Oct. 13, 2011
BEAUMONT -Pat Knight will hold his first official practice as head basketball coach at Lamar University on Friday evening at 5 p.m. from the Montagne Center.
Knight, who was named head coach on Apr. 5, will have his first full practice with all 10 of Lamar's returnees and all three newcomers. The Cardinals played a three-game exhibition schedule in Canada in August and were able to practice for 10 days at that time. However, newcomers Rhon Mitchell and Sebastian Norman were not enrolled in school at the time and didn't participate.
"My goal is to be the Gonzaga of the Southwest," said Knight who came to Lamar after three plus seasons as head coach at Texas Tech. "I really think Lamar is a diamond in the rough. Everything you need, from fan base to facilities to recruiting, is all right here."
The Cards are coming off a 13-17 campaign in 2010-11, but return five of their six leading scorers. Senior Anthony Miles enters the year just 21 points shy of becoming the 19th 1,000-point scorer in Lamar history. Fellow senior Mike James, one of six seniors on this year's team, led the Cards in scoring at 12.5 points per game last year.
Lamar also returns leading rebounder Devon Lamb who hauled in 8.3 rebounds per game despite his 6-foot-2 frame, and leading 3-point shooter Brandon Davis. Davis connected on 55 treys last season on 37.4 percent shooting.
"I didn't come here to lose," said Knight. "I looked at the roster when I was interested in the job, and we have a lot of talent. I'm stubborn and I came here expecting to win right away."
Lamar will play a pair of exhibitions against St. Gregory's (Nov. 1) and Louisiana College (Nov. 7) before opening the regular season on Nov. 11 against long-time rival Arkansas State. The Cardinals will host 14 games in the Montagne Center this season.