Lamar Cardinals basketball

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Lamar Cardinals
2016–17 Lamar Cardinals basketball team
Lamar Cardinals wordmark.svg
University Lamar University
First season 1923
Head coach Tic Price (4th season)
Conference Southland
Location Beaumont, Texas
Arena Montagne Center
(Capacity: 10,080)
Nickname Cardinals
Student section The Flock
Colors Red and White[1]
         
Uniforms
Kit body bb trimnumbersonwhite.png
Home jersey
Kit shorts blanksides2.png
Team colours
Home
Kit body bb whitetrimnumbers.png
Away jersey
Kit shorts whitesides.png
Team colours
Away


NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1980
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
1979, 1980, 1981, 1983
NCAA Tournament appearances
1960*, 1962*, 1963*, 1964*, 1966*, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 2000, 2012
Conference tournament champions
1981, 1983, 2000, 2012
Conference regular season champions
1961*, 1962*, 1963*, 1964*, 1970, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 2008 T
*at Division II level
Conference division season champions
Southland: 2008, 2012 (East)

The Lamar Cardinals basketball team represents Lamar University in NCAA Division I men's basketball competition. The Cardinals compete in the Southland Conference and have played home games in the Montagne Center since 1984.[2][2] The Lamar University basketball team is one of the school's most storied athletic programs. The Cardinals have competed in NCAA Tournament play eleven times (five at the NCAA College Division (Division II) level and six times at the NCAA Division I level with the most recent appearance in the 2012 tournament. The 1979–80 team was one of the 1980 tournament's Sweet Sixteen teams. The Cardinals have also competed in four NIT tournaments. Heading into the 2014–2015 season Lamar had a 284–143 record in the Montagne Center. The Cardinals overall record going into the 2014–2015 season was 922–818.[3]

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

Basketball began in 1923 with the founding of South Park Junior College (renamed Lamar in 1932). In the early years the squad was hurt by a lack of common opponents and routinely had to play local high schools or city amateur teams. By 1931 the squad had been reduced to an intramural level. In 1946 the program was revived as Lamar entered the Southwestern Junior College Conference. The revived squad was an immediate success finishing 2nd with a 10–4 record by head coach Dave Engman. The next year under the veteran coaching of Elbert Pickell the 1947–1948 team pulled an enormous upset by capturing the state title with a 13–3 record. The following year the Cardinals continued to prosper under head coach Thurman "Slue" Hull who complied 49–30 record at Lamar before being hired away by the University of Texas.[4] The following year the Cardinals began their transition to play against 4 year college competition with newly hired head coach Jack Martin.[5]

Jack Martin years[edit]

Jack Martin was the first head basketball coach for Lamar as a four-year college. He was also the longest serving head coach in Lamar's history. He came to Lamar after coaching three seasons at his Alma Mater, Hardin-Simmons University. Martin began coaching the Cardinals as they entered the college division Lone Star Conference in 1951. Martin coached Billy Tubbs from 1955 to 1957, Tubbs would later become the first player or student to return and coach Lamar Basketball.[7] In 1964 Lamar began its transition into division I and the Southland Conference. Coach Martin's Cardinals won the Lone Star Conference title three seasons, the Southland Conference title two seasons, and competed in five NCAA College Division (now NCAA Division II) tournaments. After the 1975–76 season, Coach Martin was replaced by one of his former players and former assistant coach, Billy Tubbs. The Cardinals compiled a 334–283 record under Martin.

Martin coached one AP NCAA College Division All-American, Don Bryson (1965), and one AP NCAA Division I All-American, Earl Dow (1969).[8] One of Coach Martin's players, Luke Adams, was drafted by the NBA.[9]

1968–69 Season

The highlight of Jack Martin's career would be his 1968–1969 squad that earned a #1 national ranking in the Associated Press college division poll. Martin's squad that year won its first 15 games of the season against very strong competition. The Cardinals won their first game against Pepperdine 65–64 then traveled to Memphis and beat a strong Memphis State team, 82–69. A week later, they quieted a stunned crowd in College Station's G. Rollie White Coliseum by strumming Southwest Conference champion Texas A&M, 98–87. With the Cardinals sitting at 6–0 and sixth-ranked University of Tulsa coming to town, most observers figured the good times were at an end. Instead, they kept rolling as Martin's flashy Cards decked Tulsa, 103–77.

"Since we had gone 8–17 the previous season, what that team did to start that year has to be one of the greatest surprises ever in Lamar basketball, at least up until that point," said Joe Lee Smith, then LU's director of sports information. "They beat a good Pepperdine team and an outstanding Memphis State team to get started, then they beat Texas A&M on the road, which was totally unexpected.[10][11]

"Tulsa was ranked No. 6, but we kicked the dog out of them. That triggered a lot of national attention. It was the first year for us to be fully Division I, and after that win we started getting a few votes in the major college polls."

After the Cardinals held off Arkansas State 84–81 in Jonesboro to tie the school record of 12-straight wins, they rose to No. 18 in the United Press International major college poll. They were the only team ranked in both polls.

A few nights later, the prominent Houston Cougars, who had been to the Final Four the previous season, came to McDonald Gym. Coach Guy Lewis' Cougars had never lost to Lamar, up until this point. With 8:15 left in the game, the Cardinals trailed 56–44, but they rallied to go ahead 61–59 in the final minute. The Cougars scored in the final seconds, however, and the teams went into overtime tied at 61.

The overflow throng in McDonald Gym and those viewing the game by closed-circuit television in a nearby dining hall erupted into bedlam when forward Jim Nicholson stole the ball and went in for a layup seconds after the overtime tipoff. Then, spindly guard Earl Dow popped in a corner jumper to give the Cards a four-point lead, and they controlled the rest of overtime, winning 71–65.

On a cold Feb. 1 night in Abilene, the record streak reached 15 games with an 85–72 victory over Abilene Christian. Two nights later on "The Stage" in Arlington, it ended with a 76–71 loss to Texas–Arlington.[12]

Billy Tubbs years[edit]

Coach Tubbs (1976 to 1980) was the first former player and alumnus to coach the Lamar men's basketball team. Tubbs led the Cardinals to their first NCAA Division I basketball tournament in 1979. The tenth seeded Cardinals upset the number seven seed Detroit before falling to tournament champion Michigan State in the second round. The following year, the Cardinals under Coach Tubbs, had a Cinderella story in the 1980 NCAA Basketball Tournament as a ten seed advancing to the Sweet 16. The Cardinals defeated number seven seed Weber State and number two seed Oregon State before falling to six seed Clemson.

Coach Tubbs left the Cardinals after the 1979–1980 season to take the head basketball coach job at Oklahoma. During Tubbs's reign at Lamar he recruited one player, Mike Olliver who would become an all-American for Lamar.[15] One of Coach Tubbs' recruits, Clarence Kea, was drafted by the NBA while Tubbs was still at Lamar. Three other Tubbs recruited players, Mike Olliver, B. B. Davis, and Alvin Brooks, were drafted the year following Tubbs' departure.[9]

The 1979 Cardinal Basketball team set records when it beat Portland State University 141–84; at the time, that game set an NCAA record for points in a single game.[16] During the game, Mike Olliver set the single game scoring record at Lamar with 50 points; that record stood until January 4, 2011.[17]

Coach Tubbs' Cardinals began the 80 game seventh longest NCAA home court winning streak (discussed below) winning the first 31 games.

Pat Foster years[edit]

Pat Foster (1980–1986) was hired to replace Billy Tubbs. Foster came to Lamar as an assistant coach under Eddie Sutton at Arkansas. He continued Lamar's men's basketball success by leading the Cardinals to 3 Southland Conference titles and post season play each of the six years he was head coach at Lamar. Post-season included two (2) NCAA Tournament appearances advancing to the second round in both. The Cardinals also participated in the NIT four (4) times advancing to the second round once. The Cardinals won twenty (20) or more games five of Coach Foster's six seasons at Lamar. He coached one All-American, two Southland Conference Players of the Year, two Southland Conference Newcomers of the Year, seven Southland Conference First Team selections and fifteen All-Southland Conference team selections. Not including three players recruited by Billy Tubbs' staff, five of Coach Foster's recruits were drafted by the NBA. Those players were Terry Long, Lamont Robinson, Tom Sewell, Jerry Everett, and Greg Anderson."[9]

After turning down the Houston Cougars head coaching position once, Foster resigned as Lamar's head coach in April, 1986 to take the head coaching position at Houston following Guy Lewis's retirement. Pat Foster was named to the Lamar Hall of Honor in 2014 in recognition of his contributions to the program as Lamar coach and athletic director. His record at Lamar of 134 wins ranks as second in the history of the program.[19]

Coach Foster's Cardinals continued the 80 game seventh longest NCAA home court winning streak (discussed below) with 49 consecutive home court wins.

Tom Abatemarco years[edit]

Tom Abatemarco (1986–1988) was hired in 1986. He was previously an assistant coach for the North Carolina State Wolfpack under Jimmy Valvano serving there from 1982–1986. Coach Abatemarco's first season record as head coach at Lamar was a disappointing 14–15 (4–6 SLC). The next season saw a new conference and a better record. The Cardinals posted a 20–11 overall and a 5–5 conference record in the newly created American South Conference. Abatemarco left Lamar after his second year accepting a head coaching position at Drake University.

Tony Branch years[edit]

Tony Branch (1988–1990), an assistant coach under Tom Abatemarco was named head coach in 1988. After two disappointing seasons, he was relieved of his duties at the end of the 1989–1990 season. Although the overall records were disappointing, Branch's teams had out of conference wins over Tulsa, Texas A&M, and Rice.

Mike Newell years[edit]

Mike Newell (1990–1993) was hired in 1990. He came to Lamar after serving as head coach at University of Arkansas at Little Rock for six seasons taking the UALR Trojans to post-season play five consecutive seasons.[21] The Cardinals moved from the American South Conference to the Sun Belt Conference in Coach Newell's second season with the Cardinals. His overall record at Lamar was 42–44 (20–26 conference).

Grey Giovanine years[edit]

Grey Giovanine (1993–1999), an assistant coach at Wichita State, was hired to replace Mike Newell. The Cardinals competed as members of the Sun Belt Conference his first five seasons at Lamar before returning to the Southland Conference in his final season with the Cardinals. His overall record with the Cardinals was 80–85 (47–61 Conference). Out of conference highlights of his years at Lamar were wins over Baylor and LSU.

Mike Deane years[edit]

Mike Deane (1999–2003) was hired in 1999. In his first year, he returned the Cardinals to the NCAA tournament for the first time since the Pat Foster era. The Cardinals played Duke in the first round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament.[24]

Billy Tubbs return[edit]

Billy Tubbs (2003–2006) returned to Lamar University in 2002 as Athletics Director. In addition to Athletics Director, Tubbs returned as the Cardinals basketball team head coach in 2003 following Mike Deane's reassignment.[25] Tubbs' return was highly anticipated and increased attendance. He turned the program around from 10th place in 2003 to tied for 4th in 2006. In 2006 Coach Tubbs stepped down as Head Basketball Coach to concentrate on the Athletic Director position.[26] He was succeeded by assistant and Lamar Alumnus Steve Roccaforte.

Steve Roccaforte years[edit]

During the Roccaforte era (2006–2011), Lamar Basketball Lamar had erratic success. The Cardinals had wins over major programs like the Texas Tech Red Raiders in 2008. Coach Roc took the Cardinals to the East Division Championship and a 19 win season in 2007–2008. Following the SLC championship the Cardinals failed to reach the conference tournament for the next three seasons.

Coach Roc's tenure at Lamar was marked by some successes and very highly ranked recruiting classes.[27] As proof of coach Roccaforte's eye for talent, Mike James a coach Roccaforte recruit, scored 52 points in 28 minutes in a 114–62 win over Louisiana College. James's performance was the top single-game scoring performance of the 2011 NCAA basketball season.

Pat Knight years[edit]

On April 5, 2011, Lamar University announced the hiring of Pat Knight, as its new head men's basketball coach.[29] In Knight's first season with the Cardinals he took them to their first 20 win season since Tom Abatemarco's 1988 squad finished 20–11.[30] The 2011–2012 squad finished with a 20–11 regular season record and an 11–5 Southland Conference record, finishing in 3rd place. In the last game of the regular season, Lamar won at home over arch-rival McNeese State, the head to head match up clinched Lamar the Southland Conference East Division Championship.[31] Lamar would go on to win the Southland Conference Championship and earn their first NCAA appearance since 2000. In the midst of the two worst seasons in Lamar's history and a 3–22 season during his third year at the helm, Pat Knight was relieved of his duties on February 16, 2014.

Tic Price years[edit]

On February 16, 2014, Lamar University announced that Tic Price would be interim head men's basketball coach.[32] The Cardinals closed out the 2013–2014 with 1 win and 4 losses under Coach Price. On March 18, 2014, Tic Price was named the Cardinals eleventh head basketball coach.[33]

In Tic Price's first full season as head coach of the Cardinals men's basketball team, the Cardinals had the 11th best turnaround in NCAA Division I men's basketball . The Cardinals improved from a record of 4–26 for the previous season to 15–15 record at the conclusion of the 2014–15 season.[34]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Lamar Cardinals (Southland Conference) (2014–Present)
2013–2014 Lamar 1–4 1–4
2014–2015 Lamar 15–15 9–9 6th
2015–2016 Lamar 11–19 3–15 13th
Lamar: 27–38 (.415) 13–28 (.317)
Total: 193–160 (.547)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

(Won/loss record reflects results of games through March 3, 2016.)

Coaches[edit]

The Cardinals have had 12 coaches since becoming a senior college (4 year) in 1951. Jack Martin was the first coach. Tic Price is the current coach. Three Cardinal coaches have been named Southland Conference Coach of the Year:Jack Martin in 1969 and 1970, Billy Tubbs in 1978 and 1980, and Pat Foster in 1984. Steve Roccaforte shared CollegeInsider.com Southland Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2008. Five Cardinal coaches have taken their teams to NCAA tournaments:Jack Martin in 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964 (NCAA Division II); Billy Tubbs in 1979 and 1980; Pat Foster in 1981 and 1983; Mike Deane in 2000; and Pat Knight in 2012.

Postseason[edit]

NCAA Division I Tournament results[edit]

The Cardinals have appeared in six NCAA Division I Tournaments, all as Lamar University. Their combined record is 5–6.

Year Seed Round Opponent Opp Seed Result
1979 10 First Round
Second Round
Detroit
Michigan State
7
2
W 95–87
L 64–95
1980 10 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Weber State
Oregon State
Clemson
7
2
6
W 87–86
W 81–77
L 66–74
1981 8 First Round
Second Round
Missouri
LSU
9
1
W 71–67
L 78–100
1983 11 First Round
Second Round
Alabama
Villanova
6
3
W 73–50
L 58–60
2000 16 First Round Duke 1 L 55–82
2012 16 First Four Vermont 16 L 59–71

Source:[14]

NCAA Division II Tournament results[edit]

The Cardinals have appeared in five NCAA Division II Tournaments as Lamar State College of Technology. Their combined record is 5–5.

Year Round Opponent Result
1960 Regional Semifinals
Regional 3rd Place Game
Northeast Missouri
Colorado College
L 81–82
W 88–67
1962 Regional Semifinals
Regional 3rd Place Game
Arkansas State
Abilene Christian
L 88–89
W 83–74
1963 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Arkansas State
Abilene Christian
W 89–88
L 94–103
1964 Regional Semifinals
Regional 3rd Place Game
Abilene Christian
Colorado State College
L 71–73
W 116–85
1966 Regional Semifinals
Regional 3rd Place Game
Evansville
Indiana State
L 103–111
W 93–78

Source:[14]

NIT results[edit]

The Cardinals have appeared in four National Invitation Tournaments (NIT). Their combined record is 2–4.

Year Round Opponent Result
1982 First Round Texas A&M L 58–60
1984 First Round
Second Round
New Mexico
Santa Clara
W 64–61
L 74–76
1985 First Round
Second Round
Houston
UT Chattanooga
W 78–71
L 84–85
1986 First Round George Mason L 63–65

Source:[14]

CIT results[edit]

The Cardinals have appeared in one CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). Their record is 0–1.

Year Round Opponent Result
2017 First Round Texas State L 60–70

Miscellaneous history[edit]

80 game home win streak[edit]

From 1978 to 1984 Lamar had one of the longest home court win streaks in NCAA history. The Cardinals compiled 80 wins between February 18, 1978 and March 10, 1984. The streak began February 18, 1978 against Arkansas State as the Cardinals cruised to a 59–54 victory. On March 10, 1984 as Lamar was hosting the Southland Conference tournament Louisiana Tech came to town with all-star Karl Malone. The Bulldogs would win 65–68 and advance to the NCAA tournament.[35] McDonald Gym (37 games) and the Beaumont Civic Center (43 games) were Lamar's home-court during the win streak. Currently the win streak is 7th all time in NCAA division I history.

Attendance[edit]

Source:[14]

Top 10 attendance marks[edit]

Below is a list of the Cardinals 10 best-attended games men's* home games (all at the Montagne Center).

Rk. Date Opponent Attendance
Top 10 Attendance
1 January 10, 1987 McNeese State 10,010
2 February 27, 1986 McNeese State 9,467
3 December 16, 1985 LSU 9,432
4 January 24, 1987 Arkansas State 8,992
5 March 15, 1985 Houston 8,610
6 December 27, 1995 Texas 8,454
7 February 23, 2008 Northwestern St. 8,338
8 January 26, 1985 Louisiana Tech 8,317
9 March 20, 1985 Chattanooga 8,245
10 November 26, 1985 Villanova 8,216

As of the 2013–14 season.
*Note: Record home attendance for a Lady Cardinals game at the Montagne Center 9,143 was on March 17, 1991 vs the LSU Lady Tigers.[36][37]

Yearly attendance[edit]

Below is a list of the attendance by year since the Cardinals moved into the Montagne Center.

Season Average High
Yearly Attendance
2015–16[38] 1,776 2,312
2014–15[39] 2,173 3,543
2013–14[40] 2,170 3,984
2012–13[41] 2,664 6,059
2011–12[42] 2,834 5,138
2010–11 3,176 5,083
2009–10 2,970 4,675
2008–09 3,673 6,182
2007–08 3,704 8,338
2006–07 3,579 7,497
2005–06 3,269 5,173
2004–05 3,986 6,164
2003–04 4,063 5,347
2002–03 3,338 4,537
2001–02 2,670 4,147
2000–01 2,768 5,033
1999–2000 3,704 6,271
1998–99 3,382 6,193
1997–98 4,442 7,584
1996–97 2,638 5,089
1995–96 2,822 8,454
1994–95 2,294 4,142
1993–94 2,987 3,876
1992–93 3,861 8,033
1991–92 3,602 5,642
1990–91 5,437 7,641
1989–90 1,629 2,932
1988–89 4,562 6,615
1987–88 4,562 7,504
1986–87 6,615 10,010
1985–86 6,326 9,467
1984–85 6,306 8,310

As of the 2013–14 season.

Awards and honors[edit]

Retired Jerseys[edit]

Below is a list of retired Cardinals jerseys.
Sources: [43]

No. Year Retired Name Years
Retired Jerseys
13 2009 Don Bryson 1962–65
52 2009 BB Davis 1977–81
54 2009 Clarence Kea 1976–80

National and regional awards and honors[edit]

All-Americans[edit]

[44]

  • Don Bryson – AP All-American (College Division), 3rd Team, 1965
  • Earl Dow – AP All-American (Division I), 2nd Team, 1969
  • Mike Olliver – Citizens Savings Foundation All-American (Division I), 1st Team, 1981
  • Matt Sundbald – Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-American, 3rd Team, 1998, 1st Team, 1999

Academic Athlete of the Year[edit]

  • Matt Sundblad, Verizon/CoSIDA Men’s Basketball Academic Athlete of the Year, 1999

All-Star games[edit]

  • Earl Dow, East-West All-Star Game, 1969
  • Tom Sewell, NABC All-Star Game, 1984

USBWA All-District VI Team[edit]

  • B B Davis, 1980, 81
  • Mike Olliver, 1981 (Co-Player of the Year)
  • Tom Sewell, 1984
  • Alan Daniels, 2006
  • Kenny Dawkins, 2nd Team, 2009
  • Jay Brown, 2nd Team, 2009

Southland Conference honors[edit]

Sources:[45]

Player of the Year[edit]

  • Kenny Haynes, 1970
  • Luke Adams, 1971
  • Mike Olliver, 1981
  • Tom Sewell, 1984

Newcomer of the Year[edit]

  • BB Davis, 1978
  • Jerry Everett, 1984
  • James Gulley, 1985
  • Lamar Sanders, 2007
  • Kenny Dawkins, 2008
  • Tyran de Lattibeaudiere, 2015

Coach of the Year[edit]

  • Jack Martin, 1969, 70
  • Billy Tubbs, 1978, 80
  • Pat Foster, 1984

First Team All-Conference[edit]

  • Luke Adams, 1970, 71
  • Ron Austin, 2003
  • Don Bryson, 1965
  • Alan Daniels, 2005, 06
  • Kenny Dawkins, 2008
  • BB Davis, 1978, 79, 81
  • Earl Dow, 1968, 69
  • Jerry Everett, 1985
  • James Gulley, 1987
  • Don Heller, 1964
  • Mike James, 2012
  • Henry Jones, 1976
  • Clarence Kea, 1980
  • Jim Nicholson, 1968
  • Alfred Nicholson, 1974
  • Mike Olliver, 1979, 80, 81
  • Lamont Robinson, 1984
  • Lamar Sanders, 2008
  • Tom Sewell, 1983, 84
  • Anthony Todd, 1986
  • Jerry Wade, 1965

Most Valuable Player[edit]

  • Kenny Haynes, 1970
  • Luke Adams, 1971
  • Mike Olliver, 1981
  • Tom Sewell, 1984

Tournament Most Valuable Player[edit]

  • Mike Olliver, 1981
  • Lamont Robinson, 1983
  • Jerry Everett, 1985
  • Landon Rowe, 2000

All-decade teams[edit]

1960s[edit]
  • Don Bryson, Earl Dow
  • Co-Coach of the Decade – Jack Martin
1970s[edit]
  • Luke Adams, Clarence Kea
  • Coach of the Decade – Billy Tubbs
1980s[edit]
  • BB Davis,Anthony Todd, Jerry Everett, James Gulley, Mike Olliver, Kenneth Perkins, Lamont Robinson, Tom Sewell
  • Coach of the Decade – Pat Foster
2000s[edit]
  • Alan Daniels, Larry Sanders

American South Conference honors[edit]

All Conference teams[edit]

  • James Gulley, 1989
  • Adrian Caldwell, 1989

Sun Belt Conference honors[edit]

All Conference teams[edit]

  • Atiim Browne, 1994
  • Ron Coleman, 1995, 97
  • Lucas Wagler, 1996

Freshman of the Year[edit]

  • Keith Veney, 1993

Cardinals in the NBA[edit]

Lamar University has had four players who played in the NBA and ten players who were picked in the NBA draft. The players are listed below.

Played in the NBA[edit]

Drafted players[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ LU Visual Standards (PDF). Retrieved April 22, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "LAMAR CARDINALS Official Athletic SiteFacilities". Lamarcardinals.com. 1983-06-20. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  3. ^ "(2013–14 Season) Final Release" (PDF). Lamar University Athletics. p. 2. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ Pennington, Richard; Cooley, Denton A. (1998). Longhorn hoops: the history of Texas basketball. University of Texas Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-292-76585-6. 
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  27. ^ David Henry (2010-06-18). "LU hoops announces highly ranked recruiting class". Beaumont Enterprise. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
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