Night moves: Chandler Cuthrell records his second straight double-double for UTSA

Chandler Cuthrell. UTSA beat McMurry 125-84 in a men's basketball exhibition game on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA forward Chandler Cuthrell contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench Monday night as the UTSA Roadrunners downed the McMurry War Hawks, 125-84, at the Convocation Center.- Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

UTSA basketball players like to gather in the early-morning hours for extra work in the gym. Just about the time the sun rises, the Roadrunners hit the floor for individual drills. Forward Chandler Cuthrell confirmed that coaches sometimes refer to this group as “The Breakfast Club.”

“Certain days of the week, I’ll be here for Breakfast Club,” Cuthrell said. “(But) I’m more like a night person. I like to be here, like, at 1-2 in the morning. It’s weird timing with me. But I like to be here (late), when I’m here by myself. Nobody else in the gym. I can just work on whatever I need to work on. Get me some shots in. Free throws. Stuff like that.”

For Cuthrell, the routine seems to be working out just fine. After two exhibition games, he’s parlayed his nocturnal spirit and his love for the practice grind into two solid performances, both of them double-doubles off the bench.

Last week, the transfer from Odessa College had 10 points and 11 rebounds against Trinity. On Monday night, in UTSA’s preseason finale, the 6-foot-8 forward from Baltimore hiked his production, going for 13 points and 11 boards as the Roadrunners routed the outmanned and under-sized McMurry University War Hawks, 125-84.

“I feel like I played well,” he said of his two performances. “I got a lot of room for improvement. I just got to keep working on being ready. Always staying ready when my number and my name is called, so I can help my team win.

“I want to continue to rebound, which is my main focus. Like, I don’t think about how many points I’m going to get. I think about … rebounds. I try to help my team get more offensive possessions.” So far, so good. Cuthrell (pronounced Cue-trul) grabbed five rebounds off the offensive glass in each exhibition.

Coming up

Regular-season opener, Western Illinois at UTSA, Monday, 7 p.m.


UTSA completed its two-game exhibition schedule against non-scholarship, Division III competition with a 100-70 victory over Trinity and a 125-84 win over McMurry. The Roadrunners shot 55.1 percent from the field against the War Hawks, including 65.1 percent in the first half when they raced to a 69-38 lead. In shooting the ball so well, they did it with a flair, passing for assists on 27 of the team’s 49 field goals. Playing off the bench, Christian Tucker hit seven of nine from the field and led eight players in double figures with 16 points. Tucker wasn’t the only spark among the reserves. Nazar Mahmoud scored 15, Cuthrell had 13, Isaiah Wyatt 12 and Massal Diouf 10.

Adante' Holiman. UTSA beat McMurry 125-84 in a men's basketball exhibition game on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA sophomore guard Adante’ Holiman bounced back from 1-for-7, three-point shooting against Trinity to hit 3 of 8 from long distance against McMurry. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Among the starters, Adante’ Holiman and Dre Fuller Jr. scored 14, with Fuller adding 10 rebounds. Trey Edmonds had 12 points and eight boards. Starting the game were Carlton Linguard Jr. (12 rebounds), Edmonds, Fuller, Holiman and P.J. Carter. Holiman showed off his distance shooting touch late in the first half, scoring six points in 16 seconds. First, he knocked down a long one at the top with 3:06 on the clock and then another at 2:50. Cuthrell threw down a two-handed dunk just before intermission, rebounding a miss by Holiman and then forcefully snapping the rim and shaking the backboard.


“A lot of positives we can take from that one and continue to build on,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “I keep thinking about the game, as it goes on, just so many good unselfish plays were made by so many different people. You know, we really kicked it out of the post extremely well.

Continued Henson, ” … (We had) willing passers. Assist numbers were high. I thought we pushed it in transition better … Defensively, had some trouble guarding the dribble. That’s an important part of the game. We got to make some progress in that regard.”

Christian Tucker. UTSA beat McMurry 125-84 in a men's basketball exhibition game on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Christian Tucker led the Roadrunners with 16 points on seven of nine shooting against the War Hawks. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“I thought we played pretty well the first 10 minutes or so,” McMurry coach Zach Pickelman said. “We obviously want to get out and run and try to score a lot of points. To do that against a Division I program was good to see. Obviously, UTSA is a lot bigger than us, and I think that wore on us as the game went on. We struggled to keep them in front of us. We struggled to keep them off the boards. But I think it was a good experience for our guys as we move forward into our season.”

UTSA guard Adante’ Holiman, on the Roadrunners’ unselfish nature at this juncture of the preseason training camp: “I think we as a team really value getting each other the basketball in the right spots. Just, we believe in each other.” Holiman received birthday greetings (for his 20th) earlier in the day. Apparently, there wouldn’t be much of a celebration. He said he had to go and complete an exam as soon as he left the arena.


McMurry had two players from San Antonio, including Josh Alcocer, a 6-8 junior from O’Connor High School, and Tristan Holden, a 6-7 freshman from Taft. Alcocer started and finished with five points and one rebound in 14 minutes. Holden had eight points and four rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench.

Tristan Holden from Taft High School in San Antonio is a freshman forward on the McMurry men's basketball team. - Photo by Joe Alexander

McMurry freshman Tristan Holden came off the bench for eight points and four rebounds. Holden is from San Antonio’s Taft High School. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA wins 100-70 with big men prominent in exhibition victory over Trinity

Carlton Linguard Jr. UTSA men's basketball beat Trinity 100-70 in an exhibition game on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Center Carlton Linguard Jr. produced 20 points and nine rebounds in 23 minutes in an exhibition game against Division III Trinity University. In his debut with the Roadrunners, the 7-footer had a sizable height advantage and used it to his benefit, rising up to knock down four of seven shots from three-point territory. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special to The JB Replay

Center Carlton Linguard Jr. once suited up at Kansas State University for a basketball team that granted him only a minor role in the Power 5 program. It seems like a long time ago now, but in the 2021-22 season, he played 15 games and averaged only 8.1 minutes for the Wildcats.

On the nights when he did play, the 7-foot center from San Antonio’s Stevens High School played in short spurts and rarely took more than two or three shots before the final buzzer. Mostly, Linguard was an afterthought, as his 19 field goal attempts for the season would indicate.

Dre Fuller Jr. UTSA men's basketball beat Trinity 100-70 in an exhibition game on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Dre Fuller Jr. also made his UTSA debut, enjoying a productive night on a number of levels, with 12 points, eight rebounds and a team-high tying five assists. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Given the background, it would be easy to think that Linguard’s 20-point, nine-rebound debut for the UTSA Roadrunners on Tuesday night against Trinity University would have meant something special to him — and maybe it did.

But if that was the case, Linguard downplayed it after the Roadrunners rolled to a 100-70 exhibition victory over the Division III Tigers at the Convocation Center.

Afterward, Linguard did a round of interviews with the media and fielded more than a few questions. Once, he was asked whether it was important for him personally to score 20 in his first game back.

“Not really,” he said in response. “I told myself I had to come out here and dominate. That was kind of me and the other bigs’ goal tonight, and I feel like for the most part we did that.

“We still got stuff to work on. But, like, my mindset in my first game back was just to get my feet wet, get comfortable and just play my game.”

The Roadrunners, for the most part, handled business to the satisfaction of just about everyone in the arena. As anyone in the building could attest, UTSA thoroughly dominated early and late in running away with a 100-point game and a 30-point margin of victory for the first time in a couple of seasons.

In three-point shooting, UTSA showed some real firepower, with the team making 15 of them from distance. Moreover, UTSA big men turned out to be some of the better long-distance shooters, with the 7-foot, 220-pound Linguard making four of them and 6-8, 220-pound Chandler Cuthrell hitting two.

Rebounding was another area of dominance for the Roadrunners, who won the battle of the boards decisively, 60-34. In addition, team play and ball movement was generally good, with 22 assists leading to 41 field goals.

So, the game went pretty much to the liking of the home team except for some extended dry spells for the UTSA offense on shots from the field and in free-throw shooting. Oddly, the smaller Tigers hit 16 of 24 at the line to only three of six for UTSA.

“I felt OK (with the way we played),” Linguard said. “I felt we could have defended a little better and got to certain spots quicker. But, overall, I felt we played an OK game. That’s why we’re playing this game — to grow and get better. I think it’s a good little starting point for us.”

The Roadrunners did play well defensively, overall. They held Trinity scoreless for the first 3:08 of the ball game in jumping out to a 10-0 lead. And even though they allowed the Tigers to get on a streak early in the second half, they also closed the game by holding their opponent without a point for the final 3:37.

“I liked the way we started the game, defensively,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “When you don’t play a game for months, the excitement is generally going to be on the offensive end. We had parents drove in. (They) flew in. Guys want to play. They’re itching to play.

“So we kept challenging them. ‘Envision yourself playing. Envision yourself getting a stop. Getting a rebound.’ Not making shots. Defensively we opened with five straight stops. Set a really good tone there.. Very agressive. Very locked in. That probably excited me the most.”

Coming up

McMurry University at UTSA, exhibition, 7 p.m. Monday.


UTSA — Linguard, in playing 23 minutes, hit eight of 12 shots from the field. He also knocked down four of seven from beyond the arc. Six-foot, 10-inch Trey Edmonds, who weighs 255 pounds, also imposed his will with 14 points and seven boards. Guard PJ Carter scored 13 on three of five shooting from three-point range, while Chandler Cuthrell, a 6-8 power forward, came off the bench to record a double double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Trinity — Guard Tanner Brown led the Tigers with 15 points. Guard Dean Balo had 13 points and seven rebounds on a night when he worked inside to draw seven fouls and then converting nine of 10 from the free-throw line. Guard/forward Abdullah Roberts had 12 points and guard guard Jacob Harvey 10.


UTSA guard/forward Dre Fuller Jr. showed off a flashy all-around game with 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists. The former three-year player at Central Florida started the game in a lineup of two bigs — Linguard and Edmonds — plus Fuller, who checked in at 6-6 and 220. The guards were Christian Tucker and Adante’ Holiman, both with quick, with active hands.

Holiman sat out five days last week with Covid. It may have cost him a bit on the offensive end with 1 for 7 shooting from three. A few others who struggled in the game included power forward Massal Diouf and shooting guard Isaiah Wyatt. Diouf, who missed time this summer rehabilitating a knee injury, fouled out in 10 minutes. Wyatt, who has enjoyed good moments shooting the ball at practice, couldn’t get it going in the game. He missed all five of his three-point attempts.

A few other players played productive minutes off the bench, including junior college transfer Carter and freshman shooting guard Nazar Mahmoud. Mahmoud scored 11 points in 17 minutes in his first game after prepping last year at Spring Creek Academy in Plano. At 6-foot-5, he took advantage of his size with smaller defenders and knocked down four of seven from the field, including two of three from distance. Mahmoud was active on the boards with nine rebounds, four of them on the offensive end.


“I work on my craft a lot, so the nerves (weren’t) really too much for me. I really was just having fun out there with my guys.” — UTSA freshman Nazar Mahmoud.

Mahmoud also commented on Fuller’s passing ability, saying, “Dre is a spectacular talent. He’s going to be a big part of this team. Obviously he can score at three levels. One thing that doesn’t get talked about enough is his passing. He definitely sets up his teammates to get them involved, and also look for his shot when he needs to score, too.”

Carlton Linguard, on Trinity’s parade to the free throw line : “I feel like on defense, we got to stop fouling. We got to stay in front of our man. Little stuff like that. If we didn’t give ’em so many free throws, the game would have been a lot different.”

Linguard has been working through some aches and pains during preseason training, notably some stiffness in his back. “I’ve been doing a lot of rehab. I’m in rehab every day for an hour and a half. I’m trying to stay pro-active. Not reactive. (Trying to do) a lot of stretching, a lot of little exercises.”