SFA / Abilene Christian

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nacluth
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SFA (8-4, 0-0) vs. Abilene Christian (11-2, 2-0)

WHEN: JAN 6 (THU) 7:00P.M.
WHERE: Teague Center (Abilene, TX)
WATCH: ESPN+


2022 is finally here for Lumberjacks fans, and this means that WAC Conference play can finally get started. 2021 ended on a sour but hopeful note for the Jacks. They lost their last two games that they played and had three games in a row canceled due to COVID, but their last action saw them play a top 10 team to the final minute of the game. SFA came into the season feeling like they had one of their best squads ever. Now with three weeks of rest between nonconference and WAC play, they are ready to turn some of that feeling into reality.

WAC play starts against one of the best teams in the nation - Abilene Christian. Yes, you read that right. As a team, ACU ranks near the top in most of the stats that define true team play. Top ten in limiting opponents field goals, top 10 in free throws made per game, top 5 in drawing fouls, #1 in steals. Scoring and scoring defense are both in the top 50. No one player makes the Wildcats work, but as a unit, they can play as good as anyone in the nation.

While the Jacks are licking their wounds with two straight losses, the Wildcats are on an 11 game win streak which started with a gutsy OT win against UTA. Their best win of the season was a game at WAC rival Utah Valley. No real surprise to SFA, but Coryon Mason (6', G, Sr.) is the points leader followed by Makhi Morris (6' 3", G, Sr.). The real surprise is how Cameron Steele (6' 8", F, So.) has been performing over the last couple of games. The young big man has figured out how to score, and will be a prime target for Kensmil and Solomon.

ACU looks good on paper, but they have also padded their stats with a lot of non-D1 teams. They have trouble scoring against good defenses. Still dealing with Ware's loss, the defensive unit for SFA is going to have to put ACU into a lot of distress. Kalcheries and Posey will have to focus on ball security. Simmons and Steele will not be able to overpower Kensmil and company, but the game will be won by which guard corps handles their business. ACU has the edge there, but our backcourt is starting to coalesce. If they can, then we may get to christen the new Teague Center's locker room with a trademark celebration.

This is a Quad 1 game for the Lumberjacks as determined by the NCAA's NET rankings. It's the only one on the year besides the Kansas loss. Any kind of statement for 2022 will have to be made with a win in Abilene. Since ACU took down UVU, they have the inside track into leading the WAC this year. If SFA wants to get in the driver's seat, then Thursday is a must win.

Axe 'em!
Ryan
Kinnaird Guitars
MasterAxe
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nacluth said:

ACU looks good on paper, but they have also padded their stats with a lot of non-D1 teams.
You could substitute SFA on this sentence and still have it make sense.

Half of our wins are Non D-1 wins.
nacluth
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Very true. However, our stats aren't scaring anyone. ACU's scoring stats are impressive but only against non-D1 schools.
MasterAxe
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nacluth said:

Very true. However, our stats aren't scaring anyone. ACU's scoring stats are impressive but only against non-D1 schools.
You make a valid point.

At least we will be rested lol
SFAXE93
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Oh yea, I almost forgot it was basketball season.

Here is to new energy, and coming out fresh, like you are starting the season anew!

Axe'Em!
BigJack85
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This one is going to be interesting. Very interesting. Great write up Ryan!
No-look
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Here's to hoping everybody is healthy and suited up
SFAXE93
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NET rankings

64 Abilene Christian
76 Utah Valley
84 Grand Canyon
85 New Mexico State
154 Stephen F Austin
171 California Baptist
181 Tarleton
195 Seattle
261 Sam Houston
262 UT Rio Grande Valley
292 Dixie State
334 Chicago State
344 Lamar
No-look
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We just need to take care of business at ACU and a lot changes
PurpleOut
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Staff
Massive, and very tough game. Not sure what to expect to be honest being off almost 3 weeks.
nacluth
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Yep. If we play like we did against Buffalo, Liberty, and Kansas, we win. If we play like we did against NWST and ULM, we lose. The reason ACU is on top of the conference is a consistency we haven't figured out yet. Maybe the reset will help.
SFA Jack Fanatic
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ACU's 11-2 record is a joke. The ONLY quality win they've had was over UVU, which itself is not exactly a national power. Wins over mighty Schreiner, Howard Payne, UIW, Dallas, McMurry??? Laughable.
nacluth
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It's true that we've had a tougher schedule and had decent wins, but there's nothing laughable about how ACU plays defense. They're very good. This is going to be an ugly game unless our offense really clicks.
jboy93
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SFAXE93 said:

NET rankings

64 Abilene Christian
76 Utah Valley
84 Grand Canyon
85 New Mexico State
154 Stephen F Austin
171 California Baptist
181 Tarleton
195 Seattle
261 Sam Houston
262 UT Rio Grande Valley
292 Dixie State
334 Chicago State
344 Lamar
How is ACU ranked this high with their schedule? Doesn't strength of schedule play a large role with NET rankings?
nacluth
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Strength of schedule started strong with Utah and A&M. Took the Aggies to 2OT and lost by a point. Then won all the weak SOS games so not really discounting their ranking much. They dropped to almost 100. Wins over Drexel and then the big jump up after UVU.

Also note they started the season with a decent NET based on beating Texas in the NCAA's and going to the round of 32.

SFA Jack Fanatic
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Why did a win over an overrated UT affect their NET to start this season at all?? I agree with jboy. ACU's NET is totally out of whack, as is GCU's.
PurpleOut
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Staff
Did a preview (somewhat) with Kyle and WAC Digest. Not a lot to note really but talked about the SFA-ACU rivalry and match up a little.


nacluth
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Nice hour. A lot of general WAC excitement from Grant and it sounded like you were ready to talk about the game in detail, but it wasn't where the interview was going.
Ljacks&Longnecks
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Guess I'm anxious for some SFA basketball....was looking for the game....oops
jboy93
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ESPN app now has our game postponed?
SFAXE93
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I guess it will now be Jan. 8 with Tarleton State.

Eventually this team will play again I hope.
No-look
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SFAXE93 said:

I guess it will now be Jan. 8 with Tarleton State.

Eventually this team will play again I hope.
as of late last night the game is still on
SFAXE93
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That's great!

ESPN must be mistaken then, because their schedule this morning shows it postponed.
nacluth
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nacluth
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Game day for probably our biggest road game of the season except for maybe NMSU in March. ACU already has a full game lead in the division courtesy of their 2-0 start to WAC play. Tonight is huge!
SFAXE93
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Rev007
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Just received an email that ACU game is postponed
Rev007
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Can anyone confirm if the email is correct?
nacluth
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I got two emails. One that says men play tonight, one says womens' game canceled.
PurpleOut
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Staff
Rev007 said:

Just received an email that ACU game is postponed
Yeah just the women are postponed.

For now.
SFAJack_76
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nacluth said:

I got two emails. One that says men play tonight, one says womens' game canceled.
Ladyjack game rescheduled. Date to be shared when it is confirmed.
SFAXE93
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RichieVan
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ACU favored by 6.5
No-look
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RichieVan said:

ACU favored by 6.5
In the spirit of Doc Holiday: "I beg to differ sir"
MasterAxe
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What is the Teague Center?

Did I miss something with ACU arena?
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