Links to history
CANYON, Texas — The Buffs of West Texas A&M wrap up their four-game road trip Saturday against the Mustangs of Midwestern State. WT (14-5 overall, 12-1 LSC) and Midwestern State (9-11 overall, 6-8 LSC) will begin at 3 p.m. at DL Ligon Coliseum in Wichita Falls, Texas.
A live stream and statistics will be provided by the CU Communications department. The game will be streamed on the Lone Star Conference Digital Network. Fans will be able to purchase a $10 day pass that will give them access to all contests on the network that day, as well as access to previously aired games from the current season for 24 hours. Fans can also purchase a $75 basketball season pass that will give them access to all Lone Star Conference basketball games. In addition to live and archived streaming options, viewers will have the option to purchase and download games from the 2022-23 season for $10 each.
NABC TOP 25 POLL
The top five National Association Basketball Coaches (NABC) schools saw no changes from last week in the Division II Top 25 poll, while Indiana (Pa.) remains in the lead with a perfect 17-0 record. Nova Southeastern follows IUP as the only other undefeated team in the nation at 18-0. Lincoln Memorial remains at No. 3 with 19-1 while Central Oklahoma (18-1) and Colorado School of Mines (18-1) follow at No. 5. Five states from the South Central region are represented in the national rankings with the Colorado School of Mines (5th), Black Hills State (6th), Colorado Mesa (16th), Fort Lewis (17th) and Angelo State (21st) gain poll spots with WT receiving votes.
AROUND THE LONE STAR
Angelo State took first place overall in the Lone Star Conference with a 13-1 record after playing one more game this week. Angelo State also leads the West Division with 16-3 overall and 7-1 in LSC divisional action followed by WT (14-5, 12-1 LSC), Lubbock Christian (13-6, 9-4 LSC), Western New Mexico (11-8, 5-8 LSC), Midwest State (9-11, 6-8 LSC), Eastern New Mexico (12-7, 7-6 LSC), UT Permian Basin (10-13, 4-10 LSC) and Cameron (4-16, 2-12 LSC). Texas A&M-Kingsville (15-6, 9-4) leads the East Division followed by St. Edward’s (15-7, 9-4 LSC), UAFS (9-11, 5-9 LSC), St. Mary’s (10 -8, 7-6 LSC), DBU (11-10, 6-7 LSC), Texas A&M International (12-9, 5-8 LSC), Oklahoma Christian (8-12, 4-10 LSC), and UT Tyler (8-9, LSC 4-9).
SCOUTING THE MUSTANGS
Midwest State came off a tough loss to Lubbock Christian at home on Thursday. The Mustangs held the Chaps close at halftime, but LCU closed the game in the second half, avenging their loss to Midwestern State earlier in the season. Head coach Justin Leslie is in his 16th and fourth seasons as head coach of the Mustangs. While at Wichita Falls, Leslie led Midwestern State to a 44-55 record and conference tournament appearances each of the past three seasons. The Mustangs are averaging 69.0 points per game while their opponents are scoring 66.8 for a 2.2 scoring margin. Midwestern State shoots 42.9% from the field, 30.7% from behind the arc and 67.6% from the free throw line to go along with 37.1 rebounds, 12.4 assists, 6.0 balls steals, 12.6 turnovers and 2.8 blocks. The Mustangs feature a two-headed monster offensive led by Jermane Carter and Pierre Sanders. Carter, the leading scorer at Midwestern State, is averaging 12.2 points per game. The 6-foot-7 Graduate forward from Mount Laurel, NJ is shooting 43.6% from the floor and 58.8% from the charity stripe to go along with 173 rebounds (8.7 per game). Sanders trails Carter with 11.8 points per game. Along with scoring, Sanders leads the Mustangs with 60 total assists and 35 total steals. The 5-foot-10 guard also leads Midwest State with an 82.5 free throw percentage.
WT leads the all-time series between the two programs, 43-33, with a record of 11-22 in Wichita Falls and 11-5 under head coach Tom Brown. The Buffs won their previous meeting earlier this season 72-71 after winning two of their three meetings in the 2021-22 season. V, 72-71 – Canyon, 2023 V, 87-55 – Frisco, 2022 (LSC tournament) S, 90-100 (OT) – Wichita Falls, 2022 V, 94-74 – Canyon, 2021 V, 82-58 – Canyons, 2020
THE BROWN ERA
Coach Tom Brown is in his ninth season at the helm of Buffalo Basketball, building the program into one of the elite NCAA Division II schools in the nation. He led the Buffs to six consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including the Buffs’ first NCAA Division II National Championship game in 2021. Under Brown, the Buffs are 224-55 since he took the reins in 2014 for an astounding winning percentage of the 80.3%. Brown recorded his 200th career win on January 31, 2022, after the Buffs defeated St. Edward’s, 82-72, becoming just the third coach in program history to reach the 200-win plateau.
LAST TIME OUTJulius Brown stayed hot against Cameron, scoring 27 points against the Aggies. In WT’s 83-79 win, Brown grabbed five boards and dished out five assists as Damion Thornton added 20 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal for the Buffs. WT shot 43.1% (28 of 65) from the field, 31.3% (10 of 32) from depth, 65.4% (17 of 26) from the charity streak with 34 rebounds, 11 assists, six steals, and six turnovers The Buffs jumped ahead before Cameron erased WT’s lead, taking a lead of his own. Before halftime ended, the Buffs went on a streak to maintain a one-point lead at halftime. In the second half, the back-and-forth play continued with WT holding a slight lead. Down the stretch, the Buffs sealed the game to hold off an upset offer from Cameron.
RECORD CLOCKZach Toussaint is working his way up the program’s career 3-pointers. The Johnsburg, Illinois product ranks third all-time with 264 triples, passing former Buff Martin Lattibeaudiere (1993-97). David Chavlovich (2014-18) is the program’s all-time 3-point leader with 388. Toussaint is also 11th on the all-time scoring list with 1,215 points, and only needs 15 to make the Top 10. He became only the 24th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points in the Buffs Top 5 matchup against No. 1 Northwest Missouri state in the 2022-23 season opener.
I DRINK FRANCIS TOP 100 LIST BELOW
Senior Julius Brown was named to the Top 100 Watch List for the 2022-2023 Bevo Francis Award given to Small College Basketball’s Outstanding Player, given by SmallCollegeBasketball.com. The honor is awarded to a deserving player whose university is affiliated with NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA Division I, NAIA Division II, USCAA, and NCCAA. The Clarence “Bevo” Francis Award is presented annually to the player who has had the best season overall within Small College Basketball. Considerations will be season statistics and individual achievements, awards, personal character and team achievements. This is an incredibly prestigious award, as this award will only be given to one player within Small College Basketball per season. On February 15th, the roster will be narrowed down to the top 50 players. One month later, on March 15, the top 25 players will be announced. The finalists for this year’s award will be announced on 1st April, followed by the crowning of the winner of the Bevo Francis Award on 3rd April.
THIS DAY: JAN. 28
Saturday’s matchup marks the 29th time the Buffs have played on January 26, most recently on this date in 2017 against Western New Mexico. In that matchup, WT defeated the Mustangs 76-61 in Silver City. W, 76-61 – Western New Mexico, 2017 F, 69-40 – Texas A&M-Kingsville, 2012 S, 71-79 – Angelo State, 2009 S, 66-68 – #25 Tarleton State, 2006 S, 73-82 – Eastern New Mexico, 2002
LSC PRE-SEASONAL FAVORITE
The Buffs were picked to win their sixth straight LSC Tournament title by receiving 36 of 39 first place votes for 619 total points. DBU received 560 points to rank for second, followed by Lubbock Christian (2-fpv, 489), Midwestern State (460), and St. Edward’s (428) finishing the top five. Texas A&M-Kingsville (399) was picked sixth followed by St. Mary’s (380), Angelo State (364), UT Tyler (314), UT Permian Basin (1-fpv, 310), UAFS (293), Texas A&M International (246), Western New Mexico (145), Oklahoma Christian (134), Eastern New Mexico (95), and Cameron (68).
PRE-SEASONAL POYWesterville, Ohio native Julius Brown was named the league’s preseason player of the year after helping the Buffs capture their fifth straight conference title. The D2CCA All-Region and LSC Newcomer of the Year selection averaged 16.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 42.1% from the floor, 31.1% from 3 points and 76.8% from the free throw line. He hit a season-high 34 in the Buffs’ 83-73 win over Angelo State in the conference quarterfinals.
THE LONE STAR
The 2022-23 LSC basketball schedule will feature 16 men’s teams in two divisions, with each team playing a double round robin within its division. Additionally, teams will play eight crossover competitions against teams from the opposing division for a total of 22 conference games. The LSC Basketball Leagues will feature an 8-team field in 2023 with seeding based on 22 conference games. Division winners will receive the top two seeds in the tournament. The championships will be held March 2-3-4-5, 2023 at the Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas.
The Buffs finished the 2021-22 season 29-7 with the program’s sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. WT earned an automatic bid to the tournament after capturing the Lone Star Conference Tournament title for the fifth straight year, defeating Texas A&M-Kingsville 77-70 in the championship. Julius Brown earned tournament MVP honors after leading the tournament with 76 points including 34 in the quarterfinals. Zach Toussaint became the first player to drop 36 points in a single game since 2016, becoming the 14th in program history to reach the milestone.
WT returns to the friendly confines of the First United Bank Center on Thursday February 2 against UT Permian Basin. The action between the Buffs and Falcons starts at 7.30pm
FOLLOW THE BUFFS
Fans can follow and stay updated on all the Buff action online and on social media. Follow the Buffs on Twitter (@WestTXD2Hoops), Instagram (@WTAMU_MBB) and Facebook (/WTAMUMBB).