UTSA wins for Germany, Czumbel on Senior Night, downing Charlotte, 78-73

Jacob Germany. UTSA beat Charlotte 78-73 in Conference USA men's basketball on Thursday, March 2, 2023, in the final game of the regular season at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jacob Germany scored 17 points, snared 10 rebounds and blocked two shots in a ‘Senior Night’ victory over the Charlotte 49ers. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

For the last four years, Jacob Germany’s parents from Oklahoma have attended each of their son’s home games at UTSA.

Germany, the Roadrunners’ 6-foot-11 center, has come to expect them at the arena about an hour before tipoff. Crazy enough, it didn’t work out that way for what was likely his last home game.

John Buggs III. UTSA beat Charlotte 78-73 in Conference USA men's basketball on Thursday, March 2, 2023, in the final game of the regular season at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

John Buggs III scored 10 of his 18 points in the second half as UTSA pulled away from Charlotte, leading by as many as 13. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Because of a flat tire on their vehicle, Justin and Stacy Germany were not in the building at the standard 60-minute mark. Not to worry.

They arrived just in time to participate in a “Senior Night” ceremony honoring their son and his good friend, Erik Czumbel. Later, they were awarded with a bonus when Jacob helped lead the Roadrunners to a 78-73 Conference USA victory over the Charlotte 49ers.

With the performance, UTSA won its second in a row. In addition, the Roadrunners improved their late-season record to 3-2 in the last five games going into next week’s Conference USA tournament.

“I’m going through a lot of emotions, to be honest,” Germany told reporters in his post-game interview. “I’m excited for the team to win. But I also…it didn’t really hit me until I was doing radio and looked over and saw my mom.”

On his parents’ late arrival, Germany just shrugged in sort of a “that’s life” type shrug.

“They almost didn’t even make it,” he said. “The only day out of the last four years.”

The game was close and competitive in the first half as Charlotte knocked down seven three-point shots, only to see UTSA hammer the ball inside, forging an 18-8 lead in paint points.

With UTSA leading by one coming out of intermission, the teams traded baskets for about five minutes before the Roadrunners hit the 49ers with a decisive 19-5 run. Germany capped the surge by knocking down a 12-foot jumper from the side with seven minutes left, boosting his team into a 66-53 advantage.

Japhet Medor. UTSA beat Charlotte 78-73 in Conference USA men's basketball on Thursday, March 2, 2023, in the final game of the regular season at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Japhet Medor led the Roadrunner with 22 points and five asists. He drew 11 fouls and hit 9 of 14 at the free-throw line. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Charlotte rallied behind guard Brice Williams and center Aly Khalifa to within one point with 2:40 remaining, but UTSA made just enough plays at the end to hold on to the victory, seizing a measure of momentum leading into the postseason.

As much momentum as a team with 21 losses can have, anyway.

“We’re starting to click a little bit,” Germany said. “We stayed practicing the right way. We stayed together. We didn’t veer off. We had a few days where I wouldn’t say we all got better. But we brought each other back…stayed together through thick and thin. You keep doing the right things, and eventually it’s going to pay off.”

Even with the loss, Charlotte (18-12, 9-10) clinched the fifth seed in the tournament and a first-round bye.

Meanwhile, UTSA (10-21, 4-16) finished last in the C-USA standings and thus will take the No. 11 seed into next week. The postseason event — UTSA’s last in the C-USA given its impending move next year to the American Athletic Conference — will be contested from March 8-11 in Frisco, with the winner claiming an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

NCAA Selection Sunday is March 12, when the 68-team will be unveiled.

The Roadrunners did what they needed to do against the 49ers, who play a slow and deliberate Princeton-style offense. They kept the 49ers off the offensive boards and hit a solid 49 percent of their shots from the field. In the second half, their defense was good, with UTSA limiting Charlotte to 43 percent from the field and, more importantly, to four of 13 from behind the arc.

Only a rash of missed free throws in the last five minutes by the Roadrunners kept it from being a double-digit victory.

Christian Tucker. UTSA beat Charlotte 78-73 in Conference USA men's basketball on Thursday, March 2, 2023, in the final game of the regular season at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Reserve guard Christian Tucker had five points, three assists and two steals in 20 minutes. Coach Steve Henson says Tucker “has been very good” over the last month of the season. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“It’s that time of year (when) teams want to get hot,” Germany said. “It’s toward the end of the year when everything starts to matter. It’s March. Literally all this month, it’s all about basketball. It’s a perfect time to get hot.”

Japhet Medor, John Buggs III and Germany were the three players at the start of the year who were expected to lead the team, and all delivered against the 49ers. Driving relentlessly to the rim, Medor finished with 22 points and five assists. Buggs hit four 3-pointers and had 18. Germany notched a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Combined, the three of them sank 19 of 32 from the field.

In addition, the bench played well, with point guard Christian Tucker producing five points, three assists and two steals in 19 minutes. Forward Lamin Sabally also contributed, throwing down a first-half dunk en route to three points and three rebounds.

A few weeks ago, at the tail end of an 11-game losing streak, players off the bench struggled. Now, the confidence as seen in the likes of Tucker and Sabally and Massal Diouf, a freshman, seems to be growing by the day.

“Losing has so many effects on a team,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “It chips away with your chemistry. It can chip away at your confidence. It can be very dificult for a team. But, yeah, I think there are quite a few guys playing with more confidence. Christian Tucker has been very good in the last month, at least. He gives us another guy that gives us some penetration. He sees the floor pretty well. He makes certain passes even better than Japhet does …. He’s giving us a little different element. It’s been great to have Lamin down the stretch step up and do some of the things we anticipated him doing, as well.

“Confidence certainly is a big part of it.”

Khalifa, a 6-11 forward for Charlotte, presented all sorts of problems for UTSA. He scored 27 points and made a game-high, five three-point buckets. Williams also had a big night with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Igor Milicic, Jr., a 6-10 transfer from Virginia, supplied 11 points and five rebounds off the bench.


UTSA 10-21, 4-16
Charlotte 18-12, 9-10

Coming up

UTSA at Conference USA tournament, March 8-11, at Frisco


Guard Erik Czumbel entered into Senior Night with some trepidation because he knew that his father and mother and twin brother, who live in Italy, couldn’t make it to the game.

Erik Czumbel watches a video greeting from his parents in Italy on the big screen. UTSA men's basketball honored its seniors Thursday, March 2, 2023, in the final home game of the regular season. The Roadrunners beat Charlotte 78-73 at the Convocation Center.

Erik Czumbel watches a video greeting from his parents in Italy on the big screen. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA surprised him with a taped message from the three of them that was played on the video board before the game. A wide smile crossed Czumbel’s face when he heard his father and mother offer congratulations on his four-year career with the Roadrunners.

Czumbel was scoreless on 0-for-2 shooting in 10 minutes, but he finished a plus six in the plus-minus metric that measures a player’s impact on point differential. In the last minute, Henson put him in the game and then took him out moments later so that he could hear the crowd cheer for him one last time.

It’s long been the expectation that Germany would not be back at UTSA next season, but he said in his post-game interview with reporters that some of his teammates have talked to him about the possibility of returning to the team for a fifth year.

“I’ve had some conversations about it but it’s kind of like what I said earlier in the year, I’m kind of just focused on ending the season the right way,” he said. “But if you ask me in a month or so, then I might have a different answer for you.”

Born in Romania and raised in Italy, UTSA’s Czumbel thanks his parents for their sacrifices

Erik Czumbel. UTSA beat Lamar 88-66 on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Senior guard Erik Czumbel has scored 438 points in 114 games over the past four years for the UTSA Roadrunners. UTSA will honor Czumbel and another fourth-year player, Jacob Germany, before tipoff tonight at the Convocation Center. The Charlotte 49ers will serve as the opponent in the Roadrunners’ final regular-season game and likely the last at home for Czumbel and Germany. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Erik Czumbel’s parents reside in Europe, and so they won’t be in the UTSA Convocation Center tonight.

Nevertheless, the sacrifices they made in their lives likely will come to mind in a major way for their son, as he prepares to play his last basketball game on the Roadrunners’ homecourt.

“I definitely want to pay ’em back one day,” UTSA’s fourth-year senior guard said in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

Originally from Romania, Gyorgy and Hajnalka Czumbel welcomed twin sons — Erik and Mark — into the world in January 2000. The boys were born in Satu Mare, in northwestern Romania, a country that had been torn for decades by political strife and economic hardship.

With conditions unfavorable to a life that the parents wanted for their sons, the couple anxiously weighed their options. Should they stay close to family and friends and try to make it work in Romania? Or should they try to get out, as so many other countrymen were doing.

“My dad definitely wanted to leave the country,” Czumbel said. “He wanted to go to Germany (at) first. But (the language) was harder to learn. Italian and Romanian are similar languages.”

Initially, Czumbel’s dad tried to flee Romania but couldn’t make it out of the country.

“They caught him (and) he was released, (but) nothing bad happened,” Erik said.

Later, when the twins were infants, Gyorgy tried again and succeeded, settling in Italy to acclimate to his new surroundings and to find a job.

“A lot of people in Romania were skeptical of his decision (to leave),” Erik Czumbel said. “They were like, ‘You’re not going to be lucky. It’s going to be the same there.’ Because it’s hard. You go to another country. You don’t know the language. You have to learn. Find a job. You have to be disciplined.”

Eventually, Gyorgy’s wife and infant sons packed up and left themselves, in a time frame that Erik estimates was late in the year in 2001, or in 2002. Together again, the family made a home in Verona, Italy.

The young boys were basketball players. Erik became one of the nation’s best prospects, competing in club sports and rising up in the national team system. His brother, Mark, played for a time with Virtus Avechi Salerno.

He’s now playing on an amateur level while taking graduate courses in civil engineering. The boys’ parents, meanwhile, are working. Erik’s mother is an assistant director in a manufacturing corporation.

His father? He’s a truck driver, and has been hauling freight in 18-wheelers for 20-something years.

“He’s gone for, like, a week and he comes back home on the weekends,” Czumbel said. “It’s definitely a hard job.”

Czumbel said his dad has always loved basketball and, years ago, played in an “old guy’s league” while following Tim Duncan and the Spurs.

“In the summer, we go and play some ball,” Czumbel said. “He has some skills, you know. He’s a big Tim Duncan fan. The bank shot — he loves that.”

Czumbel said his mother is also into fitness and likes to take long walks on weekends with her husband. But she, too, loves her work.

“She’s a work-aholic,” Czumbel said. “I think she works a little too hard, because she does some extra work where they don’t pay her. But she loves it, and they love her at her firm. (It’s) kind of like me, she has her whole family at her firm. You know, it’s good.”

Czumbel has been part of the UTSA family since 2019. He arrived at the same time as an incoming freshman center named Jacob Germany. Together, UTSA will honor Czumbel and Germany tonight on ‘Senior Day’ ceremonies. Tipoff for the Charlotte at UTSA game is at 7 p.m.

Next week, the Roadrunners will journey to Frisco for the Conference USA tournament.

Czumbel is expected to participate in commencement ceremonies in May and plans to knock out his last two classes for a finance-economics degree this summer. Beyond that, he’s not sure whether he wants to continue playing, perhaps in Europe, or to pursue a job in the United States

“It’s been a beautiful journey here at UTSA,” Czumbel said. “You know, I love San Antonio. It’s … I mean, it’s hard to talk about. I’m definitely going to miss it.

“It’s been an amazing journey, through ups and downs. But I enjoyed every moment. I’m super appreciative of the fans, of the people who supported us, the coaches and my teammates. It’s been a beautiful part of my life.”

As for his parents, he calls them “amazing,” for obvious reasons.

“Just, super grateful for them,” Czumbel said.

Camp report: UTSA coach Steve Henson tinkers with a small lineup

As UTSA coach Steve Henson continues to tinker with different player combinations during preseason camp, he went with a small lineup more than a few times on Monday afternoon.

Jacob Germany played center. Isaiah Addo-Ankrah was the power forward. Erik Czumbel played the wing/small forward. The shooting guard, meanwhile, was John Buggs III. Initiating the offense at point guard was Japhet Medor.

Henson acknowledged that he has run with that lineup “quite a bit” through six practices of the team’s 30-practice preseason allotment.

In assessing the five-man combination, Henson said he likes having a guy like Addo-Ankrah to knock down threes, some of them from deep, which stretches the opposition’s defense and potentially could make an opponent’s big man come out from under the bucket.

With Czumbel and Buggs in the game at the same time, it gives the coach aggression and physicality on the perimeter.

Other positives? In Medor, the Roadrunners have a point guard who is emerging as a solid distributor.

The best shooters from distance in that group would be Addo-Ankrah and Buggs.

Granted, it is not the Roadrunners’ lineup with the tallest, longest-armed defenders, but the coach likes the way Czumbel and Buggs are playing defense with a physical style, fighting through screens and such.

“We’ve been messing around with that lineup quite a bit,” the coach said.

The drawback to that type of unit might be its size. Medor and Buggs, two standout newcomers, are 5-foot-11 and 6-2, respectively. Czumbel, who finished last season with a half-dozen solid performances on both ends of the court down the stretch, is 6-3. Then there is Addo-Ankrah at 6-6. Germany stands at 6-11.

Czumbel’s competitive fire apparently will give him a shot to start as a senior in spite of a spotty start to last year when he couldn’t hit shots.

“He’s doing kind of like he always does,” Henson said. “He (competes) like crazy. He took a knee in the thigh the other day and I thought he’d be out for a week. Shoot, practice started today and I forgot all about it. He’s relentless defensively. His teammates respect him. He just handles his business.

“We saw late in the season last year he started getting a little bit more aggressive (on offense). He’s continued to be that way offensively (in camp).”

At Monday’s workout, Czumbel’s outside shot looked good. Even the ones that didn’t fall. He seemed to be shooting with more confidence than early last season, when he struggled mightily.

“We need that (shot to go down),” Henson said. “We need him to get back the way he was his first two years. He was on a pretty good trajectory as a freshman and sophomore, and then, our shooting woes got contagious last year.

“He hasn’t been shooting it well up to this point but he had a good day today. Driving it. Driving it and kicking it.”

Czumbel’s calling card this year will be his defense.

“He just sticks his nose in there. He can blow up a dribble-handoff. He can help and switch onto bigger guys. He’s physical. He’s just relentless on that end.”

What game winner? UTSA’s Czumbel returns to play Rice

Erik Czumbel. UTSA beat Lamar 88-66 on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Sophomore guard Erik Czumbel has emerged as a key player in the UTSA rotation, averaging 7.4 points per game in 23.9 minutes off the bench. — Photo by Joe Alexander

When UTSA guard Erik Czumbel was asked recently what he remembered about last year’s game at Rice, his basketball personality emerged in a subtle way, in something that he did not say.

“Last year, it was a competitive game,” Czumbel said. “I remember, like, they hit a lot of shots. A lot of contested threes. They played really well, and it came down to the end of the game. We played not so well in the first half. But we picked it up in the second half.”

UTSA guard Erik Czumbel, playing against Sul Ross on Dec. 4, 2020, at the Convocation Center, started two of UTSA's first six games of the season and averages 7.2 points. - photo by Joe Alexander

Czumbel, a sophomore from Verona, Italy, gives the Roadrunners a physical defensive presence in the backcourt. — Photo by Joe Alexander

Oh, and, one other thing.

Just for the record, the 6-foot-3 former Italian U-18 national team member did hit the game-winning layup with one second remaining in the Roadrunners’ pulsating 90-88 victory over the Owls.

But in keeping with Czumbel’s low-key persona as a ball player, reporters more or less had to pry that out of him with a follow-up question in a zoom conference earlier this week.

“So, Erik,” he was asked, “what do you remember about UTSA’s last offensive possession?”

Czumbel smiled.

“I know I scored the game winner last year,” he said. “They had an inbounds play from the baseline. I think we got a deflection. I remember Byron (Frohnen), I think, passing me the ball. I knew there were not that many seconds left. I just took off and tried to get a layup. And, so it went in.

“Happy ending.”

The subject of Czumbel’s heroics a year ago come up again as the Roadrunners (4-3) prepare to play the Owls (6-2) on Friday and again on Saturday in Houston. On both days, tipoff is at 2 p.m. at Tudor Fieldhouse.

In Czumbel, the Roadrunners have found themselves a player who doesn’t really like talking about himself, doesn’t necessarily have to shoot to affect the outcome of a game and as a result is endearing himself to coaches who love the attitude.

When he does shoot, the results speak with increasing volume.

Playing off more heavily guarded Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace, the combo guard from Verona, Italy, connects on 57.7 percent from the field and 57.9 percent from three, all while averaging 7.4 points.

“Just a great teammate,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “(He’s) a very, very tough, focused and conscientious player. Talk about every-day guys. He’s an every-day guy. He’s very, very tough physically. He tries to do exactly what you tell him.

“He’s a word-for-word guy. You tell him to go and pick on the wing at a certain angle, and he’s going to go and do it exactly the way you tell him to do it.”

Czumbel arrived in San Antonio in the summer of 2019 as a player UTSA coaches hoped would fill the void left by another Italian, former three-year starter Giovanni de Nicolao.

When De Nicolao broached the idea about leaving UTSA after his junior year to play pro ball in his native country, the Roadrunners started scanning the horizon.

It wasn’t long before they spied Czumbel, rising up in the ranks of the Italian junior circuit.

He had played for Team Italy in the FIBA U-18 European Championships, where he averaged 8.3 points, 2.4 assists and 1.6 rebounds.

Rotnei Clark, one of the greatest scorers in Oklahoma high school basketball history, helped facilitate the Roadrunners’ contact with Czumbel.

A player once recruited by Henson, Clark was starting for a pro team in Italy at the time, with Czumbel backing him up.

“He guards me every day. He’s an unbelievable defender,” Clark told Henson on the phone one day. “He’s tough. He’s coachable.”

Replied Henson, “That’s what we want. That’s what we need.”

As a result, Czumbel visited UTSA in the spring of 2019 and committed, reportedly shunning Loyola Marymount and another school that he had visited.

Last year, he played 32 games and started 24. This year, he’s played in all seven of UTSA’s games and has started two. He’s averaging 23.9 minutes.

UTSA assistant coach Scott Thompson is most happy to see Czumbel make steady progress.

It’s also not surprising at all to Thompson that Czumbel, who will turn 21 on Jan. 11, doesn’t seem fazed by playing on the road at Oklahoma or Oregon State.

In Europe, Czumbel played a lot of games in second division games against older players.

“The European game, there’s a toughness to it,” Thompson said. “They’re all about team. They’re all about winning.”

After a rocky start that included two bad losses at UT Rio Grande Valley and Oklahoma, the Roadrunners have started to play better.

After nearly upsetting Oregon State on the road, they’ve won two straight, notching lopsided home victories over Our Lady of the Lake and Lamar.

Czumbel is encouraged.

He said he likes the way the team is getting more production out of more players. He said he also likes the way the Roadrunners utilized a break between the Lamar and the Rice games.

“I think we’re working really hard,” he said. “We still have a lot of improvement (to make) … But we’ve seen some improvements already.

“I think from the first few games, coach said this is the best offensive ranking we’ve had in five years. With Jhivvan and Keaton not shooting it really well, it doesn’t feel that way.

“It’s amazing how it is. Because, we’re getting to the line more. We have a lot of players that don’t play big minutes but still average high points. So I think we’re improving every day. We look good.”

Henson said Czumbel has earned his coaches’ and teammates’ respect.

“Right now he’s coming off the bench, but he’s a starter and he’s going to be in the game at key points in the game,” the coach said. “We have a lot of confidence in him. His teammates have a lot of confidence in him. He affects the game, even when he’s not scoring.”

And when he does shoot it? Often times, good things happen for the Roadrunners on those occasions, as well.

Just ask the Rice Owls.

UTSA makes a key defensive play late, defeats Rice, 90-88

The UTSA Roadrunners spent most of Saturday night trying unsuccessfully to keep the Rice Owls from scoring.

Led by guard Ako Adams, Rice was hitting from everywhere, building an 11-point advantage with 12:35 remaining.

But down the stretch, the Roadrunners kept playing.

And then they got the stop that they needed, forcing a turnover on an inbounds play and racing the other way for the winning basket and a 90-88 victory over the slumping Owls in Houston.

After Rice inbounded, UTSA’s Byron Frohnen came up with a loose ball and passed ahead to freshman Erik Czumbel, who out-ran the defense and drove for a layup with one second remaining.

In response, the Owls threw up a desperation shot from three quarters of the court but the clock had expired, giving a much-needed Conference USA road victory to the Roadrunners.


UTSA 10-11, 4-4
Rice 9-13, 1-8

Crazy ending

UTSA had a chance to break a tie score with less than a minute remaining when Jhivvan Jackson misfired on a long three. With the game deadlocked at 88-88, Rice called time with 32 seconds left.

The play went to Ako Adams, who was unstoppable for most of the game. But as Adams drove to the bucket Keaton Wallace blocked the shot, sending it out of bounds. Rice had possession under its own goal.

At that point, Drew Peterson inbounded. Frohnen came up with it for the Roadrunners and sent it out in a winning transition play that Czumbel, a freshman, finished with a left-handed drive.

Road success — at last

With the victory, UTSA improved to a modest 2-10 in games played away from home this season, including 2-6 on the road and 1-4 in Conference USA.

By the numbers

UTSA — Jackson, the nation’s second-leading scorer, tallied 14 of his game-high 25 points in the second half. He also had seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Keaton Wallace kept UTSA in the game in the first half with 14 of his 24 points, and he added four rebounds and three assists.

Czumbel scored 11 on four of four shooting, including three of three from 3-point distance. He scored eight points after halftime.

Rice — In a devastating shooting display, the Owls hit 11 of their 18 three-pointers in the second half. Adams hit six of them. Payton Moore and Quincy Olivari three apiece. All told, the Owls were 18 of 35 from distance. Adams led the Owls with 21 points, while Josh Parrish had 17.


UTSA had lost its last five games away from home — a neutral-site loss to Oregon State in Houston and four C-USA road games at Florida Atlantic, Florida International, UTEP and North Texas.

The Roadrunners’ last victory outside of San Antonio came on Dec. 7 in non-conference play at Texas State.

Rice has lost five games in a row overall and nine of its last 10.

Czumbel could get start at point guard tonight for UTSA

UTSA guard Erik Czumbel is averaging 4.4 points in 12 minutes off the bench through five games. - photo by Joe Alexander

Erik Czumbel is averaging 4.4 points in 12 minutes off the bench through UTSA’s first five games. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Hoping to break through with their first victory of a new season, the UTSA Roadrunners are considering a change in the starting lineup on the eve of tonight’s home opener.

UTSA coach Steve Henson said Thursday he may start with freshman Erik Czumbel at point guard when the Roadrunners play the NAIA Wiley College Wildcats.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

Asked if Czumbel could get his first start, Henson said it could happen.

“We haven’t made the full decision on that, but there’s a very good chance,” the coach said.

Surprisingly, the Roadrunners haven’t won any of their first five games.

Moreover, they couldn’t sustain much consistency in a road opener at Oklahoma, in three neutral-site games in Florida and, finally, in a 32-point road loss Monday at 15th-ranked Utah State.

“We haven’t played the way we expected to, the way we are capable of, against some really, really good opponents,” Henson said. “We expected to be a little further along than we were.

“(It was a) tough start. We got to figure some things out. We got to defend better. Got to get better possessions offensively. We got to settle into a (playing) rotation.

“It’s a combination of everything.”

Hopes were high coming into the season with the presence of scoring stars Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace and a cast of promising newcomers.

With those two 20-point scorers from last year returning, the Roadrunners were picked to finish second in Conference USA.

Readying for a three-game homestand, UTSA has yet to make much magic.

The Roadrunners come in shooting an unsightly 34 percent from the field as a team. They’re averaging only 63 points. Opponents are averaging 81, including 86.5 the past two games.

“We haven’t been making shots, and we haven’t been getting the stops we needed,” Jackson said. “We’re really ready to step it up and start winning some games.”

Henson hopes that a return to the home court will help.

He also hopes that by playing Czumbel more at the point, he can relieve Wallace from some of his ball-handling responsibilities and allow him to start finding open spaces and knocking down more threes.

“We got to get Erik in there a lot more, because that’s going to help Keaton and Jhivvan,” Henson said.

UTSA’s starting backcourt tonight could be Czumbel, with Jackson and Wallace on the wings.

In that case, senior Byron Frohnen likely moves to the power forward, with either Atem Bior or Luka Barisic at center.

For the past three years, the Roadrunners started Giovanni De Nicolao at the point, and he emerged as a steady passer and ball handler who didn’t shoot much unless a play broke down.

He was solid defensively.

Czumbel has also exhibited strong defensive capabilities, but on offense, he has proven to be more of a shooter than a facilitator — at least, to this point.

The 6-3 guard from Italy, averaging 4.4 points in 12 minutes through five games, has has hit 8 of 13 from the field and 5 of 9 from three.

He has four assists and four turnovers.