Fox Sports Southwest telecast last year VS TAMUK.
Hard to believe, but both Basketball teams are hitting the home stretch in their pursuit of a bid in the Conference tournament. For those who do not know, Division II is not like Division I where everyone qualifies for a Conference tournament, only the top 8 teams go if I am correct, and they go based on records in conference. In the event of a tie, overall records play somewhat into it, but very rarely, as often bigger schools schedule smaller schools to puff up a record for the season. This is a critical time for all teams that are playing, and this is the time where people are getting tired, and those who focus and want it more will be the ones who are the last ones standing. This is why there are so many upsets in the NCAA D1 tournament, because the mentality of your average college kid around the early spring is “when is spring break so I can go home or hit the Beach?” The pysche and mental toughness of a team plays a large part into how well they do in the latter part of the season and in post season play. What I will do is look at both our Women’s Squad and the Men’s as well and look at what they have done so far, and their chances of getting to the tournament, and what they probably will do there if selected. The rating system goes on as the following-
1-Not going, 2-Probably not going, 3-Solid Maybe, 4-Probably going, 5-Lock
First off, even if the season was to end today, HC Nicole Anderson has done a very good job of turning this team around from last year’s disaster. She puts on the floor a product that is not overly talented, but makes up for it by being scrappy and out hustling a lot of teams. 6-8 and 4-5 in conference is a drasitc improvement from last year, and this group seems to be learning as they go, but giving a lot of effort. They have stayed in and won games just by being the tougher team. They face a big time challenge as they have a home and home with Tarleton, and TSU is 8-2. If this group can hit some shots and continue to play tough, it will be closer than most think, but even with a halfway point record that is respectable, it is important to make sure that this group continues it’s hard playing ways and hope the ball bounces their way a few times in some critical times, sometimes sports is luck mixed with opportunity and skill. This is a young team with a young coach, but while they play tough, I am not confident giving them a go yet, but I give them a solid maybe, and say they can win at least one game in the tournament should they go.- Probability-3-Solid Maybe
Speaking of improvements, HC Sam Walker started doing that with this group starting last year when they made a late season run to get to the conference tournament and go to the Quarterfinals in the tournament, even with an overall losing record. This group is improving game by game and learning to be winners. The face a Tarleton State squad that is awful on the road and that is about the same records overall and conference as the Lions do. I talked to a friend who went to Dallas Baptist and watched our guys beat their guys soundly and said that “Commerce is not just skilled, they are big and nasty, very quick, it looked like a football game without pads. They aren’t cocky but they have a swagger that they can win.” A good compliment to our team. This team has done quite a bit this year, and with the schedule remaining, I am going to say this group is a probably going team to the tournament, and when there, I think this is a team capbale of the semi-finals or better, so long as cold shooting does not cause a slump for 3-4 straight games and doom this group from making the conference tournament or making a run at the tournament Championship. Probability-4-Probably going.
To wrap this up-Remember this Saturday-
Show up, wear gold, wear blue, be loud. Go Lions!