Men’s

Nijal Pearson jumps around UT Arlington defenders to get to the basket and score for the Bobcats. Photo by Kate Connors

Kate Connors

Nijal Pearson jumps around UT Arlington defenders to get to the basket and score for the Bobcats. Photo by Kate Connors

Dedrick Johnson, Sports Reporter

LAST SEASON

The Bobcats finished the season with the highest win total since 1994, an overall record of 24-10 and went 12-6 in conference play.

However, the ‘Cats’ dreams of making the NCAA tournament were crushed with a tough loss to #1 seed Georgia State in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Championship Tournament.

 

CONSISTENCY

Head Coach Danny Kaspar, who is entering his 7th season at Texas State, said he has one goal, the same goal, with this year’s team.

“Our goal is always to win the conference title and get to the NCAA tournament,” Kaspar said.

The ‘Cats will also have last year’s star Nijal Pearson, who starts his senior year off of a phenomenal 2018 run. As a junior, he was selected on the All-Sun Belt First team and was the very first Bobcat to make the NABC All-District First Team. Pearson averaged 16.4 points a game and currently sits at No. 5 all-time in points scored in program history.

“Nijal has been great for us these past years and he is a very hard worker and a team leader,” Kasper said. “A lot of our success over the past three years is because of him.”

 

WHAT’S TO COME

The Bobcats will look to jump out to a start similar to last year, but this will be a bit tougher considering their tougher opponents before conference play. Texas State will be tested by last year’s NCAA tournament competitors including Baylor, Houston, Prairie View A&M, and Abilene Christian.

The Bobcats have also lost three of last year’s starting players including (G) Jaylen Shead, (G) Tre Nottingham and (F) Alex Peacock.

All hope is not lost, however, and Kaspar said he sees promise in new players who can potentially fill these powerhouses’ shoes. Some up and comers include Caleb Asberry, Deshawn Davidson, freshman Drew Tennial and potential starter Isaiah Small, Kaspar said.

“Several young men can have a big impact quick,” Kaspar said. “I believe Isaiah Small Is a strong candidate to start.”

BIGGER STAGE

In February of 2020, Texas State will have the spotlight on them as they play rival UTA on a nationally-televised stage for the first time (ESPN2).

The team will look to get this year started with a win in their first game against Cameron at 7 p.m. on November 1st at Strahan Arena.

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