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Bobcat basketball quick on its paws, but still can’t dance

+Freshman+guard+Mason+Harrell+attacks+the+FIU+defense+March+23.+%3Cem%3E%3Cstrong%3E+Photo+by+Jakob+Rodriguez+%3C%2Fstrong%3E%3C%2Fem%3E
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Bobcat basketball quick on its paws, but still can’t dance

 Freshman guard Mason Harrell attacks the FIU defense March 23.  Photo by Jakob Rodriguez

Freshman guard Mason Harrell attacks the FIU defense March 23. Photo by Jakob Rodriguez

Freshman guard Mason Harrell attacks the FIU defense March 23. Photo by Jakob Rodriguez

Freshman guard Mason Harrell attacks the FIU defense March 23. Photo by Jakob Rodriguez

Andrew Zimmel

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After an 87-81 loss to the Florida International Panthers, the Bobcat’s season came to a disappointing close March 23. Despite the loss, the Bobcats had one of the best seasons in school history, staying hot with the second 20-win season in three years and having two players make the All-conference team.

There was a lot for Bobcat fans to be happy about this season. For starters, the team didn’t lose a starter three games into conference play like they did last year when Marlin Davis went down with an ACL tear head coach of the Bobcats Danny Kaspar said.

“Even though (Davis) didn’t miss a ton of games, he missed maybe seven or eight games, Nedja (Prijovic) was virtually not the same player,” Kaspar said. “You lose Marlin and you lose Nedja off a team with a lot of inexperience coming back it’s going to hurt you.”

Team leader Nijal Pearson continued to grow, making first-team All-Sun Belt Conference and turning into a threat from behind the arc. The 2018-19 season saw Pearson take more threes at a higher shooting percentage and increase his points per game for the second straight season.

In the Sun Belt Tournament, Pearson struggled shooting 2-18 in the Bobcats’ final three games, however, he did not play in the FIU game due to an injury sustained during practice.

At this point in Pearson’s career, it is known that he is the Bobcats’ leading player on both sides of the ball. Another player who was successful offensively and defensively was senior Alex Peacock, who averaged 8.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game all while starting every game he played in for his last season in San Marcos.

The other senior graduating from this year’s team is Tre’Larenz Nottingham, who found a role as the scoring two-guard instead of running the point guard duties of last season.

While Nottingham was rarely the best player on the court, he did receive Sun Belt honors and was named to the third team in his final season at Texas State. In Texas State’s final three do-or-die games, Nottingham stepped up, averaging 19.6 points per game in games where everything was on the line Kaspar said. 

“I think last year was unfair to Tre,” Kaspar said. “We had asked Tre to run the point and he’s not a point, he’s a pretty decent ball handling two-guard. I think this year with him playing the two, you saw a better player.”

In the Sun Belt Tournament quarterfinals, the team took care of business against South Alabama, winning 79-67 and scoring the most points since February 14.

The Bobcats finished their season against FIU, losing 87-81 in a game that seemed to be already over before it began.

The team is only losing two players to graduation, Nottingham and Peacock, and may lose junior Jaylen Shead to the transfer pool. However, the rest of the roster feels set for another run as Sun Belt Champion and NCAA tournament hopefuls next season.

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Bobcat basketball quick on its paws, but still can’t dance