Another year, another season of 20 or so plus victories and an NCAA D2 Tournament Appearance, our 3rd in 4 years. A lot to be proud of and also to look forward to. Here are 5 thoughts on the season that was 2017-2018.
- I was on Campus last Spring when it was announced that Sam Walker would be resigning to take another position with the University. I was pretty anxious as to what we were going to be able to get. He had been the head coach for 17 years and had racked up 250 plus wins. He was going to be hard to replace. A huge set of props to Tim McMurray, who picked a fantastic young coach in Jaret Von Rosenberg to succeed Walker. Having a great AD is what makes a booster or a supporter of a college team sleep better at night. McMurray knows that the success of the programs will be resulting in Coaches either taking higher jobs or moving to other pastures, and he is best served when he knows what direction he wants to take when that happens. As far as I am concerned, there is no better AD in all of Division II than Tim McMurray. When you can hire a young new Head Coach and start off the year 14-1 and make the tournament with a lot of players that are new to the College Game, that shows a lot.
- Speaking of that, we might have a Basketball version of Colby Carthel in Von Rosenberg. Young, smart, focused, and driven to succeed, and starting off with quick success. It is not hard to see this, Von Rosenberg had an immense track record of success in previous jobs and started off the year with a 14-1 record and beat 4 ranked teams. The sky is the limit for Von Rosenberg. He recruits as well as he coaches, and I am ready to see what the next few years hold for the Lion Basketball program as we start a new era with a new coach at the helm.
- The Lions graduate 4 Seniors off the 12 man roster. Joseph Williams-Powell, Dorian Armstrong, DaQuane Wilford, and Aaron Horne all contributed significantly to the season. Willams-Powell came off the bench often to produce strong minutes for the Lions, Dorian Armstrong was a powerful inside presence, and Aaron Horne seemed to always be making big time plays on either side of the court. They will be missed for sure, but thankfully, the Lions have some youth.
- Speaking of that, The Lions will return some serious talent and some starters. Willie Rooks, and Reggie Reid are the two big play guys that return. Throw in Srdan Budamir and Trey Conrod and their growth that could and should be a major part of next year’s run. Having two of your biggest scorers coming back is huge, because having to replace offensive production is always the hardest thing a Basketball team can do, just ask ANY Basketball Coach.
- Basketball at Texas A&M-Commerce has always played second fiddle to Football. That is the nature of the beast in Texas, but the past few years, Basketball games have become the draw that they were back in the 60’s, 70’s and the 90’s. I have heard great stories during the Jim Gudger and the Paul Peak days about the raucous and large crowds that came into The Fieldhouse. Could this be the start of another golden era in Commerce Basketball? It is easy to see that being a possibility.