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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Men’s basketball seeks momentum in season opener against UIW


Texas State senior guard Shelby Adams (4) goes up for the layup against St. Mary University, Thursday, Nov.4, 2021, at Strahan Arena. Bobcats won 52-43.

After earning its first-ever Sun Belt Conference regular-season title last season, Texas State’s men’s basketball team prepares to bring back historic wins with its season opener on Tuesday. 
Following an exhibition win, 52-43, over St. Mary’s, Texas State will head toSan Antonio to face the University of the Incarnate Word in a non-conference game on Nov. 9. The Bobcats won 72-64 in the first and only meeting in history between the two teams last season.
Texas State enters the 2021-22 season with three returning players that earned all-conference preseason honors: senior forward Isiah Small, senior guard Caleb Asberry and senior guard Mason Harrell.
Small, Asberry and Harrell are the Bobcats’ top three returning scorers. Small led the team with 5.8 rebounds per game last season, Harrell delivered 78 assists while Asberry scored 50 3-point shots. 
The Bobcats also return with the 2021 Sun Belt Coach of the Year, Terrence Johnson, along with new Assistant Coach Donte Mathis. 
Texas State looks to defend the conference title this season on the back of its stout defense. The Bobcats led the conference in scoring defense last season, allowing only 61.7 points per game, and defensive rebounding, allowing opponents only 29.8 rebounds per game.
The University of the Incarnate Word looks for a bounce-back season after finishing last season eight in the Southland Conference. The Cardinals placed 10th in the conference in turnovers, averaging 14.3 per game. They were second in the conference in 3-point percentage, shooting 37.4%.
The Cardinals are returning two players who received all-conference preseason honors: junior guard Brandon Swaby and junior guard Drew Lutz. Keaston Willis, the team’s leading scorer last season, has since transferred to Louisiana Tech. Swaby will be the player the Cardinals will look to lean on for scoring as he shot 43.5% from the 3-point line and 46% from the field last season.
In Texas State’s exhibition game against St. Mary’s, Harrell sat out, leading the team to struggle offensively and turn the ball over 19 times. The Bobcats only turned the ball over 19 or more times in three games last season, losing two of them.
“I would expect the turnovers to be cut down once Mason gets back,” Head Coach Johnson said in a postgame press conference. “Having Mason, I would hope that we can cut that turnover margin down, by about at least eight or nine.”
For the Bobcats, with the status of Harrell unclear heading into Tuesday,junior guard Drue Drinnon will initiate the offense and looks to cut the margin of turnovers.
The Bobcats seek to build on last season with depth and experience against a youthful and hungry University of the Incarnate Word team that will be searching to fill a scoring hole.
Texas State’s men’s basketball season tips off at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 9 at theMcdermott Center in San Antonio.

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  • Texas State men’s basketball Head Coach Terrence Johnson talks to players during a time-out made by St. Mary’s University, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 52-43.

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