Lamar Closes Homestand With Arkansas State Monday
Jan. 3, 2010
** Lamar is looking for its first four-game win streak of the season on Monday.
** Lamar is 6-2 this season when scoring at least 74 points, 7-1 when leading at the half, 7-1 when shooting better from the floor and 7-1 when blocking more shots than the opposition.
** Anthony Miles is the only player in the SLC to rank in the top 10 in points and assists, while he also is among the top 10 in 3-point FG pct, defensive rebounds and minutes played.
Miles is averaging 23.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 4.0 apg and 2.5-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in the last three contests - with all four categories leading the team. He has led the team in scoring in the last four games and six times overall.
** Prior to going 0-for-11 from 3-point range on Saturday, Lamar had made 16 3-pointers in its previous three games after connecting on just four total in the three preceding outings. LU's guards were a combined 14-for-38 for .368 during that stretch, led by Anthony Miles' 10-for-18 (556).
** Lamar's defense has held its last five opponents under 70 points, marking the first time that has been accomplished since the 2002-03 season when Mike Deane's team limited nine straight teams to less than 70 during a stretch in SLC play in which they went 6-3.
Lamar and Arkansas State are going head-tohead on the hardwood for the 78th time tonight. LU holds a 44-33 series lead and has won three-consecutive over the Red Wolves. LU also has a 29-8 edge in games played in Beaumont for a .784 winning percentage.
The schools played every season from 1962-98 as both were members of the Southland, American South and Sun Belt Conferences at the same time. LU and ASU were two of the five founding members of the SLC in 1963, along with UT Arlington, Abilene Christian and Trinity.
Lamar is 0-3 against Sun Belt teams this season (at Middle Tennessee, at Denver and vs. Louisiana- Lafayette), while the Southland as a league is 3-5. Former Cardinal coach and current athletic director Billy Tubbs went 9-1 in his career against ASU. After losing his first game in 1977, he won seven straight in his first stint at LU and won both games of a home-and-home series during the rivalry's renewal in 2004 and 2005.
Rivalry One of Longest In Lamar History
Lamar and Arkansas State are meeting for the 78th time on Monday. The rivalry ranks as the thirdlongest in school history. Only the 86 games with McNeese State and the 80 with Louisiana are longer.
The Cards will face their five most-played rivals this season, and seven of their top eight. They have already faced Louisiana for the 80th time to go along with upcoming contests against UTA and McNeese during Southland Conference play.
About Arkansas State
Arkansas State comes to Beaumont in the midst of a stretch of playing four games in seven days, which began on Tuesday with a 98-60 win over Central Baptist. The Red Wolves were down to just eight available players due to various injuries and team disciplinary matters on Saturday but managed to play its best game of the year in a 71-56 win over preseason Sun Belt favorite North Texas. Daniel Bryant, who injured a shoulder on Thursday at Denver and didn't play against UNT, has not started a game this season but leads the team in scoring with 13.4 points per game. He has made a team-best 24 shots from outside and is a 41 percent field goal shooter. Brandon Reed (13.0 ppg) and Martavius Adams (11.2 ppg) are also scoring in double figures thus far. Trey Finn leads the Red Wolves with 7.2 rebounds per game and 21 total steals, while ranking fourth in scoring (7.5 ppg). His 2.4 steals per game rank 33rd in the nation.
As a team, Arkansas State is averaging 70.3 points and grabbing 39.3 rebounds per outing. They are shooting 44 percent from the floor and 36 percent from outside. Their 3-point field goal defense of 28 percent places them 50th nationally.
Arkansas State was picked to finish sixth out of seven teams in the Sun Belt Conference's West Division.
John Brady is in his second season in Jonesboro after 11 years at LSU where he guided the Tigers to the 2006 NCAA Final Four and six postseason tournaments. He went 13-17 last year at ASU as the team finished seventh in the SBC West with a 5-13 record. He is 301-241 in 19 seasons as a head coach, which also includes a six-year run at Samford. He lost his only meeting against a Lamar team when the Cardinals bested his LSU squad 70-64 on Dec. 1, 1997.
About the Homestand
After playing six of five games on the road over an 18-day stretch, Lamar will play six-straight home contests over a 27-day span. Included in the stretch are two Conference USA schools (Rice and Tulane) and two Sun Belt schools (Arkansas State and Louisiana-Lafayette).
The six-game stretch is the second-longest in school history, behind the nine-game skein of jack Martin's 1971-72 squad. Martin's 1957-58 team also closed the year with a six-straight home contests. Beginning with the Louisiana College game (Dec. 9), Lamar will play 12 of its next 16 games at home and 15 of its final 23 in Beaumont.
Roc Climbing Lamar Victories Chart
Lamar head coach Steve Roccaforte picked up his 54th coaching victory with the Cardinals' win over Rice on Dec. 23. That moved him into sole possession for fifth place on the school's all-time list. Grey Giovanine is next with 80 wins in six seasons from 1993-99.
Rebounding A Key For LU
Lamar has been strong on the glass all season, averaging 40.9 rebounds per game with a plus-7.0 rebound margin. Both figures rank first in the Southland while the margin puts LU 41st in the NCAA. LU also ranks second in the SLC in offensive boards (14.6) and second in defensive rpg (26.3).
The Cards posted season highs in rebounds (53) and rebound margin (+25) against Louisiana College (12/9). LU grabbed a season-best 24 offensive rebounds at Marshall and turned them into a seasonbest 30 second chance points.
Board Work Highest In 4 Years Under Coach Roc
As noted above, Lamar is averaging 40.9 rebounds per game through 14 contests. When comparing that to the previous three seasons under head coach Steve Roccaforte, this year's numbers are well ahead of the previous teams' non-conference averages in regular-season play.
Non-Conference Season Rebounds/gm Margin 2006-07 38.8 +0.2 2007-08 36.7 +3.5 2008-09 38.5 +4.5 2009-10 40.9 +7.0
Where The Points Are Coming From
Lamar is averaging 40.9 points per game on 2- point field goals which translates to 59.4 pct of its scoring and ranks 24th in the country. LU is getting 25.9 pct of its offense from the free throw line which is 21st nationally.
LU Playing Above The Rim More This Season
With more athletic and longer players on this
year's roster, the Cardinals are dunking more than in
recent seasons. The team has 20 dunks thus far, led
by Charlie Harper and Justin Nabors with seven
each. Last year the squad finished with just 15