Doug Davalos enters his fourth year as the men’s basketball coach at Texas State looking for his first winning season.
That quest will begin Friday night (7 p.m.), when the Bobcats open their 2009-10 season at Strahan Coliseum against Howard Payne.
The Bobcats will rely heavily on 6-foot-7 junior Cameron Johnson as an inside force, on 6-5 senior John Rybak as a deep shooter, and they will hope that their most physically imposing player, 6-8 senior Emmanuel Bidias A’ Moute, can stay in the lineup.
Rybak is the top returner in scoring (10.0 points per game) and three-point percentage (.398) and steals (1.1 per game). Johnson is the top returner in rebound average (5.3), offensive rebounds (2.4), defensive rebounds (3.0) and blocked shots (0.7 per game).
Bidias A’ Moute is the returning leader in field goal percentage (.553), while 5-11 senior guard Ryan White, who is out at the moment with injury, is the top returner in free-throw percentage (.796) and assists (2.0).
The other returners are 6-4 sophomore John Bowman, 6-6 sophomore Roshun Jackson, and 6-8 junior Jonathan Sloan.
Texas State finished last season 14-16 overall and 7-9 in the Southland Conference, qualifying for the league tournament before bowing out in the first round.
Gone from the Bobcats are guards Brent Benson, Brandon Bush and Corey Jefferson, along with forward Dylan Mosley, who have used their eligibility. Center Ty Gough transferred away after his sophomore season.
Davalos has re-stocked by the transfer route with four juniors — 6-6 forward Tony Bishop, 6-5 junior J.B. Conley, 6-3 junior Uriel Segura and, the big prize, 6-7 forward A.J. Stewart from Kentucky. Because Stewart is transferring from an NCAA Division I school, he must sit out this season.
The only freshman joining the team is Dylan Hale, a 6-1 guard from Minneapolis.
Following Friday night’s game, the Bobcats will play in the Preseason NIT next week in Tempe, AZ. Their first dig at that tournament will be Monday at 10 p.m. against home team Arizona State.
Their next appearance at Strahan Coliseum will be Dec. 1 against Texas A&M-International (7 p.m.).Email | Print