2013-2014 Lamar Men's Basketball Preview

The 2013-14 season will be a new look, of sorts, for the Lamar Cardinals. Lamar returns two starters, but only six letterwinners from the 2012-13 season, which could have the average fan looking past this year's version of the Cardinals. That assumption would be a mistake.

Lamar returns two of its top four scorers from last season, including California native Rhon Mitchell. A 6-5 forward, Mitchell was one of the top freshmen in the league last season averaging better than 10 points and nearly five rebounds per game. Mitchell will be joined by the squad's lone senior, Amos Wilson, who averaged nearly nine points and five rebounds in 23 starts last season. The Cardinals will turn to a couple of sophomores for leadership at the guard spot. Keilan Blanks and Donnell Minton return from a rookie campaign that saw them combine to average 12 points and four assists per game in 24 starts last season. In addition, all six of Lamar's returning letterwinners bring starting experience to the lineup.

Head coach Pat Knight, and his staff, have added seven newcomers to this year's squad, but they bring with them quite a bit of success and experience from the junior college level. Among the team's seven newcomers, five come by way of the junior college route, with two freshmen. The incoming class adds immediate help at both ends of the floor. Four of the five transfers averaged double-figure scoring during their juco careers, while Gainesville, Fla. Native, Octavius Green, was the nation's second-leading rebounder averaging 13 rebounds per contest. Tyran de Lattibeaudiere comes to Beaumont from one of the top junior college programs in the country. One of the nation's top shot blockers, de Lattibeaudiere, guided Vincennes University to the NJCAA Final Four, while averaging 5.0 blocks per game during his sophomore season.

While the Cardinals' schedule will not have them facing a tough 11-game road stretch like last season, the upcoming slate is a daunting one that consists of trips to both coasts, games in all four times zones, as well as games against four teams that competed in the 2013 NCAA Championship tournament. Lamar opens the 2013-14 season at Butler Nov. 9, before hosting George Mason in their home opener three nights later. Things don't get any easier when Lamar opens conference play with consecutive road games against the defending Southland regular-season champion, Stephen F. Austin, Jan. 2 and the defending Southland tournament champion Northwestern State Jan. 4.

returning players

Keilan Blanks Keilan Blanks
Played in 25 games earning five starts ... Averaged 6.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game ...

Matt Hancock Matt Hancock
Played in 26 games earning six starts ... Scored 26 points and pulled down 18 rebounds ...

Donnell Minton Donnell Minton
Played in 31 games earning 19 starts ... Averaged 5.4 points and 2.7 rebounds per game, and was second on the team at 1.8 assists per game ...

Rhon Mitchell Rhon Mitchell
Played in 31 games, earning 32 starts as a freshman ... Finished second on the team averaging 10.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per contest ... Recorded double-figures in points 15 times ... Had four double-doubles ...

Sebastian Norman Sebastian Norman
Played in 20 games earning one start ... Averaged 1.2 points and 1.7 rebounds per game ... Also credited with 13 blocks, six steals and an assist ...

Amos Wilson Amos Wilson
Played in 27 games, earning 23 starts ... Finished fourth on the team averaging 8.9 points per game ... Third on the squad in rebounds (4.7 rpg) and led the team averaging 1.2 steals per game ...


2012-13 stats

Team Statistics
SCORING 1862 2398
Points per game 60.1 77.4
Scoring margin -17.3 -
FIELD GOALS-ATT 710-1741 903-1997
Field goal pct .408 .452
3 POINT FG-ATT 57-188 202-564
3-point FG pct .303 .358
3-pt FG made per game 1.8 6.5
FREE THROWS-ATT 385-548 390-579
Free throw pct .703 .674
F-Throws made per game 12.4 12.6
REBOUNDS 1138 1158
Rebounds per game 36.7 37.4
Rebounding margin -0.6 -
ASSISTS 353 491
Assists per game 11.4 15.8
Turnovers per game 18.2 11.4
Turnover margin -6.8 -
Assist/turnover ratio 0.6 1.4
STEALS 133 307
Steals per game 4.3 9.9
BLOCKS 128 150
Blocks per game 4.1 4.8
ATTENDANCE 29299 79898
Home games-Avg/Game 11-2664 18-3675
Neutral site-Avg/Game - 2-6876