Head Coach Danny Kaspar Discusses Texas State Basketball

todayOctober 19, 2015

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by Marvin Parker
Sports Reporter

Photo by Dylan Lochridge-Fletcher

Last Tuesday afternoon was Texas State’s basketball media day. In head coach Danny Kaspar’s third year, it seems as if a giant leap in improvement is needed. The Bobcats have seen improvement in each year under Kaspar, and now with a group of young men that are all from his era of recruiting, the time is now. From an 8-23 record (4-14 Sun Belt Conference) in the 2013-2014 season to a 14-17 (7-13 SBC) 2014-2015 record, the Bobcats feel as if this might be their first winning season.

When asked who he thinks will have the biggest impact from last season to this upcoming one, Kaspar complimented junior guard, Ojai Black.

“Black is very far along, he gets it. He gets what I want,” Kaspar said.

Practice is only a week underway, but there have been early signs of what’s to come, especially from the incoming class of freshmen that, according to Kaspar, are very eager and hungry. In any situation, a coach wants his team to be coachable, which seems to be what’s going on with the Bobcats. However, there are things you can’t teach like height; Austin Evans, the 6’11” sophomore from Plano, Texas, has a lot of it. Unfortunately, Evans didn’t receive much playing time in his freshmen year, but Kaspar has not counted him out.

“Austin Evans is still a work in progress, he has some arthritis in his, I think left knee, but he’s coming along.” Kaspar said.

Two things Kaspar couldn’t stop hitting on were the words “maturity” and “toughness.” They seemed to be the motto he might be tagging this Bobcat team with this season. “I value toughness, it’s something you need. When you’re on the road in an unfamiliar environment you need it if you’re going to be successful.” Coach Kaspar mentioned how the Boston Celtic’s first round draft pick from Georgia State, R.J. Hunter, told him during the NCAA Tournament how Texas State was the hardest opponent for him in the entire conference.

Senior forward and the top dog returning for Texas State, Emani Gant, takes full responsibility of the team this year. “Last year when things got close I might have let the seniors lead in situations and I just allowed my game to show, but this year it’s about being more vocal, leading in all aspects of the game is what I have to do this year. It’s my job to get this team in the position we need to be in,” said Gant.

Kaspar also mentioned that Gant also feels like the chemistry is different this year, in a good way. In any case, the group of freshmen must be game-changers, because Gant hit on the scrappiness of the group as well. The senior from Los Angeles, CA, feels like the team has what it takes to reach goals that have seemed unattainable in the past, and wants his final year to be a winning one.

Gant ended the conference by saying, “I love being a Bobcat. Texas State has meant a lot to me and it’s very important that we get this winning season this year. I want to be remembered as someone who came in-in one situation and left with a positive change.”

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