June 23, 2007
BEAUMONT - Second-year Lamar University men's basketball coach Steve Roccaforte has put together another challenging schedule for the 2007-08 Cardinals that includes games with teams from the Big 12, Conference USA, Mid-America, Mountain West, Southeastern and Sun Belt conferences.
Embarking on its 54th season of competition as a four-year university, Lamar will play 16 regular season home games, eight non-conference and eight Southland Conference games. Additionally, the Cardinals will play exhibition games against Incarnate Word (Nov. 3) and Central Oklahoma (Nov. 10).
Lamar opens the 2007-08 regular season by hosting LeTourneau University Nov. 13 at the Montagne Center. The Cardinals hit the road for a Nov. 16 game at the University of Mississippi. Lamar returns home to host Wyoming (Nov. 19) and Oral Roberts (Nov. 24).
The Cardinals hit the road for a pair of games at New Orleans on Nov. 28 and at Northern Illinois on Dec. 1. Lamar returns home to host St. Gregory's (Dec. 4) and Louisiana College (Dec. 8) before traveling to Brigham Young University for a Dec. 12 game in Provo, Utah.
Lamar plays three of its last four non-conference games at home. The Cardinals host Rice University on Dec. 22 and Lyon College on Dec. 29. Lamar travels to Lubbock to play Texas Tech on New Year's Day. The Cardinals close out their non-conference slate Jan. 8 against Utah Valley State.
"We have put together a very attractive home schedule with games against Wyoming, Oral Roberts and Rice that should have fans excited to come out to the Montagne Center this season," commented Roccaforte. "We have a veteran team returning and this schedule has a good balance of winnable games and challenging games against some of the top teams in the country. Our team is in position to challenge for a conference championship and this schedule will prepare us for the rigors of the conference race."
The SLC format will feature two six-team divisions for the second straight season. The Cardinals will again compete in the East Division with Central Arkansas, McNeese State, Nicholls State, Northwestern State and Southeastern Louisiana. The West Division features Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, Texas-Arlington, Texas-San Antonio, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Texas State.
Lamar will play the other five teams in the East Division twice, home and away, and the six teams in the West Division once, three at home and three on the road. The Cardinals will host Sam Houston State, Texas-Arlington and Texas-San Antonio and play at Stephen F. Austin, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Texas State.
The SLC Tournament will be May 13-16 at a neutral site in Houston. The top two teams from each division and the four teams with the next-best conference records will comprise the field for the eight-team tournament. The tournament winner will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Lamar, who advanced to the semifinals of the SLC Tournament for the third straight year last season, returns eight letterwinners and all five starters from last year's 15-17 squad. The Cardinals return 86 percent of their scoring and 82 percent of their rebounding, including their top four scorers and top five rebounders.
Highlighting the returning players are forward Lamar Sanders, center James Davis, and guards Darren Hopkins, Currye Todd and Matthew Barrow. Sanders averaged 12.2 points per game and led the team and the SLC in rebounding at 9.8 rpg. His 315 rebounds ranks as the ninth best single-season total in school history.
A native of Hickory Flat, Miss., Sanders led the team in assists with 104, which ranked 13th in the SLC (3.25 apg), and shot a team-best 59.3 percent from the field, which ranked sixth in the SLC. He was named SLC newcomer of the year and second-team All-SLC.
Davis, a native of Minneapolis, Minn., led the team in scoring at 15.4 ppg (2nd in SLC) and was second in rebounding at 7.9 rpg (4th in SLC). He shot 49.8 percent from the field and 70.7 percent from the free throw line. He led the team with 39 blocked shots, which ranked eighth in the SLC and ranks as the ninth-best single-season total in school history. He was a third-team All-SLC selection.
A native of Baltimore, Md., Hopkins was second on the team in scoring at 13.4 ppg and averaged 3.6 rpg. He shot 43.5 percent (67-of-154) from three-point range, which ranked fourth in the SLC, and 72.1 percent from the free throw line. He was second on the team in steals with 27. He was an honorable mention All-SLC selection.
Todd, a native of Byhalia, Miss., averaged 10.6 ppg and 2.9 rpg. He shot 34.5 percent (57-of-165) from 3-point range and led the team with 29 steals. Barrow, a native of Baton Rouge, La., averaged 7.9 ppg and 2.8 rpg. He was second on the team with 93 assists. He shot 37.9 percent (50-of-132) from 3-point range and a team-best 73.7 percent (56-of-76) from the free throw line.
Those interested in purchasing season tickets for exciting Lamar men's basketball can call the Montagne Center ticket office at (409) 880-1715.
2007-08 Lamar Cardinals Basketball Schedule
Nov. 3 Incarnate Word (Exh.)
Nov. 10 Central Oklahoma (Exh.)
Nov. 13 LeTourneau University
Nov. 16 at Mississippi
Nov. 19 Wyoming
Nov. 24 Oral Roberts
Nov. 28 at New Orleans
Dec. 1 at Northern Illinois
Dec. 4 St. Gregory's
Dec. 8 Louisiana College
Dec. 12 at Brigham Young University
Dec. 22 Rice University
Dec. 29 Lyon College
Jan. 1 at Texas Tech
Jan. 8 Utah Valley State
Jan. 12 *Texas-San Antonio
Jan. 17 *at Stephen F. Austin
Jan. 19 *Sam Houston State
Jan. 24 *at Central Arkansas
Jan. 26 *at Northwestern State
Feb. 2 *McNeese State
Feb. 7 *at Nicholls State
Feb. 9 *Southeastern Louisiana
Feb. 14 *Texas-Arlington
Feb. 16 *at Texas State
Feb. 21 *Central Arkansas
Feb. 23 *Northwestern State
Feb. 28 *at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Mar. 1 *at McNeese State
Mar. 6 *Nicholls State
Mar. 8 *at Southeastern Louisiana
Mar. 13-16 Southland Conference Tournament