UTSA women aim for an NCAA tournament run after a record-breaking season

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The UTSA women’s basketball program hopes to hang a new banner in the Convocation Center before the start of the coming season.

Karen Aston. UTSA beat Northern Colorado 80-62 in the first round of the WNIT on Thursday, March 21, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Coach Karen Aston is entering her fourth season at UTSA with hopes of leading the Roadrunners to the NCAA tournament. – File photo by Joe Alexander

“I’m hoping they put that up at an appropriate time,” UTSA coach Karen Aston said Monday. “I don’t know what the protocol is. I haven’t asked that question. But clearly, there’ll be one up there. No question about it. That’s a good thing. A step in the right direction.”

The banner will commemorate the team’s performance last spring, when coaches and players made program history with only the third trip to a national tournament in more than 40 years.

UTSA produced an 18-15 record in 2023-24 en route to reaching the second round of the Women’s NIT. A memorable moment came at home on March 21 when the Roadrunners claimed their first-ever national tournament victory with an 80-62 win over Northern Colorado.

Their season came to an end on March 28 with an 80-64 road loss at Wyoming.

With summer conditioning in progress, the idea that the athletic department is planning a function to hail the team’s achievement will be a point of pride for returning players, but also will serve as a reminder that they aren’t finished making history.

“No question we’re setting goals,” Aston said. “It’s the same goal every year. We want to go to the NCAA tournament. Period.”

UTSA roster

Siena Guttadauro, 5-6 guard, junior from San Jose, Calif.
Alexis Parker, 5-9 guard, junior from San Antonio (Brandeis High School)
Emma Lucio, 5-9 guard, sophomore from Edinburg (Vela High School)
Damara Allen, 5-10 guard, freshman from Aurora, Colo.
Mia Hammonds, 6-3 guard, freshman from Cibolo (Steele High School)
Nyayongah Gony, 6-4 forward, redshirt senior from Lincoln, Neb., transfer from Mississippi State, also formerly of the University of Miami
Nina De Leon Negron, 5-6 guard, graduate senior from San Juan, Puerto Rico, transfer from the University of the Incarnate Word, also formerly of Austin Peay
Sidney Love, 5-8 guard, junior from Cibolo (Steele High School)
Aysia Proctor, 5-8 guard, sophomore from Schertz (Clemens High School)
Taylor Ross, 6-1 forward, freshman from San Antonio (Brennan High School)
Maya Linton, 5-11 forward, junior from Duncanville
Cheyenne Rowe, 6-2 forward, junior from Ajax, Ontario, Canada; played for UTSA last season as a transfer from James Madison
Idara Udo, 6-1 center-forward, sophomore from Plano
Jordyn Jenkins, 6-0 forward, redshirt senior from Kent, Wash., played the past two seasons at UTSA, transfer from Southern Cal
Emilia Dannebauer, 6-4 forward-center, freshman from Berlin, Germany


Center Elyssa Coleman (medical retirement) and guard Kyra White won’t be back this year.

They leave big shoes to fill as Coleman averaged 10.4 points and led the team in rebounding and blocked shots, while White — a do-it-all senior — started all 33 games and led UTSA in minutes (averaging 34) and assists (160 total). She also ranked among team leaders in rebounds and steals.

Jordyn Jenkins. UTSA beat UAB 76-58 on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, in American Athletic Conference women's basketball at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordyn Jenkins is healthy and working on returning to peak physical conditioning after sitting out all but the last dozen games last season in knee rehabilitation. – File photo by Joe Alexander

Scoring leaders among returning players include Jordyn Jenkins (17.1), Aysia Proctor (9.7), Sidney Love (9.6) and Idara Udo (7.4).

Others returners include Siena Guttadauro, Maya Linton, Cheyenne Rowe, Alexis Parker and Emma Lucio. Aston said Guttadauro continues to make significant strides in her development following a strong finish to last season.

The coach said she is looking for Udo to expand her skillset to boost the frontcourt following Coleman’s retirement. She said the sophomore from Plano is working on finishing around the rim with her left hand and is already looking better with her jump shot.

By losing Coleman “we lost experience,” Aston said, “of someone who would have been a four-year starter. You know, you can’t really replace that immediately, but I think we have enough bodies now that, on a given night, we’re going to probably be able to find somebody who’s going to do the work.”

In another development, Aston said she is looking at moving Love from point guard to shooting guard. Love, Guttadauro and newcomer Nina De Leon Negron are all working as combo guards, shifting between ball-handling and off-the-ball duties.

De Leon Negron, a transfer from the University of the Incarnate Word, might be a candidate to make the most immediate impact among newcomers.

Center Emilia Dannebauer, a 6-4 freshman from Germany, is the only player of the 15 on scholarship who is not on campus at the moment.

She is expected to report in August after working out overseas this summer in an attempt to make the German Under-20 national team.

Aston is watching closely the development of freshmen guards Mia Hammonds and Damara Allen and forward Taylor Ross. She said Hammonds has had an injury this summer and has been limited.

Both Hammonds (from Steele) and Ross (from Brennan) were considered two of the best high school players in the San Antonio area last season.

“I think the freshman class is ahead of the curve,” the coach said. “They have come in with a really good mindset. They’re coachable, teachable, all of that. Taylor Ross is maybe the sleeper of the class.”

Despite the injury to Hammonds, Aston said she has potential “to fit right in” with the Roadrunners with her athleticism. However, she may need some time to get accustomed to the physicality of the college game.

Siena Guttadauro. UTSA lost to Western Kentucky 73-67 in Conference USA women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Siena Guttadauro has shown marked improvement and may command an expanded role leading into her junior year. The native Californian hit a couple of three pointers in the fourth quarter of an AAC tournament victory over the South Florida Bulls. – Photo by Joe Alexander

AAC Commissioner Pernetti visits UTSA

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Tim Pernetti at UTSA on Friday, June 20, 2024. - Photo by Joe Alexander

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Tim Pernetti at UTSA on Friday. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Joe Alexander

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Tim Pernetti was in San Antonio on Friday to get acquainted with UTSA athletic department officials.

Pernetti also met with members of the media on Friday afternoon at the Roadrunner Athletics Center of Excellence (RACE).

In April, Pernetti became the second commissioner in American Conference history. He followed Mike Aresco, who had led the conference since 2013.

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Tim Pernetti at UTSA on Friday, June 20, 2024. - Photo by Joe Alexander

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Tim Pernetti at UTSA on Friday. – Photo by Joe Alexander

American conference expected to send two teams to the NCAA baseball tournament

The American Athletic Conference is expected to send two teams to the NCAA Division I baseball tournament.

The Tulane Green Wave and the Wichita State Shockers will play one game for the title in the American Baseball Championship on Sunday in Clearwater, Fla. The winner will claim the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA’s 64-team field.

The East Carolina Pirates are expected to be an NCAA at-large selection based on their strong showing in the regular season.

Tulane and Wichita State emerged from the semifinals to claim spots in the American title game.

The Green Wave advanced in only one game in the semifinal round, dispatching the Florida Atlantic University Owls, 13-1, in seven innings on the run rule. It took two games for the Shockers to eliminate the Pirates.

East Carolina claimed a 5-4 victory in a wild one, when Dixon Williams stole home with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning to cap a three-run rally. The win forced a second game between the teams, in which the Shockers rebounded to win 12-2 in eight innings on the run rule.

UTSA draws Charlotte in opening round of AAC tournament

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The second-seeded UTSA Roadrunners will face the No. 7 Charlotte 49ers in the opening round of the American Baseball Championship on Tuesday at 3 p.m. in Clearwater, Fla.

The postseason tournament for teams from the American Athletic Conference will run from Tuesday through Sunday, May 26, at the BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater.

It’s a double-elimination format through the semifinals, with a winner-take-all championship set for May 26. The winner earns the AAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Top-seeded East Carolina likely is the only team in the eight-team field that could reach the NCAAs without winning the AAC tournament. The Pirates have won 40 games and have been ranked in the Top 25 all year.

For the Roadrunners to be successful, they must stay away from an opening-day loss against Charlotte. A loss would send them into a losers’ bracket game on Wednesday.

If they can beat the 49ers, they get a day off before they play again on Thursday against either third-seeded Tulane or No. 6 Florida Atlantic.

Should the top two seeds make the finals, it would be a single-game rematch of UTSA’s opening-weekend series victory over East Carolina in San Antonio.

UTSA and Tulane are the only two AAC teams in the field to win a series against East Carolina this season.

The Roadrunners have been playing well over the past eight days. They won two of three at home from South Florida. They won 13-3 at home last Tuesday against Incarnate Word in non conference. Finally, they won two of three at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton.

They beat the Owls 14-1 (on the run rule, in 8 innings) on Thursday and 3-2 (in 10 innings) on Friday before giving up two late runs to fall in Saturday afternoon’s finale, 6-4.

American Baseball Championship

Tuesday, May 21
Game 1: No. 5 UAB vs. No. 4 Wichita State | 8 a.m. | ESPN+
Game 2: No. 8 Rice vs. No. 1 East Carolina | 47 minutes after Game 1 | ESPN+
Game 3: No. 7 Charlotte vs. No. 2 UTSA | 3 p.m. | ESPN+
Game 4: No. 6 Florida Atlantic vs. No. 3 Tulane | 47 minutes after Game 3 | ESPN+

Wednesday, May 22
Game 5: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | noon | ESPN+
Game 6: Loser of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | 47 minutes after Game 5 | ESPN+

Thursday, May 23
Game 7: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | noon| ESPN+
Game 8: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4 | 47 minutes after Game 7 | ESPN+

Friday, May 24
Game 9: Loser of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 5 | noon | ESPN+
Game 10: Loser of Game 8 vs. Winner of Game 6 | 47 minutes after Game 9 | ESPN+

Saturday, May 25
Game 11: Winner of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 9 | 8 a.m. | ESPN+
Game 12: Winner of Game 8 vs. Winner of Game 10 | 47 minutes after Game 11 | ESPN+
Game 13: Loser of Game 11 vs. Winner of Game 11 | TBD (if necessary) | ESPN+
Game 14: Loser of Game 12 vs. Winner of Game 12 | TBD (if necessary) | ESPN+

Sunday, May 26
Game 15: Semifinal Winners | 11 a.m. | ESPNEWS

Teams at a glance

1) East Carolina – The Pirates (19-8, 40-13) entered the final weekend on a five-game losing streak before winning three in a row at home against the Rice Owls to nail down their fifth straight AAC regular-season title.

2) UTSA – The Roadrunners (17-10, 32-22) won consecutive weekend series against South Florida at home and against FAU on the road to give them seven series wins out of nine in their inaugural AAC campaign.

3) Tulane – The Green Wave (15-12, 31-24) will enter the tournament as one of the hottest teams, having won five of their last six games, including three straight at home from May 10-12 against East Carolina.

4) Wichita State – The Shockers (15-12, 29-27) were slumping badly coming into San Antonio in May. At Roadrunner Field, they started a string of three straight AAC series wins against UTSA, Charlotte and Memphis, respectively. They took two of three games at UTSA en route to a 7-2 finish.

5) UAB – The Blazers (13-14, 26-27) won two of three against South Florida in Tampa over the weekend, so they will have an easy commute to the tournament ballpark in nearby Clearwater. UAB can be dangerous. The Blazers won Friday night games against both UTSA and Tulane.

6) Florida Atlantic – The Owls (12-15, 26-27) seemed a bit anemic offensively against the Roadrunners on Thursday and Friday but came alive late in the final game on Saturday to win the series finale.

7) Charlotte – The 49ers (12-15, 23-32) are in a funk. They’ve lost seven of their last eight, including two of three at home this weekend against the Tulane Green Wave. Coach Rob Woodard can be a difference-maker in the postseason. Even though this team is down, his 49ers squads have made NCAA tournaments in two of the past three seasons.

8) Rice – The Owls (11-16, 22-34) will open the tournament against East Carolina. Not a great draw for Coach Jose Cruz’s team given that it was swept by the Pirates over the weekend in Greenville, N.C.

Is destiny calling for UTSA? Jenkins says, ‘It’s our year’

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

UTSA forward Jordyn Jenkins understands as well as anyone that hard work sets the table for any type of success that a basketball team might attain.

Jordyn Jenkins. UTSA beat Florida Atlantic 77-61 in Conference USA women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA forward Jordyn Jenkins has a good feeling about her team’s chances in the AAC tournament. – File photo by Joe Alexander

Same goes for individual success.

For instance, she didn’t just roll out of bed one day and become the 2023 Conference USA Player of the Year.

She didn’t just snap her fingers after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury on her right knee last April and say that, hey, she would be fine physically as her teammates prepared in summer conditioning to transition into the American Athletic Conference.

It took hours and hours in rehabilitation last summer before Jenkins could even get back on the court to practice her shot.

And then there was the strengthening and conditioning, all of which kept her out of games this season until late February.

No, Jenkins is wise to the way that the game works as the fourth-seeded Roadrunners prepare to play the South Florida Bulls today in the AAC quarterfinals.

Then again, she also has a thought or two about intangibles.

Destiny, for instance.

Is it destiny that the Roadrunners might be in line to win some games and perhaps an AAC title this week?

How else to explain events of last week, the second to last day of the regular season for the Roadrunners.

Jammed in a six-way tie for fourth place, UTSA needed a victory at home against the Rice Owls and a lot of help to pull down the No. 4 seed and a double-bye into the tournament.

How much help? Let’s just say that they needed a number of outcomes in games played around the conference to have a shot.

But, just as the Roadrunners built a double-digit lead on the Owls in the second half, the basketball gods started to shine on them.

First, the Charlotte 49ers lost. Then, the UAB Blazers also lost. With officials scrambling to sort out the final equation, the Memphis Tigers were trailing late in a game Denton to the North Texas Mean.

Then it happened. As UTSA players stood at midcourt after defeating Rice, 60-52, they learned that Memphis also had lost at North Texas. And that, from all indications, that they had secured the No. 4 seed.

Even as fans oblivious to the big picture cheered, the sounds of UTSA players shouting about their good fortune could be heard over all the other noise.

A few days later, I asked Jenkins sort of a convoluted question. I asked her about so many dominoes having to fall for them to get the fourth seed and the double-bye, is it possible that something special is in the cards for UTSA this year?

“Honestly, yeah,” Jenkins said. “After we beat Rice and coach told us we might end up being the fourth seed, it was kind of like, it was meant to happen.

“Even though we had a lot of ups and downs this year, I’ve always felt like this was our year. Even when I was out and even now, I feel like it’s ours to win. And, like, we can do it. Getting that fourth place makes me feel like it’s going to happen.”

She said her own road back to playing in games has been a journey. Initially, it was a shock to learn about the injury’s severity.

“I’m just grateful for our staff and everyone who has been helping me, my teammates. Yea, it’s been a lot of long days in rehab and working out,” she said. “But I wanted to be here and I wanted to play, and I love this team. Yeah, it feels good to play with them, finally.”

Anyone who has been around the Roadrunners knows how much Jenkins loves to play in games. So, when the season started and she couldn’t play, she said she had to rely heavily on those around her.

“There were a lot of days of me being around here, long days, just being surrounded by my team,” she said. “My athletic trainer (Tam Nguyen) and my coaches. They put up with me a lot, even though I may sometimes have a bad attitude.

“But they put up with me and they want what’s best for me. I’ve seen a lot of support towards me. And I recognize that people care about me. I want to make people proud. I want to do them proud. It just feels good to try to return the favor, I guess, and just do everything I can for the sport.”

Regardless, when the medical staff cleared her to play, she had a decision to make. Did she want to play only part of a season? Or, would it be best to save the eligibility and try next season?

“It was mainly about me and how I felt,” she said. “I didn’t want to take any chances or any risks. I did what my body felt like was right to do. I came back on limited minutes and everyone was very careful, just (to) make sure my safety was priority. You know, things have been working out.

“And, I’ve always wanted to play. I feel like if I’m able to play, why not?”

Jenkins smiled when she was reminded that, before the season, during her rehabilitation, that she predicted she would play.

“You know, I wanted to, and basketball is my life,” she said. “I want to win and I want to be here for this team, and I think I’m doing just that.”

Jenkins was a dominant force last year, averaging 20.6 points and shooting close to 50 percent from the field. Last year, it wasn’t unusual to see her out-running guards down the floor, catching long passes and shooting uncontested layups.

This year, it’s been a little different, as she has come off the bench averaging only 20 minutes a game. In that reduced time, she’s still been effective, averaging a team-best 14.5 points and also 7.5 rebounds.

UTSA coach Karen Aston said Jenkins is “in great shape” and praised the training staff for its work during rehabilitation.

“They did a great job in getting her in physical condition (to play),” the coach said. “It’s just game mode, getting used to how teams, you know, one team will play her one way. One will play her that way. If you’ve been away from the game that long, it’s something mentally that you have to get used to.”

Asked about the importance of Jenkins staying engaged with team activities during her comeback, from a team standpoint, Aston said it was more important for Jenkins to do that for herself.

“Injured players have a difficult time feeling engaged,” she said. “I think for her, she would tell you, she had a lot of dark times. Injuries are tough, especially if you came off the year she had last year … (but) staying engaged, for her, was important.”

Even though roles for other individuals on the team changed somewhat following her return, Aston said players have adjusted.

“Our team has an understanding that Jordyn has a real passion for the game,” Aston said. “She loves playing basketball. She loves the competition. The camaraderie. So it’s hard not to welcome back someone who loves the game as much as she does.”

With Jenkins, it’s clear that she understands how the game works. How playing the game requires certain sacrifices. How winning requires chemistry and camaraderie. In that regard, it’s also fun to learn that in spite of all the painstaking realities of preparation for a championship run, that she also believes in things like destiny.

Just as we ended our conversation the other day, I had to ask her about it again. She responded with a smiled and a compelling notion. “It’s our year. It’s our year.”

South Florida men rally past UTSA

Carlton Linguard Jr. South Florida beat UTSA 66-61 in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Carlton Linguard Jr. had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds against South Florida. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Joe Alexander

(Editor’s note: Jerry Briggs was not able to be at tonight’s game.)

South Florida outscored UTSA 12-2 over the final 3:05 of the game to avoid an upset and the Bulls won 66-61 in men’s basketball at the Convocation Center.

The victory keeps South Florida at the top of the American Athletic Conference at 13-1 and 20-5 overall. UTSA fell to 2-12 in conference and 8-19 on the season.

UTSA led 59-54 after Christian Tucker made two free throws with 4:00 left in the game. The Roadrunners’ only points the rest of the way came on a Carlton Linguard Jr. dunk with two seconds left.

South Florida scored eight of their final 12 points on free throws as UTSA was forced to foul late.

Christian Tucker. South Florida beat UTSA 66-61 in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Christian Tucker scored a team-high 15 points. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Tucker led UTSA with 15 points and six assists. Linguard had 10 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks and Chandler Cuthrell had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Selton Miguel led South Florida with 17 points off the bench and Chris Youngblood had 15 points. The Bulls turned 19 UTSA turnovers into 19 points.

The loss was the seventh in a row for UTSA. The Roadrunners play their next game on the road Saturday against North Texas before returning to the Convocation Center on Feb. 28 to play Tulsa.

Chandler Cuthrell. South Florida beat UTSA 66-61 in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Chandler Cuthrell had 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Jenkins scores a season-high 29 as the UTSA women beat first-place North Texas, 66-63

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Fast-improving forward Jordyn Jenkins scored 12 of her season-high 29 points in the fourth quarter Sunday as the UTSA Roadrunners defeated another first-place team in the American Athletic Conference women’s basketball race, downing the North Texas Mean Green 66-63 at the Super Pit in Denton.

Jordyn Jenkins. UTSA beat Florida Atlantic 77-61 in Conference USA women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA forward Jordyn Jenkins scored a season-high 29 points Sunday afternoon in her third game back after sitting out the first 21 in rehabilitation for a knee injury. – Photo by Joe Alexander

With the victory, UTSA (13-11, 7-6) split a two-game AAC road trip and swept a two-game, regular-season series against North Texas (19-6, 9-4).

UTSA, aided by 16 points from freshman guard Aysia Proctor and nine points and nine rebounds from junior center Elyssa Coleman, also improved to 4-0 on the season against first-place AAC teams. The Roadrunners are 3-0 at home and 1-0 on the road against squads leading in the standings.

The Mean Green were in first place both times they played the Roadrunners and were turned away twice in close games. On Jan. 31, UTSA won in its on-campus arena, downing North Texas 75-67 in overtime.

In that game, Jenkins had not yet been cleared to play. She sat out the first 21 games this season while rehabilitating a knee injury. Since her return, the Roadrunners have won two out of three, claiming the two victories against AAC contenders Alabama-Birmingham and now North Texas.

UTSA’s road win against its in-state rivals, at the Super Pit in Denton, may have been the team’s best of the season. The Mean Green had been 10-0 at home this season. They were also 5-0 in AAC games at home — until Jenkins, a high-scoring forward from Kent, Wash., showed up to play.

Jenkins hit 11 of 17 shots from the floor, including three of five from three-point distance. In the fourth period, she was at her best, hitting four for four from the floor and knocking down her only three-point attempt.

On one of her shots, she had the ball on the right side of the floor, about eight feet from the basket, when she turned and flipped in a left-handed scoop shot. The bucket gave UTSA a three-point lead with 40 seconds remaining.

Coming out of a time out, North Texas guard Dyani Robinson hit a shot to cut the UTSA lead to one. On the other end, Jenkins was fouled and sank two free throws with 27 seconds left for the game’s final points.

North Texas called time with 20 seconds left needing a three to tie. The Mean Green failed to get off a clean shot, as Shamaryah Duncan’s three from the right wing was deflected by UTSA’s Kyra White, clinching the victory for the Roadrunners.

Six-foot forward DesiRay Kernal paced North Texas with 16 points and 12 rebounds. As UNT’s top offensive threat, she wasn’t as effective as she has been, making five of 12 from the field. Another Mean Green threat, center Tommisha Lampkin, was hindered by foul trouble and played only 20 minutes. She finished with six points and six rebounds.

In the second and third quarters, the Mean Green started to play better team basketball. They hit six of 11 from the field and eight of nine at the free throw line in the second, outscoring the Roadrunners 21-16 in the period and taking a 34-30 lead at the intermission. After halftime, they came out energized and once again got the better of the visitors, opening the advantage to 52-46.

North Texas guard Jaauckland Moore made a three with three seconds remaining in the third, lifting the Eagles into their six-point lead.


UTSA 13-11, 7-6
North Texas 19-6, 9-4

Coming up

Temple at UTSA, Thursday, 6:30 p.m.


After missing so much of the season, Jenkins is fast improving her conditioning. In her first two games, she played 11 minutes against UAB and 14 in a Wednesday-night loss at Tulsa. Against both UAB and Tulsa, she scored 11 in each game. Combined in those two games, she hit seven of 25 shots from the field. Jenkins followed with 24 minutes against North Texas and finished 11 of 17 from the floor. Her 29-point performance left the Mean Green faithful with long memories dismayed, as she scored 40 in the Super Pit last February in UTSA’s 68-67 overtime victory. The two games were played nearly one calendar year apart — from Feb. 20, 2023 to Feb. 18, 2024.

Feeling disrespected: UTSA men open AAC play at home tonight

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The UTSA Roadrunners will play their inaugural American Athletic Conference game in men’s basketball tonight, intent on re-casting a narrative that has bothered them for months.

Jordan Ivy-Curry had 22 points and eight assists off the bench for UTSA in a 103-89 men's basketball victory over Prairie View A&M on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordan Ivy-Curry has averaged 11.7 points, 5.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds in three games since he was activated. – File photo by Joe Alexander

Projected for a last-place finish in the official AAC preseason poll, the Roadrunners (6-7) will host the UAB Blazers (8-5). Tipoff is at 8 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

“It’s a motivation thing,” UTSA guard Jordan Ivy-Curry said. “We’ve been picked last. That’s not our goal. I feel like they’re disrespecting us. I feel like we’re going to build off that. We’re going to motivate. We’re not going to get down. We’re going to keep moving forward.”

Recently-activated, Ivy-Curry has supplied a spark to the Roadrunners. The junior from La Marque, in his third game of the season, scored 22 points and passed for eight assists last Thursday night in a 103-89 victory over the Prairie View A&M Panthers.

All told, UTSA has lost two games and has won one since Ivy-Curry returned. But it easily could have been 2-1 for the Roadrunners considering they led for most of a game on the road at Oregon State before getting beat by one point in the final seconds.

After dropping the 66-65 decision to OSU, UTSA returned home and played perhaps its poorest game of the year in a 63-53 loss to Army.

Ivy-Curry struggled against the Black Knights, hitting only one for seven from the field and passing for one assist. But against Prairie View, the 6-foot-3 guard was on his game, making making seven of 11 shots while also creating for his teammates.

In three games, Ivy-Curry has averaged 11.7 points, 5.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds.

With the player nicknamed “Juice” in the lineup, the Roadrunners are clearly better equipped to match up with teams in the AAC. And yet, it’s possible that they also might be going through an adjustment phase in how they mesh his talents into their overall scheme.

UTSA coach Steve Henson said, overall, Ivy-Curry has handled the transition well.

“You have to give him a lot of credit,” Henson said. “He handled the first game very well. At Oregon State, (he) jumped in there and passed the ball, distributed the ball. He was not hunting shots. He’s a very good scorer. One of his biggest strengths is his ability to score the basketball.

“(But) I think he understood other guys had been playing (and we were) fairly deep into the season. I think He understood that he needed to make a good impact by doing other things in that ball game. The next two games, he really distributed the ball again. You know, his assist numbers are terrific now.”

Ivy-Curry has been practicing with the team since the summer when he transferred in from the University of the Pacific.

After starting his career at UTSA, moving to Pacific and then moving back, he was one of dozens of players nationwide who was deemed a “multi-time” transfer. He knew when he arrived in the summer that he would likely have to sit out the year as part of the NCAA transfer rule, which has been set aside in the wake of a court case challenging its legality.

Ineligible one day, eligible the next. Ivy-Curry and the Roadrunners have done their best to roll with it.

“I think he’s handled it very well,” Henson said. “You knew that (his presence) would impact someone or maybe more than one guy in terms of minutes or role. But that’s just the nature of it. I think he’s handled it pretty well. I think his teammates have handled it pretty well. I don’t think right now, there’s not much adjusting left.”

Led by fourth-year coach Andy Kennedy, the Blazers are coming off seasons of 22, 27 and 29 victories, respectively. The Blazers also finished in the top tier of Conference USA each season, winning 13, 14 and 14 games. Last season, they went 29-10 and 14-6 and then rolled to the finals of the NIT, where they lost to North Texas in the finals.

The Blazers have won five of six meetings, including four straight, against the Roadrunners during Kennedy’s tenure. Though this year’s squad will not have high-scoring Jordan “Jelly” Walker, who was in the Dallas Mavericks’ camp last fall before getting waived, UAB will come in with a talented squad featuring 6-2 point guard Eric Gaines.

While UAB is expected to finish in the upper division in the AAC, UTSA isn’t getting nearly as much attention at the moment. Tonight, however, the Roadrunners will get their first chance to start making some noise. To drive the narrative in another direction.

“We all have that chip on our shoulders,” forward Trey Edmonds said. “But, with us, we constantly have to be reminded of that. Like, OK. Remember what we’re here for. Remember that. This is the reality of the situation. The reality is, we’re not supposed to be doing anything.

“A lot of people think we’re not even supposed to be in this conference.”


UAB 8-5
UTSA 6-7

Coming up

UAB at UTSA, tonight at 8
UTSA at Rice, Saturday, 2 p.m.

AAC Standings

Memphis 11-2
Florida Atlantic 10-3
Tulane 9-3
Tulsa 9-3
SMU 9-4
South Florida 7-4
UAB 8-5
Wichita State 8-5
North Texas 7-5
East Carolina 7-6
Temple 7-6
Charlotte 6-6
Rice 6-7
UTSA 6-7

Tonight’s schedule

East Carolina at FAU, 6 p.m.; UAB at UTSA, 8 p.m.; Charlotte at SMU, 8 p.m.

NET ratings/AAC teams
Through games of Jan. 1, 2024

18. Florida Atlantic
40. Memphis
47. SMU
94. North Texas
107. Wichita State
112. Charlotte
126. Tulane
160. South Florida
189. Tulsa
201. Temple
215. UAB
225. Rice
239. East Carolina
289. UTSA

UTSA’s Trey Edmonds makes the most of a new opportunity

Trey Edmonds. UTSA beat Lamar 86-83 in non-conference men's basketball on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Trey Edmonds, averaging 8.2 points and 6.3 rebounds, has emerged as one of the most pleasant surprises among newcomers to the team this season. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

UTSA post Trey Edmonds admitted Sunday afternoon that he didn’t have any major plans for New Year’s Eve. “Just going back to the crib,” he said. Which is just about the norm in his life, anyway.

With most of his time committed either to basketball practice or school, not much of any day remains for other interests.

In less than a year since he moved to San Antonio to join the Roadrunners, the native Coloradan acknowledged that, yes, he spends time with some friends that he’s made outside the team.

He said he likes to watch movies, and he also is a music fan, particularly a rapper by the name of “Babyface Ray.”

“The team makes fun of me for listening to him, because they really don’t like him,” Edmonds said with a laugh. “That’s my favorite, but I also listen to R&B sometimes. I got some country sometimes. I got hip hop, rap. I mix it up.”

Where Edmonds really mixes it up is on the basketball court, particularly in the painted area, which has pleased his teammates and coaches immensely.

In fact, the 6-foot-10, 255-pounder has emerged as one of the most pleasant surprises out of all the team’s incoming transfers leading into Tuesday night’s American Athletic Conference opener against the UAB Blazers.

“He’s better than we anticipated, for sure,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said.

For the last two years, he was a reserve and didn’t play much for Dixie State University, which has since been renamed as Utah Tech. This season, Edmonds has started all 13 games for the Roadrunners.

Given the opportunity, he has made the most of it, averaging college career bests of 8.2 points and 6.3 rebounds in 21.1 minutes.

“We were extremely happy with what he has been able to do since he got here,” Henson said. “He works his tail off. He’s very conscientious. He’s coachable. Pretty high IQ player. Physically, just look at the guy, he’s just strong, and he has pretty good hands.”

Edmonds, a native of Aurora in the Denver area, said he enjoys living in San Antonio and attending UTSA.

“It’s been great,” he said. “When I was in the (transfer) portal, me and my dad came and visited here and we loved it. We came on one of the rainier days so it kind of reminded us of back home. The coaching staff made us feel great.”

UTSA announced Edmonds’ arrival in May, and he started school in June. Immediately, the UTSA front line looked better, with Edmonds joining 7-footer Carlton Linguard, Jr., and 6-10, 240-pound Massal Diouf.

“When we got here, we got straight to work,” he said. “Coach Henson introduced the vision he had for me on the team, what he wanted me to buy into, and I made the decision to come here.

“I think we have a special group. Everybody’s focused. Everybody’s locked in. Everybody takes care of their stuff off the court. Like in school, we handled our business this (past) semester. So, I’m proud of ’em.”

Making the decision to leave Utah Tech, located in St. George, Utah, was an easy one considering the numbers in the statistical record. As a freshman he played in 20 games and averaged about seven minutes. Last year, he played in 33 games, averaging nine minutes.

“Frustrating, for sure,” Edmonds said.

This season, he’s already played almost as many total minutes (275) in 13 games for the Roadrunners as he did all of last season for the Trailblazers (301). As a result, Edmonds is making progress.

He’s performing at a much higher level than his first two years in college, shooting a UTSA team-leading 58.6 percent from the field, including eight of 11 over his last two games.

“It’s beautiful to see that I’m growing so much here,” Edmonds said. “The coaches have a lot of trust in me. My teammates have trust in me. I love this team. We gel together on and off the court, amazingly. I couldn’t have made a better decision to come here.”

Edmonds said he sensed it would be a good situation for him when he made his campus visit.

“They only had a couple of people here at the time,” he said. “But seeing the stuff they had … With Carlton and Massal, the ball-handling they did every day, working on shooting jumpers every day, I thought, ‘This is a place where I could really improve my game.’ That was a grabbing point for me and my dad and my mother.”

Fred Edmonds, the UTSA post’s father, was a four-year standout for the University of Colorado Buffaloes in the 1990s. He played with Chauncey Billups on the 1996-97 Colorado team that reached the NCAA round of 32.

“Ever since we started this basketball dream, my dad has always put the idea in my head not to be boxed in,” Trey Edmonds said. “Like, ‘You can only do this, or you can only do that.’ He wants me to be able to expand my game in different areas. I feel like being here, that’s going to help me do that.

During the fall semester, Edmonds would work out with a group of players that would arrive with teammates to get in some shooting early in the morning. Combined with the official workout later in the day, he’s started to blossom.

“We’re working on a lot of areas of my game that I feel are really going to help me and my teammates be better this year, get that losing record to a winning one, and start to make something happen in the AAC.”

UAB (8-5) will come in Tuesday loaded with talent, including two 6-9 posts with one of them weighing 265 pounds and another 230. UTSA (6-7) lost three in a row recently but played well in its last outing, rolling past Prairie View A&M, 103-89.

“I feel like every day is an opportunity to grow, and I feel like, that’s what we’re doing,” he said. “We’re coming in here, motivated to practice and feeling like every day (there) needs to be an improvement. And we know that we’re picked last in the AAC. We know that we’re not expected to do much.”

The latest numbers in the NCAA’s NET rankings support that very narrative. The Roadrunners are rated 290th out of 362 teams in Division I. They are rated last among the 14 teams in the AAC.

“We all have that chip on our shoulders,” Edmonds said. “But, with us, we constantly have to be reminded of that. Like, OK. Remember what we’re here for. Remember that. This is the reality of the situation.

“The reality is, we’re not supposed to be doing anything. A lot of people think we’re not even supposed to be in this conference.”

For UTSA to prove the skeptics wrong, a lot will need to go well. Leaders such as Linguard and Christian Tucker and Jordan Ivy-Curry must step up their games. Edmonds and the other newcomers to high-level D-I competition will need to continue to progress.

“I’m excited for us,” he said. “The AAC is a great conference (with) great teams. But I think the sky’s the limit for us. I think the only limits are the ones we put on ourselves … I actually believe we can make something happen in this conference.”

UTSA students vote to reject a proposed athletics fee increase

By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay

UTSA students have rejected a proposed increase in the athletics fee, the university announced Friday morning. A little more than 70 percent of nearly 5,900 students voting over the past few days elected to turn down an increase that would have boosted the fee from $20 to $27.50 per semester hour.

The final results are:

For – 1,730 or 29.33%.
Against – 4,168 or 70.66%

“I want to thank all the students who voted in this referendum. Your voice is important, and we appreciate your involvement,” said Lisa Campos, UTSA’s vice president for intercollegiate athletics. “I don’t believe this was a vote against athletics. In fact, we see more and more students coming to our games and supporting our teams.

“For many, this was a financial issue. Cost of attendance is top of mind for many of our students and we respect that. Our desire is to make the value of a UTSA degree even greater, and we will continue to do our part to support the success of our students and graduates.”

“As we head into Homecoming weekend, I’m so grateful for all the support that UTSA Athletics has received from across the university including the Spirit of San Antonio, UTSA Cheer and ROTC. We’ve all been together since day one,” Campos said.

The athletics fee has been a foundation of the athletic department’s funding ever since the university elected to start the football program. In 2007, students voted to increase the fee from $10 per semester hour to $20 per semester hour, with the fee capped at 12 hours per semester.

The additional revenue allowed UTSA to kick off its football program in the 2011 season.

Students have now turned down efforts to boost the fee twice in the last five years. Initially, one proposal failed in 2018. The latest effort was defeated this week. The proposal called for the addition of $1.50 per credit hour, each year for five years, through the 2027-28 school year.

Use of student fees to fund athletics has been common for universities adding football programs over the past two decades. As for how UTSA’s fee compares to others, the university says on its “Everyone Wins” website that it currently has the lowest in-state tuition and fees of any Texas school in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

UTSA’s athletics fee, according to the website, “is currently in the middle when compared to schools with emerging football programs, which are those programs that were started in the last 20 years. Those programs generally do not have the same level of ticket sales, donor contributions, conference media rights payments and sponsorship revenue like more established programs.”