As we continue the wrap up for the athletic year at A&M-Commerce, we move to the Winter sports, where the weather gets colder and the inside of the gym gets warmer. For both Texas A&M-Commerce Basketball teams, this past year was a year of warm starts, hot streaks, and meeting expectations that the players and coaches had for one another, and for both coaches, making history.
Only one team in the history of Texas A&M-Commerce Women’s Basketball has ever made it to the NCAA tournament before this season started. The 2006-07 Lion Women won the Lone Star Conference North Division Title, The Overall League Title, The LSC Tournament Championship, and finished in the Division II Elite 8. No team before them or after them has ever made it to the Division II Dance.
Until this year.
Jason Burton, armed with a strong Senior class and 4 plus years of head coaching experience, took the program back to the National tournament with a 20-11 record and a third place finish in the Lone Star Conference. Burton also has become the winningest coach percentage wise who has coached over 100 games and has a record of 88-59. I don’t think I can underscore how important Burton’s hire was. Women’s Basketball was a complete dumpster fire before he got to Commerce, and he has completely turned the program around. Sans the one good team of 06-07, there had not really been any good teams. Every year Burton has been here, this team has been in contention for LSC titles and NCAA births, especially the last three years, winning 58 games to 32 losses and he has a winning LSC record. This team loses two very good players in Princess Davis and Kat Zhibereva, but the squad returns 8 from the 10 who played this past year, and with the expectations and experience of going to the National tournament and being in contention to win the Lone Star Conference, I expect another 20 plus win season, and NCAA tourney appearance, and could very well get more.
Jaret von Rosenberg has done 3 things since he became head Basketball coach.
- Win games, 45 of them of 2 seasons
- Compete for LSC titles.
- Go to the NCAA tournament and win games while there.
A 24-9 record this year along with a second straight season of winning their opening round game in the D2 tournament is something that is now once again a standard at Texas A&M-Commerce. Just like a storied Football program has been revived, a storied Basketball program has been revived and Coach Rose has been the guy to do it. I called the hire by Tim McMurry a home run hire and it certainly has been. This squad get hits harder with graduation than their female counterparts. Reggie Reid, Trey Conrod, Srj Budimir, and Willie Rooks all graduate and that is a lot of firepower that will be left to replace, but this group is resilient and Coach Rose has recruited some good guys in the wings. Also, you got to see the potential of younger guys like Carson Tuttle and Austin Grandstaff, and the return of inside big man Deonte Terrell. Coach Rose is one of the best young coaches in the country and I expect next year to continue the tradition of adding banners to the University Fieldhouse.