LEVELLAND, Texas - The South Plains College Texan and Lady Texan basketball teams are scheduled to tip-off their 2011-12 basketball seasons with a pair of games each over the November 4-5 weekend as the SPC men will be traveling to Odessa, Texas, and the Lady Texans will hit the road Thursday afternoon for Thatcher, Ariz.
Entering his twelfth season with the Texans, head coach Steve Green will be taking a seasoned group to Odessa for matchups with Ranger College on Friday at 3 p.m. and North Lake College at 2 p.m. in the confines of the O.C. Sports Complex at Odessa College. Both games will be streamed live over the Internet for all fans to see by visiting www.spctexans.com.
The Texans are coming off a season in which they won 17 games and lost 13, including a record of 6-8 in league play that was good enough for the fourth seed to advance the Texans to the Region 5 tournament for the eleventh consecutive season.
With eight sophomores and a strong core of freshmen talent, the Texans hope to return to the top of the Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC), and Region 5. The voters seem to think the Texans can return to the top after voting them to finish second in the WJCAC and giving them a No. 18 NJCAA national ranking.
Top returners for SPC include Greg Gainey, who garnered first team All-WJCAC and Region 5 honors last season, and Derrell Edwards, named to the WJCAC Honorable Mention team. Other sophomore returners include Malcolm Miller, Stanton Kidd, and Deshaunt Walker. A few of the newcomers to watch are sophomore transfer Marshall Henderson and freshman Yanick Moreira, a 6-10 post whose size and athleticism should cause problems for opponents offensively and defensively.
Seventh year Lady Texan head coach Michelle Wyatt is trekking west for showdowns with Eastern Arizona and Mesa Community College. They will play Eastern Arizona at 5:30 p.m. (MST) Friday, November 4 and Mesa CC at 11 a.m. (MST) Saturday, November 5.
The Lady Texans hope to improve upon last season's record of 19 wins and 9 losses, including an 8-4 record in WJCAC action that saw them tie for second in the conference standings and advance to the Region 5 tournament.
Wyatt's teams have advanced to the Region 5 championship game in five-of-seven seasons at the helm and will look to returning All-WJCAC first team guard Ashley Roberts to help lead a young team that includes 11 freshmen. Roberts led the 2010-11 Lady Texan squad with an average of 14.9 points per game, playing in 25 games and starting 19. Other sophomore returners include Raely Parada and Avril Matthews.