UTSA beat Rice 95-79 on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at the UTSA Convocation Center.
UTSA beat Rice 95-79 on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at the UTSA Convocation Center.
Before Oklahoma basketball coach Lon Kruger left the UTSA Convocation Center Monday night with his 621st career victory, I knew I had to ask him about a story that I’d heard for years.
Did former UTSA athletic director Rudy Davalos really call him back in the 1980s, inquiring about whether he wanted to coach the Roadrunners?
“I think we had that conversation,” Kruger said.
As the story goes, Davalos was worried that he was about to lose Don Eddy, who was interviewing for the head coaching job at Oral Roberts in Oklahoma.
Which prompted Davalos to start looking around to see who might be available to fill the void.
He ended up calling Kruger, who was in his 30s and coaching the Pan American University Broncs in Edinburg.
Pan American is now known as UT Rio Grande Valley.
“I don’t remember the details,” Kruger said. “But as you mention that, it seems like there’s some truth to that. We had a conversation about, ‘What if?’ ”
As it turned out, Eddy did not get the Oral Roberts job.
He returned to UTSA for a fifth season, and Kruger would continue to build his program in the Valley.
By the spring of 1986, Pan American won 20 games, and after the season, Kruger got a much better opportunity.
He took over in the offseason at Kansas State, his alma mater, and ended up reeling in a pretty good recruit by the name of Steve Henson.
As Kruger’s very first recruit in Manhattan, Henson went on to star as a point guard for the Wildcats.
Now in his third year as UTSA’s coach, Henson would also play several years in the NBA.
“Steve was our first recruit,” Kruger said. “He was a fantastic player and a great leader. No surprise that he’s continued that throughout his life.”
Henson later served as an assistant under Kruger at Illinois, with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, at UNLV and at Oklahoma.
Kruger was the first college coach to lead five different programs to the NCAA tournament.
He’s coached two teams to the Final Four, including his 2016 OU team, which was aided at the time by Henson.
“He’a just had an unbelievable work ethic,” Kruger said of the UTSA coach. “He had it as an NBA player and as an assistant coach. Now he’s doing it as a head coach.”
For the record, Oklahoma beat UTSA 87-67 on Monday night in front of a rowdy crowd of 2,494.
With the victory, Kruger improved to 621-395 in his career. He is 4-3 against UTSA, including 2-3 in his four years at Pan American and now 2-0 at OU.
As for whether he would have come to UTSA if Eddy had left the program, we’ll never know.
“It just didn’t happen,” Kruger said.
Lon Kruger vs. UTSA
Legendary college basketball coach Lon Kruger is 4-3 in his career against UTSA, including 2-3 when he worked at Pan American and 2-0 at Oklahoma.
Jan. 28, 1984 – At Edinburg – UTSA def. Pan American, 68-67
Feb. 25, 1984 – At San Antonio – UTSA def. Pan American, 75-68
Jan. 19, 1985 – At San Antonio – Pan American def. UTSA, 79-70
Jan. 24, 1985 – At Edinburg – UTSA def. Pan American, 60-59
Jan. 25, 1986 – At San Antonio – Pan American def. UTSA, 84-71, OT
Dec. 4, 2017 – At Norman, Oklahoma – Oklahoma def. UTSA, 97-85
No. 12, 2018 — At San Antonio – Oklahoma def. UTSA, 87-67
— UTSA Basketball (@UTSAMBB) August 13, 2018
The University of Calgary hit a 3-point shot with seven seconds left Monday for a 70-69 victory over the UTSA Roadrunners. It is the first of three exhibitions for the Roadrunners in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Guard Keaton Wallace led UTSA with 17 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Wallace hit 6 of 13 shots from the field.
Guard Adokiye Ayaye scored 12 on five of 10 shooting.
Forward Atem Bior had eight points and 12 rebounds, including 10 on the defensive end.
The Roadrunners struggled from long distance, misfiring on 20 of 23 three-ponters.
The 2025 #FinalFour will be played in San Antonio!
— NCAA Final Four (@FinalFour) July 16, 2018
The NCAA Men’s Final Four is returning to San Antonio for the fifth time.
Officials on Monday announced that college basketball’s showcase event will be played at the Alamodome in 2025, with San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg calling it, “Great news.”
Nirenberg said in a news release that the decision confirms that San Antonio “is one of the best cities in the nation — if not the best” to host the tournament.
In thanking local organizers, the mayor added, “Once again, all that makes San Antonio special will be showcased across the country and around the world.”
San Antonio previously staged the Final Four in 1998, 2004, 2008 and in April of this year.
Host institutions will be NCAA Division I members UTSA and the University of the Incarnate Word.
— Mayor Ron Nirenberg (@Ron_Nirenberg) July 16, 2018
The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee selected Houston for 2023, Phoenix (2024), San Antonio (2025) and Indianapolis (2026).
According to ncaa.com, the announcement capped a year-long process that included site visits to each of seven finalist cities and in-person presentations during the committee’s annual summer meeting, which took place last week in Boston.
The other finalists were Detroit, Los Angeles and North Texas.
Final Four sites
2019 — Minneapolis
2020 — Atlanta
2021 — Indianapolis
2022 — New Orleans
2023 — Houston
2024 — Phoenix/Glendale
2025 — San Antonio
2026 — Indianapolis
— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) April 3, 2018
Lisa Campos, UTSA vice president for athletics:
“We’re so excited that the Final Four is returning to San Antonio. I’d like to thank the NCAA for selecting our great city as the location for the 2025 Final Four and I also want to congratulate everyone who worked so hard behind the scenes on the bid and presentation. Earlier this year, the San Antonio Local Organizing Committee, which includes UTSA, put in an incredible amount of hard work to host one of the best Final Fours ever held. We look forward to making the 2025 event even better.”
— UTSA (@UTSA) July 16, 2018
In April, San Antonio hosted a Final Four consisting of the University of Michigan, Loyola (Chicago), Villanova and Kansas.
A crowd of 68,257 watched in the semifinals as Michigan defeated Loyola 69-57 and Villanova downed Kansas, 95-79. Another 67,831 turned out for Villanova’s 79-62 victory over Michigan in the finals.
UIW steps up
The announcement proved to be a big moment for the University of the Incarnate Word, whose athletics program has stepped up in recent years from NCAA Division II to Division I.
After a four-year transition, UIW of the Southland Conference became fully eligible for the Division I men’s basketball tournament for the first time in 2017-18. When the news surfaced, the Cardinals tweeted it out to their supporters.
— UIW ATHLETICS (@UIWAthletics) July 16, 2018
Throw two sails 49.02m. One more throw coming. pic.twitter.com/iIV47D5m84
— UTSA Track & XC (@UTSATrackXC) June 7, 2018
UTSA senior Adrian Riley gave it everything he had.
After running the 1,500 meters to complete his 10th and final event in two days Thursday, he collapsed on the track at Hayward Field.
Riley finished the four-lap finale in 4 minutes and 52.51 seconds for 604 points.
All told, he finished 12th in the decathlon at the NCAA Track and Field Championship with 7,520 points.
When the decathlon opened Wednesday, 24 athletes held out hopes of competing for a title. By the time it was over, only 16 had finished all 10 events.
Kentucky senior Tim Duckworth outlasted everyone, claiming the championship with a score of 8,336.
Duckworth fell a little more than 100 points shy of the meet record held by former Oregon star Ashton Eaton.
It was a solid showing all the way around for Riley, who finished in the top 10 in four events, including third in the long jump with a UTSA school record of 25 feet, 11 and 1/2 inch.
Riley was also fifth in the 100 meters (in 10.82 seconds), seventh in the discus (140 feet, 1 inch) and 10th in the javelin (176-6).
By virtue of his 12th-place overall finish, he earned second-team All-American honors, becoming the first track athlete in school history to get the award in two events.
He was an honorable mention All-American in the long jump last year.
“It feels great, like a job well-done,” said Riley, a native of Jamaica. “Especially (after) coming in and not being a high (rated) recruit.”
Riley also became the first at UTSA to earn multiple All-America honors since hurdler Keyunta Hayes did it in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
He was the first UTSA athlete to compete in the decathlon at the national meet since Justin Youngblood placed seventh in 2004.
“I’ve had five decathletes make it to the national meet since I’ve been at UTSA,” coach Aaron Fox said. “Adrian came in primarily as a sprinter-jumper.
“He had only jumped around 23 feet coming in, so he had a huge improvement in his long jump.”
In the coming year, Riley will continue to take classes at UTSA in pursuit of a finance degree.
He will also work on his long jump in an attempt to make the Jamaican national team for the 2019 world championships.
“He’s just a very talented athlete and can do a lot of things,” Fox said. It was a lot of fun to have him. He was a great team leader.”
— UTSA Track & XC (@UTSATrackXC) June 6, 2018
Horton leads Baylor relay
Anchor Kiana Horton passed two runners in the final 200 meters to lead the Baylor women’s 4×400 relay to a second-place finish in its heat and into the finals.
Earlier in the day, Arkansas sophomore Devin Clark moved on to the finals in the women’s 3000 steeplechase.
Horton ran track at Judson. Clark was a distance running star at Smithson Valley.
The UTSA men’s basketball team will host Sam Houston State Thursday night at 7 in the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, officials announced Monday night.
Officials announced the pairing after Sam Houston State scored a 69-62 victory at home over Eastern Michigan.
UTSA won its CIT opener last Wednesday, defeating Lamar, 76-69.
Both UTSA of Conference USA and Sam Houston State of the Southland Conference are 20-14 on the season.