Jacob Germany continues to stir the discussion at UTSA

If you want to start a discussion at UTSA basketball practice, ask Coach Steve Henson about the upside potential of freshman center Jacob Germany.

Earlier this week, I pored over all the statistics, all my mental notes and a few videos of Germany, the high-rising, 6-foot-11 post from Oklahoma.

He’s not a starter yet.

Jacob Germany. Prarie View A&M beat UTSA 79-72 on Saturday night at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jacob Germany throws down a dunk against Prairie View A&M. – photo by Joe Alexander

But already, 13 games into his career, he’s become entrenched in the playing rotation, averaging 5.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

Germany’s also shooting 58.5 percent from the field.

How is this happening?

In my mental notes, I recall how UTSA has started to exploit his presence by throwing long, lob passes — some from beyond the three-point arc — that have resulted in ringing dunks or layups.

I also recall some moments of indecision, when he seems to struggle with the intensity of Division I basketball.

Such as, a sequence in a recent home game when Germany could have easily grabbed a loose ball, only to see an opposing guard wrestle it out of his grasp.

Finally, I recall a moment in UTSA’s practice Tuesday afternoon when he long-armed a rebound, jumped back awkwardly and then flicked in a 12-footer.

With the freshman from Oklahoma falling away, the ball swished.

It made me wonder. In a year or two, will he be rebounding those misses, passing out to the perimeter and then re-setting his feet to demand a pass back into the post?

Could he be a go-to threat in a few years, a player who would touch the ball on most set plays?

Henson, whose Roadrunners play at Florida Atlantic today at 6 p.m., artfully dodged the question.

But he did say this:

“He’ll become a bigger factor (in the offense), for sure. The stuff he does offensively, he’s so natural. He’s got great touch. He’s shooting I think 61 percent in his last eight games.

“He already does give us (an inside threat). He’s in that dunker’s spot. He makes it harder for people to help on penetration … they can’t help off him onto our shooters because he’s a threat there.

Henson said Germany doesn’t have the strength yet to be a “back-to-the-basket” guy this season. In addition, the coach said he’s not quite ready to be a “constant” shooter on the perimeter.

“But he does have the confidence — which is a big part of it — and the touch to do that,” Henson said. “He’s made a pretty good percentage of 15-foot shots, even in games. He does it in practice every, single day. So, I expect that is something he will do.”

As UTSA forges ahead in conference play, the coach said he wants to get the ball to Germany when he’s on the move to take advantage of his quickness and finesse.

Power moves? It might be a year or two before fans will see any of that.

“It’ll be a big off-season for him,” Henson said.

What else might we see from Germany this fall?

Well, so far, he’s shown he isn’t shy about playing in big moments.

For instance, when then 15th-ranked Utah State was trying to pull away from UTSA in the first half of a Nov. 18 road game, Germany came into the game and briefly turned the momentum back into the Roadrunners’ favor.

Ja - photo by Joe Alexander

Jacob Germany hails from Kingston High School in Kingston, Oklahoma.

“He impacted the game with his shot-blocking on drives,” Henson said. “He lost a couple of battles against his own guy. Again, that’s an experience factor. But he impacted the game by challenging penetration from the guards, blocking some shots and changing some others.

“We talk about that in our coaches’ meetings. We say, ‘Yea, this might not be a great game for him.’ And then he’ll go in there and just make things happen. It’s because his instincts are good. He’s not scared … He’s not afraid of the big stage.”

With 18 C-USA games looming, such a presence could come in handy.

Coming up

UTSA (6-7) at Florida Atlantic (8-5), 6 p.m. Livestream on ESPN Plus. Radio on The Ticket 760 AM.

After a slow start, UTSA lights up UT Permian Basin, 98-55


UTSA guard Keaton Wallace played in Sunday's game with a mask after being hit in the face earlier in the week. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA guard Keaton Wallace played in Sunday’s game with a mask after being hit in the face in practice on Saturday. – photo by Joe Alexander

On a sleepy Sunday afternoon at UTSA, junior guards Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace put on another show for the home fans, just as they’ve done for the past two-plus seasons.

This time, the show came with a few twists.

Jackson, a diminutive 6-foot guard, turned into something of a rebounding machine with a career-high 14. Wallace emerged as a masked marauder of sorts.

He wore a plastic mask as protection after taking a shot to the nose in practice on Saturday.

Not to worry.

Wallace broke out of a 3-point shooting slump with a season high five long balls.

As a result, the Roadrunners extended their winning streak to three games with an easy 98-55 victory over NCAA Division II UT Permian Basin.


UTSA 4-6
UT Permian Basin 10-3

Setting the scene

Early in the day, the energy in the Convocation Center was minimal, with an announced crowd of 708 in the building.

On top of that, both teams seemed not completely prepared for a 3 p.m. tip off.

The Falcons, who came in riding a 10-game winning streak, missed their first seven shots. Fortunately for the visitors, the Roadrunners missed their first six.

Heating up

Stepping up the intensity, the Roadrunners called on freshman Jacob Germany to spark the team midway through the first half.

Germany had two points, a rebound and three blocked shots in a five-minute sequence.

In the meantime, Wallace and Jackson started to roll.

Wallace hit four 3-pointers before halftime for 15 of his 18 points. Jackson scored 13 in the first half, en route to a monster show of 28 points and 14 rebounds.

On the horizon

UTSA will play in Houston on Wednesday against the Oregon State Beavers. The game is set for 4:30 p.m. at the Toyota Center, home of the NBA Houston Rockets. The team returns to the Convocation Center on Saturday to meet Illinois State.


UT Permian Basin was playing its second game in two days. The Falcons won at home against Cameron in Odessa on Saturday afternoon, and then made the trek to San Antonio for the non-conference road game.

UTSA took full advantage of the situation, cranking up its offense for season highs in points in a game and in a half (58, in the second half).

The Roadrunners also knocked down a season-high 14 three-pointers, including a 3-for-3 effort from sophomore guard Adokiye Iyaye, who scored a personal season high of 11 points.

As a team, the Roadrunners nailed 14 of 29 from beyond the 3-point line to continue a three-game hot streak.

In victories over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas State and UTPB, they have made 31 of 67 from distance (46.2 percent).

By comparison, the Roadrunners connected on only 27.7 percent from long range (41 of 148) during a season-opening, five-game losing streak.


UTSA coach Steve Henson, on Wallace’s performance in the mask:

“Didn’t seem to bother him too much. He made three or four threes in the first half. Told him we may just turn him into Rip Hamilton and let him wear it for awhile.”

(Hamilton, who wore a protective mask during much of his 14-year NBA career, was regarded as one of the game’s deadliest long-range shooters. He made 530 three-pointers in 921 NBA games. He retired after the 2012-13 season.)

Henson, on the team winning four of five games after opening the season with five losses:

“We’re not trying to get too carried away. Our opponents early on were really, really good. Our next two opponents are really, really good. We’re just trying to make progress. We had some surprises early. Things were not as easy as we thought they might be.

“Had some struggles in some areas. Just trying to address those. Trying to find something to help establish an identity. To give us a chance to be a really good team. I think we made some progress this week. But it’s still a work in progress.”

UTSA signs two to national letters of intent

UTSA on Wednesday announced the signing of Le’Jon Doss and Jacob Germany.

The Roadrunners released the news on the first day of the NCAA Division I fall signing period.

Doss is a 6-foot-5 forward from Fort Worth Nolan Catholic High School. Germany is a 6-11 center from Kingston High School in Kingston, Oklahoma.

The pair will join the team for the 2019-20 season.

Looking for their first victory of the season, the Roadrunners (0-2) will play on the road against the Oklahoma State Cowboys (0-1).