Saturday, January 29, 2011

Coaches vs. Cancer

The men's basketball coaches celebrated more than a blowout victory over UTSA Saturday night, winning with ease 88-67. Head coach Jason Hooten, as well as his assistants particpated in Coaches vs. Cancer, which is an initiative that encourages coaches, players and communities to fight the deadly disease.

On this day, the coaching staffs from both teams wore sneakers to support the cause. More than 2,000 Division I, II and III schools are involved.

"I know you guys have probably watched a lot of games on television today and saw coaches around the country wearing tennis shoes," Hooten said. "It's for a great cause. We've done it all five or six years I've been here. To be honest with you, I really wish I could coach every night with these on."

Coaches vs. Cancer is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The program has used the public notoriety and influence of basketball coaches to bring awareness, fundraising activities and advocacy programs to combat cancer.

According to, Coaches vs. Cancer has raised nearly $50 million in support the ACS effort to eliminate cancer as a life-threatening disease.

Key council members include: Jay Bilas of ESPN; Jim Boeheim of Syracuse, UCONN's Jim Calhoun, Mike Krzyzewski, Tubby Smith and North Carolina's Roy Williams.

Hooten says he wears a lot of colon Nike shoes, the ones that look like bowling kicks. He gets made fun of for them, but his shoes from Saturday are a special custom.

"These are hip. These are Nike ID. I made these myself online," Hooten said. "They're orange and gray and black, which I don't have a lot of. Then on the back of them it says Sam Houston. I thought they felt pretty cool and appropriate.

"I wish we could wear these every game. And if we can go 10-21 from 3, I'll wear em again!"

Brandon Scott

Friday, January 28, 2011

Could be worse

We can be honest about it. This isn't how anyone visioned the start of men's basketball conference action, at 2-4 with three straight losses heading into a tough matchup against UTSA (3-2 SLC). The Bearkats are coming off their worst offensive performance of the season, scoring only 49 points against SFA.

It was ugly. SHSU missed all of its eleven 3-pointers attempted and shot 33.3 percent from the floor in the second half. Story of the year. Usually, the effort is there. With some exceptions, the Kats are good about executing. It just hasn't been enough.

Nonetheless, consider the glass half full. The Bearkats already knocked off UTSA in the first conference game of the season. Coach Hooten is more than likely demanding everything from his team going into this game, with their backs against the wall in a sense.

The losses against Texas State and A&M-CC were close. Some would say the Kats should have beaten UTA in the first conference loss of the season. Those were all games SHSU could have or should have won. So much for history.

What the Bearkats can look forward to is a home game against a team they've beaten already, before getting a week to recover. Then they play Southeastern Louisiana, another group with a losing conference record (2-3). SHSU is better than both UTA and Corpus, teams they've fallen to and the opponents following Southeastern.

Even though the Kats are struggling, it's not far off to think they could be 6-4 on Feb. 14 when they travel to McNeese St.

Don't underestimate the value of having three seniors with Southland Conference Championship rings and even a first year head coach who's done it as an assistant. Remember that change induces an immediate struggle.

Fortunately for SHSU, the season is relatively young.

Even though it's been ugly, and we can be honest about it, it's been ugly. The situation could definitely be worse.

-- Brandon Scott

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fan poll results

Here are the results of the first Danny Dougherty Fan Poll. When asked how many Southland Conference games fans plan to attend, the leading response was “1-4,” getting 38 percent of the votes. Second was “All of Them,” which received 31 percents of the votes, “5-9” was third with 17 percent and “10-15” rounded it out with 14 percent of the votes.

Be sure to check out for the newest Danny Dougherty Fan Poll.

Monday, January 24, 2011

An ace to start the year

We have things going for the spring semester and it is has been an exciting start for the women’s golf team. On our first qualifying round of 2011, Landa Stewart made a hole-in-one on No. 11 at Raven Nest. She used a 6-iron from 150 yards out for her first ace. Congrats Landa!

We have a new player on our team this semester as well. Jackie Smith has transferred to SHSU after spending three years at Texas Tech. She will spend this semester working out and practicing with the team to be ready for the 2011-12 season. I am excited to have her on the team and I am confident she will contribute to our success next year.

Our first tournament is three weeks away and will be hosted by Texas State. The course we will play is in Victoria. There will be a strong field and I would love to get off to a fast start this spring.

-- Tommy Chain
SHSU women’s golf coach

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The turnaround

What a difference a year makes. The dynamics of Bearkat men's and women's basketball have changed, completely. While the guys struggle to find consistency with a 2-3 Southland Conference start, the ladies have stormed to 5-0 in league play for only the second time in school history (1998).

But last year to the date, the men's team was making its case as the best in the SLC, after holding off a late-game rally to defeat UT-Arlington at Texas Hall. The Bearkats were holding their own, but started with a par 2-2 league record after an overtime home victory over UTA, the first of four OT battles the Bearkats would find themselves in (3-1).

The implications were clear in 2010. The Bearkat men were leaders of the pact, while the women were in for a Katfight.

2011 presents new implications. This season, the women have three likely all-conference performers in Britni Martin, Sequeena Thomas and Chanice Smith; the way last year's men had Gilberto Clavell, Corey Allmond and Ashton Mitchell.

The guys are over-relying on Clavell this season, but more than anything, they're just not quite as good as they were a year ago.

The ladies are considerably better. In these five conference wins, the Bearkats have won four of them by double digits and the other by nine. Not only are they winning, but they're doing it convincingly, the way the men eventual did last season.

What seperates the women's success from the men's failure this season is depth. Coach Brenda Nichols is getting production from role players like Zoe Tucker and Jaleesa Thomas. Freshman Nyha Carter has been an emphatic presence.

Coach Brenda Nichols has the luxury of resting her starters after a lead builds, or in case they get in early foul trouble. Men's first year head coach Jason Hooten can't do that, just yet.

Of course the season is still young and there could be more turnarounds to come. As for today, it's incredible the difference a year makes.

- Brandon Scott
SHSU Athletics