by: JOSHUA RAMIREZ/Sports Editor
With the 2015 basketball season at hand, South Plains College head coach Steve Green is preparing a young squad for what could be a tough season.
With a relatively new team, one obstacle Coach Green and the Texans will have to overcome is building chemistry, a characteristic Green says will be very important to the team’s success this season.
“In junior college, every year, your team has such a huge transitions from one season to the next,” said Green. “We’ve been trying to figure out a nucleus of guys that can get us started and get a team put together.”
Along with new faces on the court, the Texans will have new additions on the sidelines as well, with the hiring of new assistant coaches Matt Bringman, who came from Polk State College in Winter Haven, Fla., and Jase Herl.
Herl comes from Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland, Kan. where he was the first-ever head coach for the men’s basketball program. In his time as head coach, Herl’s teams tallied 56 victories as well as consecutive 20-win seasons.
The Texans split a pair of games during the first weekend of the season, including a 85-59 loss to San Jacinto College on Nov. 1.
The Texans struggled in the first half, getting outscored 48-25 by SJC. SPC picked the offense up in the second half, scoring 34 points, but was unable to close the gap.
The Texans shot 35.4 percent from the field, making 25 percent of their shots from three-point range. They also capitalized on 77.8 percent of their free-throws attempts, hitting 21 of 27 shots.
Roberto Gallinat, a 6-foot-3 freshman guard from Snellville, Ga., was one of three Texans to score in double digits, putting up 14 points against SJC.
Gallinat was a perfect 10-10 from the free-throw line, but hit only two of nine shots from the field.
Jerron Love, a 5-10 freshman guard from Yonkers, NY, and Marlon Jones, a 6-9 sophomore forward from Chicago, Ill., made significant contributions coming off the bench to score a combined 26 points for the Texans.
Love scored 14 points in the game, making two of three free throws and hitting eight shots from the field, with four coming from beyond the three-point arc.
Jones chipped in 12 points, Che Bob, a 6-5 sophomore transfer at guard from Charlotte, N.C., had nine points against SJC, hitting four of his six shots from the field.
The Texans opened the 2015 season on Oct. 31 with a 91-78 victory against Carl Albert State College.
The offense was firing on all cylinders, with the Texans shooting 44.9 percent from the field and 26.1 percent from behind the three-point line and 76.7 percent from the free-throw line.
The Texans had four players score in double digits against CASC. Gallinat lead the team in scoring with 21 points, making eight of his 14 shots from the field. Gallinat also made four out of five free throws.
Bob put up 19 points in the game, draining 10 of 13 shots from the free-throw line and shooting 4 of 11 from the field.
Michael Wolfe, a 6-9 sophomore forward out of Germantown, MD., pitched in 16 points, shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the field, including two three-pointers and added on a pair of free-throws.
Jones chipped in 13 point in the contest, shooting 4-of-10 from the field and making five of six free-throw attempts.
Deontae North, a 6-4 sophomore guard from Corona, Cali., contributed seven points, while Justice Green a 6-4 freshman guard from Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Ibrahima Diagne, a 6-9 freshman forward form Fleury Les Aubrais, France, each added four points against CASC.
The Texans will be looking to have success similar to their 2014-2015 season when SPC posted a 29-7 overall record and won 13 conference games while advancing to the NJCAA National Tournament.
SPC suffered a hard loss in the National Championship game, falling to Northwest Florida State College, 83-80, in overtime.
“Last season is last season,” said Green. “It’s over. It’s behind us. This is a new group, but we have the same goals as every team that we’ve had here.”
Two games into the start of the season, the Texans have shown strong potential but are still lacking in some areas of the game, which Coach Green says they will be working to improve this season.
“We’ve got to be able to shoot the ball better than we’ve been doing,” Green said, “and we’ve got to be able to protect the ball better. It’s the standard staples that every team has to go through. If we do those things, then we’ll be alright.”
The Texans will be on their home court for the Texan Classic on Nov. 13 – Nov.14 at Texan Dome.