UT-San Antonio Roadrunners
Conference/Location: C-USA (San Antonio, TX)
2016-2017 Record: 0-1 (Lost To Fresno State 69-66 On Nov. 11)
Head Coach: Steve Henson (1st Season)
Top Performer: Nick Allen (17.0 PPG, 14.0 RPG)
The Roadrunners looked promising in their season opener, on the road at Fresno State but even with help from a colossal rebounding margin, Steve Henson just couldn’t pull out the victory in his debut game as a head coach. However, there’s no denying that even this early in the season, UT-San Antonio looks like it has taken some major strides from last year’s 5-27 campaign.
UT-San Antonio will likely be mulling over some perplexing statistical numbers from their game against Fresno State, such as out-rebounding the Bulldogs 55-30 or shooting an appalling 47.8% from the free throw stripe, but that won’t stop this squad from regrouping quickly to prepare for the Beavers on just one day of rest. With a new coach and mentality going forward, there’s no reason to believe the Roadrunners won’t be ready for their trip to Corvallis.
In their season debut, Steven Henson’s boys were led by sophomore forward Nick Allen, who posted a surprising 17 points and 14 rebounds, after averaging just 4.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per contest a season ago. Junior forward Jeff Beverly, our “Player To Watch” in this one, was the team’s second leading scorer with 14 points, while freshman guard Byron Frohnen also added 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Beavers should be focusing on slowing down these three players, if they want to keep this excitable Roadrunners team in check.
Keys To The Game
⇛ Keep UT-San Antonio Off The Offensive Glass
One of the few reasons the Roadrunners hung around against Fresno State was their ability to create extra possessions on the offensive glass. UT-San Antonio tallied 70 shot attempts in their season opener, a stark contrast to the Bulldogs’ 49 tries, with help from 25 (yes, 25!) offensive rebounds in the contest.
⇛ Exploit The Roadrunners “High Risk-High Reward” Style
UT-San Antonio is not afraid to turn the game into a bit of a track-meet at times, and not exactly in a controlled and organized fashion. The Roadrunners will have their success with their free-wheeling style but they also turned the ball over 20 times against Fresno State.
⇛ Force UT-San Antonio To Prove Themselves As A Jump-Shooting Team
Steve Henson’s squad may have shot the ball over twenty times more than the Bulldogs, but when they weren’t getting to the hoop, their shot-selection had a tendency to be a bit erratic. UT-San Antonio shot just 35.7% from the field against Fresno State, including connecting on just five of twenty-five three-point attempts.
Player To Watch
Forward - Jeff Beverly (Junior)
A transfer from McLennan Community College in Texas, Beverly spent last season redshirting for the basketball program, while also joining the football team as a walk-on tight end. However, if his performance against Fresno State is any indication of his basketball abilities, maybe hoops is the sport that he should start specializing in for now. Beverly, with his football background, brings a bruising and physical approach to the Roadrunners’ front-court and almost fittingly along with the rest of this team, has the potential to be his own-worst enemy with his risky style of play. There’s a chance that a foul-prone Beverly could draw a defensive assignment on Oregon State’s Tres Tinkle or Drew Eubanks, which could hamper his playing time and clear the path a bit for the Beavers. Although, if Beverly finds a way to stay on the court for most of the game against the Beavers, expect the League City, Texas native to fill out the stat-sheet from top-to-bottom.