in March 1998.
"I feel good about a lot of the things that we were able to do here at
ACU," Copeland said, "but we just had some trouble the last three
seasons keeping this program going in the right direction.
"But Kristy (Copeland's wife) and I have really enjoyed our six years
here at ACU, and we'll leave with great feelings about the people
we've come into contact with and ACU itself," he said. "ACU will
always be a special place for me and my family. I just feel like now
is the right time to look at some other opportunities.”
The program's struggles over the last six seasons mirror those of the
previous six seasons. Since the 1999-2000 season the Wildcats are
just 123-195 overall (.387 winning percentage), including 32-114 (.219
winning percentage) in division play.
ACU, in fact, has won just one division game in a season four times in
the last 12 years and won two or three games a combined four times in
the last 12 seasons.
Mosley said he would like to have the position filled in the next few weeks.
"With the national signing date on the horizon, it's critical that we
move forward quickly in the search for our next head coach," Mosley
said. "It is certainly my goal to try and have the next head coach in
place by April 1 if at all possible."