My apologies for the late write up, here are 5 postseason thoughts. As College Basketball season ends even for Division I and the Final Four starts (Wreck ‘Em Tech, hope the Red Raiders bring home a National Championship), its time to look at what our Lions did this year and what we can expect for next season.
- 20 Wins again-Lions won 20 games yet again, actually 24 of them. Jaret von Rosenberg has won 45 games already, which is where we need our program to be typically virtually every year in order to compete. Teams that win 20 games are contenders for championships, it is winning 25 plus that gets you over that bubble to contend for National and Regional Championships. We have that momentum. We have been waiting 60 years for another National Championship in Basketball, we can get this.
- Coach JVR has been nothing short of a home run hire and Tim McMurray should get a ton of credit for that, but so should his predecessor, Sam Walker who weighed in on this hire and gave it his blessing from what I have heard. He is young and has a promising career ahead of him, and hopefully that includes many national titles and a National title. It is possible right now.
- Winning on the road-Championship teams win on the road. The Lions record at the Fieldhouse has been 21-3, on the road 14-12, and at neutral sites, has been 11-3. Winning at other campus sites has got to be something to improve on and you have to WIN at places like West Texas A&M and Tarleton State. Heck, throw Angelo State and UT-Permian Basin in there also. Those are the games that will get you close to 30 wins and battle harden your team going into National Tournaments.
- We lose some really good players off this team. Reggie Reid, Trey Conrod, Srdan Budimir, Willie Rooks, and Vernon Lowndes all graduate. That is a lot of firepower to graduate and that is 4 of 5 starters from this past season. Budimir’s 3 point shooting, Reid and Rooks’ playmaking and court presence, and Conrod’s inside play and leadership. That is a lot to replace and probably more than any team we have had lately. These guys did a great job and got us to the NCAA tournament 3 straight times in 4 seasons. A lot to be proud of for sure.
- Despite losing that mentioned firepower above, we do return some good players and promising talent. Rockwall’s Austin Grandstaff, who worked his way into the starting lineup at points this year, will return for his Senior year. Carson Tuttle, who played a lot as a True Freshman, is probably going to be your point guard next year and he really showed himself to be a promising young guard. Deonta Terrell, will be the returning leading scorer at roughly 10 points a game, but with what this group has coming back, I would not write them off for one second. The expectations have been set. Next year, it’s at least Sweet 16 or bust, but like they say, more is always going to be better.