AAC men’s tournament: UTSA’s season comes to an end with a first-round loss to Temple

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Trailing by 14 points at halftime, the UTSA Roadrunners rallied to contest an American Athletic Conference first-round tournament game, battling with the Temple Owls into the final minute. But in the final seconds, they couldn’t get a three-pointer to fall, missing twice, and their season came to an end.

Christian Tucker. Temple beat UTSA 84-82 in the Roadrunners' final home game of the men's basketball season on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Christian Tucker produced a team-high 15 points and passed for four assists against the Temple Owls. – File photo by Joe Alexander

The Owls escaped with a 64-61 victory.

A poor first-half performance doomed the Roadrunners. They couldn’t get their offense rolling, hitting only 24 percent from the field and shooting only 1 for 13 from three-point distance. They were playing without injured leading scorer Jordan Ivy-Curry, so nothing came easily.

UTSA played hard in the second half, winning the 20-minute segment, 40-29. Christian Tucker led the charge with his floor leadership, ball-handling and passing. They had a couple of opportunities to take the lead down the stretch and were denied each time.

The final minute was hectic. Hysier Miller drained a three for Temple with 49.6 seconds remaining, boosting the Owls into a 64-58 lead. The Roadrunners answered almost immediately, with PJ Carter hitting a three of his own with 41.9 seconds left.

At the end, UTSA’s defense kept Temple from scoring, eventually forcing Miller into an over-and-back violation at halfcourt with 18 seconds left. With the ball on the side, the Roadrunners worked it first to Carter, who fired a three that was rebounded under the bucket by Carlton Linguard, Jr.

Linguard Jr. flipped it out to Tucker, who passed to Isaiah Wyatt at the top of the circle. With Miller contesting, Wyatt’s shot was off the mark, ending the Roadrunners’ season with an 11-21 record.

It was the third straight 20-loss season for the Roadrunners.

The Owls, who went 3-0 against the Roadrunners this season, will move on to play the sixth-seeded SMU Mustangs Thursday night. All games are being played at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.

Steve Henson. Rice beat UTSA 80-76 in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA coach Steve Henson said after the game that he expects to speak with athletic director Lisa Campos soon. His contract expires at the end of the month. – File Photo by Joe Alexander

Afterward, UTSA coach Steve Henson addressed questions about his future. Since his contract expires at the end of the month, it’s been a topic of discussion in his last two post-game news conferences. He said Wednesday that he hasn’t talked to his athletic director about the contract.

Even though the stakes were high for the Roadrunners in the tournament, Henson said Ivy-Curry just couldn’t play.

“Juice injured his arm/shoulder against SMU, very end of the (SMU) game (on March 2),” he said. “It was extremely swollen. We had a week off after that one, I think. We had several day days off, anyway, and he tried to get a ton of treatment and tried to practice a little bit. We put him in the game on Sunday (at home against Temple) and he was pretty immobile.

“His arm’s extremely swollen up, and he just couldn’t contribute the way he wanted to and the pain was continuing to increase. It’s really hard to get the swelling out of there, so he just wasn’t able to play.”

Noting that the first-half performance just wasn’t good enough, Henson nevertheless said he was proud of his players.

“In the first half, just offensively we couldn’t get anything going,” he said. “We really struggled on the offensive end. We held ’em to 40 percent from the field. We won enough battles on that end. We just couldn’t get anything going. They were physical with us.

“And then at halftime we kind of flipped it. We started executing better, we started defending much better, and kind of turned the tables on ’em a little bit, made a nice run there.”

In each of the last two seasons, the Roadrunners have lost close games in their conference tournament openers. Last year in Frisco, it was a one-point loss to the Rice Owls at the Conference USA tournament. Japhet Medor hit a shot at the end that would have won the game, but it was waved off on review. This year, it was an equally gut-wrenching one-possession game at the end against the Temple Owls.

“Just extremely disappointed,” Henson said. “The nature of post-season play, it just ends. You’re out there and you’re fighting your tails off and guys are in the huddle playing with a lot of emotion, talking with a lot of emotion, rallying each other, pumping each other, and then that horn goes
off and it’s over. So it’s a very disappointing feeling.”

UTSA lost 10 players to the transfer portal last spring and replaced them with 10 more signees. As a result, coaches started work last summer with almost an entirely different group. The Roadrunners were good at times on the offensive end. But on the defensive end, they were erratic, though they did play well defensively in a four-game stretch at the end of the regular season.

But then on Sunday, they took to their home floor in the regular-season finale against Temple with a less-than-100 percent Ivy-Curry, and got beat 84-82. The loss was costly. If they had won, they would have had another day to rest before they started the tournament. Instead, they had to play on the first day, and now it’s over.

“Our whole thing this last three weeks has been believe, and we didn’t give up (today),” said Tucker, who finished with 15 points and four assists. “We knew that we (could) compete with this team. We didn’t do enough of it in the first half and we knew we had to bounce back in the second half, so we just came out fighting. I mean, we won the second half, but we dug ourselves into too deep of a hole.”

Freshman guard Zion Stanford paced Temple with a game-high 19 points on 7 of 13 shooting.


Taking advantage of an injury to UTSA’s leading scorer, the Temple Owls built a double-digit lead in the first six minutes of the game, hiked the advantage to 16 with 3:20 remaining and then went into the dressing room with a 35-21 edge.

UTSA’s Jordan Ivy-Curry, a 17.1 points per game scorer, was on the bench in a T-shirt to start the game. Ruled out for the game with a shoulder injury, his status for the remainder of the tournament is unclear.

Regardless, the Roadrunners missed his presence. They opened the game hitting only 1 of their first 11 shots. Late in the half, they misfired on 10 in a row. For the first 20 minutes, the Roadrunners were 9 of 37 from the field for 24.3 percent.

The Owls, one of the worst teams in the AAC all season, started fast with a 13-3 lead.

But in the middle of the half, their own poor shooting allowed the Roadrunners to stay in the game. Finally, the Owls put some things together and scored seven straight points. With the burst, they opened a 33-17 lead with with 3:20 remaining.

Guard Zion Stanford led the Owls with three of five shooting for a team-high eight points in the half. Jordan Riley and Matteo Picarelli had six points apiece. Point guard Hysier Miller, a high-level scorer, played mostly in a set-up role.

He finished the half with three points and four rebounds, scoring only four points.

With Ivy-Curry sidelined, the Roadrunners needed PJ Carter to step up his game. But the Owls knew they needed him, as well, blanketing him with coverage even on the perimeter. Carter was 2 for 9 in the half for five points.


The UTSA Roadrunners men’s basketball team opened play in the American Athletic Conference tournament today without injured Jordan Ivy-Curry, the team’s leading scorer.

Fourteenth-seeded UTSA and No. 11 Temple just got underway at Dickie’s Arena in Fort Worth.

The Roadrunners started the tournament without both Ivy-Curry (shoulder) and Adante’ Holiman (lower leg).

Temple defeated UTSA twice this season. The Owls won 83-77 on Feb. 18 in Philadelphia and won again 84-82 in the regular season finale Sunday in San Antonio. Both finished with 5-13 records in conference play.


UTSA 11-21
Temple 13-19


Eighth-year UTSA coach Steve Henson is facing questions about whether he might have coached his last game with Roadrunners. His contract expires at the end of this month, and he’s had three straight 20-loss seasons.

Henson said he hasn’t had any contract discussions with athletic director Lisa Campos.

“We’ve just been — had our heads down, grinding away, trying to get better. Loved the way our guys played at the end of the season. Lisa and I always talk at the conclusion of the season, so I’m sure we’ll do that again in this case.”

For Henson, it was the second time in his UTSA career that he entered a postseason game without an injured leading scorer. In 2018, guard Jhivvan Jackson sat out four games — two in the Conference USA tournament and two in the CollegeInsider.com tournament — with a knee injury.

Even with Jackson out of the lineup at the end, the Roadrunners finished off a 20-15 season, and Henson was named the C-USA Coach of the Year.

Temple played UTSA twice within the last week under a cloud of suspicion.

Gaming monitors at U.S. Integrity flagged the Owls’ 28-point home loss to UAB on March 7 for irregularities on the betting line in the hours before the game.

Owls coach Adam Fisher side-stepped a question about whether he has addressed the situation with the team, telling reporters in Fort Worth, “I know our university has put out a statement. My focus is on my players.

“I love my guys. We’ve been just trying to prepare for each game and just making sure we do exactly what we’ve done to prepare for each one.”

Men’s basketball: UTSA can clinch a first-round tournament bye by beating Temple

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The UTSA men’s basketball team has endured its share of tough breaks this season. Maybe the trend is shifting in the other direction.

Not only have the Roadrunners won three games in a row leading into today’s regular-season finale against the Temple Owls, but they also apparently have moved into position to control their own destiny and secure a first-round bye in the American Athletic Conference’s postseason tournament.

A few days ago, it appeared that the Roadrunners might have only an outside shot at avoiding being slotted into the bracket for a game Wednesday on Day 1 of the AAC tournament. Since then, a couple of opponents battling in close proximity to UTSA in the standings have stumbled.

On Friday night, the Wichita State Shockers lost at Tulane. On Saturday night, the Rice Owls lost at home to the University of North Texas Mean Green. Consequently, both the Shockers and the Owls have fallen into the bottom four in the AAC standings, while the Roadrunners have moved up to 10th.

Now, a Roadrunners victory Sunday at home against the Owls apparently will give them the 10th seed, an extra day to prepare and a tournament opener on Thursday. Instead of having to win five games in five days to reach the NCAA tournament, they’d get a more manageable four-in-four days task.

Senior Day

Sunday is Senior Day at the Convocation Center. The program is honoring Carlton Linguard Jr., Dre Fuller Jr. and Isaiah Wyatt, who have all played one season for the Roadrunners.

Linguard, a former standout at Stevens High School in San Antonio, returned home to the Alamo City after two seasons at Kansas State. After sitting out last season, the 7-footer appeared in 30 games with 21 starts. Linguard averaged 9.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.

Fuller, who grew up in North Carolina, played three seasons at Central Florida before sitting out last year while caring for his mother, who was ill. She passed away last spring. Fuller has averaged 9.5 points and 4.6 rebounds

Wyatt, from Ohio originally, played in high school in Texas at North Crowley. UTSA is his fourth school after he attended McLennan College, Southwestern Christian (in Texas) and NCAA Division II Chadron State, Neb. Wyatt, known as a perimeter shooting threat, has averaged 7.0 points and 3.4 rebounds.


Temple 11-19, 4-13
UTSA 11-19, 5-12

Coming up

The bracket for the American Athletic Conference tournament is expected to be finalized after the last two games of the regular season — Temple at UTSA and SMU at UAB — are played on Sunday afternoon. The five-day AAC tournament is scheduled to open Wednesday at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.

AAC men’s basketball: UTSA set to tip off at Tulsa

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

One of the new members of the American Athletic Conference will play against one of the old guard tonight at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla. The UTSA Roadrunners are looking for a road victory against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

Both teams are struggling. UTSA (7-10, 1-3)) has lost two straight and six of its last eight. Tulsa (9-7, 0-4) has dropped four in a row, all in the AAC. At the same time, both squads will send out players capable of pushing the pace and scoring at a high rate.

UTSA has guard Jordan Ivy-Curry, who is averaging 16.9 points in seven games since he became eligible, in addition to Christian Tucker, Dre Fuller Jr., Carlton Linguard Jr. Tulsa will counter with the likes of PJ Haggerty, Cobe Williams and Isaiah Barnes.

It’s a critical time of the season for the Roadrunners, who have played well at times but have failed to generate much consistency. For instance, they led for much of the game at 15th-ranked Memphis on Jan. 10 and then lost 107-101 in overtime.

In their next outing, they returned home on Saturday and couldn’t get the offense cranked up in a 66-58 loss to the Charlotte 49ers, another indication that the Roadrunners tend to play sub-par basketball when the opposing team takes the posture of a slower pace.

To generate momentum, the Roadrunners need to play well tonight, because they will host a 2023 Final Four entry, the Florida Atlantic Owls, on Sunday. They’ll play host to another strong team from the AAC, the Tulane Green Wave, on Jan. 24.

Coached by Eric Konkol, a former UTSA nemesis when he worked at Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs like to run with Haggerty, Williams and Barnes leading the team in scoring. Konkol, in his second season with the Golden Hurricane, struggled in his first year in Tulsa with a 5-25 record, including 1-17 in conference.

Konkol, a former Tulsa student assistant, had his team off to a 9-3 start this season before adversity struck.

The Golden Hurricane suffered a setback on Jan. 2 when it was announced that high-scoring guard Keaston Willis was lost for the season with a broken bone in his left foot. Willis, who played in San Antonio at the University of the Incarnate Word from 2019-21, is expected to seek a medical redshirt to return in 2024-25.

Tulsa has since lost to Memphis, East Carolina, Charlotte and Tulane. Three of the losses were by seven points or less. In its last game, played at home on Sunday, the Golden Hurricane played well but fell to Tulane 94-87 in overtime.

Haggerty, a 6-foot-3 freshman from Crosby, Texas, scored 25 points. He also had five assists and two steals.


UTSA 7-10, 1-3
Tulsa 9-7, 0-4

Coming up

Florida Atlantic at UTSA, Sunday, 2 p.m.
Tulane at UTSA, Jan. 24, 7 p.m.
UTSA at South Florida, Jan. 27, 3 p.m.

UTSA men down Rice 89-82 in overtime for first AAC win

Carlton Linguard Jr. scored 24 points and Dre Fuller Jr. added 23 on Saturday as the UTSA Roadrunners claimed their first American Athletic Conference victory in men’s basketball, defeating the Rice Owls 89-82 in overtime in Houston.

In a game played off the Rice campus at the University of St. Thomas, UTSA hit 14 three-pointers to secure the victory, with Fuller and Linguard knocking down nine between them.

Fuller stroked five for nine from beyond the arc and Linguard, a 7-foot center, hit four of eight.


UTSA 7-8, 1-2
Rice 6-9, 0-2

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

TCU’s dramatic victory over Arizona State boosts Big 12 to 5-2 in the NCAA tournament

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

I’m still undecided on whether to buy into the concept that the Big 12 Conference is the best league in men’s college basketball this year.

I know the Big 12 has had more teams jammed into the Top 25 rankings than anyone.

But, I just haven’t seen enough of their games to know for sure.

So far, teams from the conference are doing a pretty fair job of living up to the hype in the NCAA tournament.

The Big 12 has won five and lost two in the tournament’s round of 64, capped late Friday night by the TCU Horned Frogs’ dramatic 72-70 victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils.

With the game tied and the clock ticking under 10 seconds to play, Arizona State double-teamed TCU star Mike Miles Jr., who passed across the top of the three-point circle to JaKobe Coles.

Coles dribbled past a defender and lofted a 5-foot runner over the outstretched arm of forward Desmond Cambridge Jr. It swished for the game-winner with three seconds remaining.

Winners out of the Big 12 in the first round of the tournament included West region No. 1 seed Kansas, Midwest No. 2 Texas, South No. 3 Baylor, East No. 3 Kansas State and TCU, the No. 6 seed in the West.

Losers were Midwest No. 6 Iowa State and South No. 9 seed West Virginia. Here’s a glance at how Big 12 teams have fared thus far:

Thursday’s results
Round of 64
South: 8) Maryland beat 9) West Virginia, 67-65
West: 1) Kansas beat 16) Howard, 96-68
Midwest: 2) Texas beat 15) Colgate, 81-61

Friday’s results
Round of 64
South: 3) Baylor beat 14) UC Santa Barbara, 74-56
Midwest: 11) Pittsburgh beat 6) Iowa State, 59-41
West: 6) TCU beat 11) Arizona State, 72-70
East: 3) Kansas State beat 14) Montana State, 77-65.

Saturday’s games
Round of 32
West: 1) Kansas vs. 8) Arkansas, 4:15 p.m., CBS
Midwest: 2) Texas vs. 10) Penn State, 6:45 p.m., CBS

Sunday’s games
Round of 32
East: 3) Kansas State vs. 6) Kentucky, 1:40 p.m., CBS
South: 3) Baylor vs. 6) Creighton, 6:10 p.m., TBS
West: 6) TCU vs. 3) Gonzaga, 8:40 p.m., TBS


Next season, in 2023-24, the Big 12 is shaping up to be a men’s basketball juggernaut.

In July, the Houston Cougars will transition into the league along with Cincinnati and Central Florida from the American Athletic Conference. In addition, BYU will also join. Meanwhile, Texas and Oklahoma will compete in the league for the last time before they bolt to the Southeastern Conference.

So, how many top four seeds will that give the conference in the 2024 NCAA men’s tournament? I’m guessing four or five, at least.

Campos says Henson will return next season to coach the UTSA men’s basketball team

By Jerry Briggs
Special to The JB Replay

Steve Henson will return to coach the UTSA Roadrunners men’s basketball program next season, said Lisa Campos, the university’s Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics.

Campos released a statement to the media in the wake of back-to-back 10-22 seasons under Henson.

“After careful evaluation of our men’s basketball program, including candid and open discussions with Coach Henson on the team’s performance and his leadership, he will remain as head coach for the 2023-24 season,” Campos said in a statement.

“Coach recognizes that we have high expectations at UTSA for all of our athletic teams and that this year’s men’s basketball season did not meet those expectations,” Campos added. “He is committed to substantive improvement, has already begun a complete evaluation of the program and will make the changes necessary to enable success next season.”

After being hired in the spring of 2016, Henson, a former assistant coach at Oklahoma, has served as head coach of the Roadrunners for seven seasons.

In 2018, UTSA extended his original contract by three seasons through 2023-24, raising his base salary from $280,000 to $325,000 per year.

UTSA men’s basketball, in its 42-year history, has never enjoyed sustained success. The program has qualified for the NCAA tournament only four times. The Roadrunners haven’t been to the NCAA since 2011.

Prior to Henson’s arrival, the program had suffered four straight losing seasons. The Roadrunners were 10-22, 8-22, 14-16 and 5-27 through 2015-16, the last of Brooks Thompson’s 10 years as the school.

Henson’s chief accomplishment to this point has been his recruitment and development of guards Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace.

Both joined the team in 2017 and, by the time they departed in 2021, both had became the top two scorers in school history. UTSA had winning seasons overall and in conference play in three of their four seasons.

The Roadrunners have struggled the past two seasons without the two high-scoring guards. Especially in conference play. This year, they finished in last place in Conference USA at 4-16. UTSA will move into the American Athletic Conference next season.

Steve Henson’s record

2016-17 — 14-19 and 8-10 in Conference USA
2017-18 — 20-15 and 11-7 C-USA
2018-19 — 17-15 and 11-7 C-USA
2019-20 — 13-19 and 7-11 C-USA
2020-21 — 15-11 and 9-7 C-USA
2021-22 — 10-22 and 3-15 C-USA
2022-23 — 10-22 and 4-16 C-USA
Overall: 99-123
x-UTSA played in the CIT postseason tournament in 2018

Undefeated New Mexico fends off a spirited effort from UTSA, 94-76

Trailing by 21 points early in the first half against the undefeated University of New Mexico Lobos, the UTSA Roadrunners battled from behind and gradually scratched their way back into contention. At one point after intermission, UTSA surprisingly pulled to within six.

But the Lobos, playing at home at the Super Pit in Albuquerque, didn’t flinch at the challenge and eventually rolled to a 94-76 victory in a men’s college basketball contest played before an announced crowd of 10,049.

“There were a lot of things in this game that were not good,” UTSA coach Steve Henson told the team’s radio broadcast. “But there were a few stretches where it encourages us, that we’re headed in the right direction in certain areas. This is the best team we’ve played. These guys are really good, and (it’s a) good environment.”

Coming in to the game, the Roadrunners knew they would need to deal with the Lobos’ top players in forwards Morris Udeze and Josiah Allick and guards Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn Jr. Regardless, all four played well.

Udeze had 24 points and eight rebounds, while Allick chipped in with 13 points, six boards and three blocks. House scored 21 points and hit four of five three-point shots. Mashburn had 18 points, including 13 of them in the second half to keep UTSA at bay.

For UTSA, D.J. Richards poured in 20 points in a career-high showing for the 6-foot-5 freshman guard, who has established himself as one of the team’s most reliable players through the first nine games.

Going up against an elite backcourt, Richards hit four of eight from the field, four of six from three and eight of nine at the line.

The Houston native from Cypress Creek High School continues to impress as a perimeter threat, having hit at least one shot from beyond the arc in all nine games and more than one on five occasions.

New Mexico did a much better job against some of UTSA’s more experienced players. For instance, center Jacob Germany had a string of two-straight double-doubles snapped, as he was held to eight points (on three of seven shooting) and seven rebounds.

The starting backcourt of Japhet Medor and John Buggs combined for 17 points, though they did have nine assists between them.

Medor, who had six points and five assists and fouled out in 19 minutes, finished three for seven from the field and did not get to the free-throw line. Buggs hit a couple of threes and scored 11, but he was three for 10 overall.


New Mexico 9-0
UTSA 5-4


“Really proud of Massal. He impacted the game in a positive way.” — UTSA coach Steve Henson said on the team’s radio broadcast, commenting on the play of 6-foot-9, 240-pound freshman Massal Diouf from The Netherlands. Diouf had three points and four rebounds and fouled out in 12 minutes.

Coming up

UTSA plays next at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.

Playing above the rim: Carlton Linguard electrifies during UTSA basketball practice

UTSA men's basketball player Carlton Linguard Jr. at the Convocation Center on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022. - photo by Joe Alexander

Will promising center Carlton Linguard Jr. play for the UTSA Roadrunners this season? If he is cleared, it could alter the team’s trajectory in a positive way leading into Conference USA play in a few weeks. — Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Coaches and players within the UTSA men’s basketball program on Tuesday afternoon caught a brief glimpse of the future. The image of 7-foot center Carlton Linguard Jr. leaping off the floor to throw down a resounding dunk was an eye-opening visual, for sure.

Eye opening and memorable. When Linguard elevated, observers at practice could see that his reach extended to the middle of the backboard square.

UTSA men's basketball player Carlton Linguard Jr. at the Convocation Center on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022. - photo by Joe Alexander

Seven-foot Carlton Linguard Jr. played the past two seasons at Kansas State in the Big 12 conference. – Photo by Joe Alexander

This time, though, the visual also came with audio. As he descended back to the court, the force of his two-handed jam created sound effects. You know, the sound that a collapsing rim makes in an empty gym just before it snaps back into position.

As Linguard completed the play and turned to run to the other end of the floor, some confusion was evident. What in the world just happened? Then, suddenly, his teammates let out a hearty cheer — in unison — for the well-traveled former standout from San Antonio’s Stevens High School.

For a program still languishing in the nether regions of the NCAA Division I NET rankings, it was a thrilling moment. But it was also a happening that arrived with some uncertainty. While Linguard is clearly getting closer to being in game shape, he also faces a few more important questions.

First, will the former Kansas State Wildcats center be allowed by the NCAA to play for the Roadrunners this season? If so, when? In a few more weeks, at the semester break, perhaps? Or, will it be next fall, when UTSA starts play in the American Athletic Conference, after a 10-year run in Conference USA?

Important questions, indeed, for a program that has been down the past few years. In an interview Tuesday afternoon, UTSA coach Steve Henson opened up about Linguard’s situation, acknowledging initially that the big man has looked good in recent practices.

“Yeah, it’s been fun watching him,” the coach said.

Since early in the fall semester, it’s been tough for neutral observers to tell exactly what the team had in Linguard. With his left knee issue, he initially was relegated to individual drills on the side of the court.

As official practices opened in late September, Linguard was doing a little more, and then as weeks passed he began to work out some with teammates in halfcourt drills. Last Friday, he started to run up and down the court in five-on-five, full contact practices. Since then, Linguard has engaged in four full workouts.

“He’s improved a lot in the last week and a half,” Henson said. “You know, a lot of that is conditioning and the confidence that goes with conditioning. Probably having that knee feel good for the first time in a long time adds to the confidence factor. He’s been pretty impressive.”

At times during his comeback, Linguard’s presence on the offensive end has been most noticeable. He can move around in the post area with his back to the basket and he can also spot up and shoot threes pretty comfortably. Asked what he does best, Henson initially mentioned his potential on defense.

“He covers a lot of ground,” Henson said. “He’s got a physicality in certain areas. He’ll bump some cutters. He’ll bump roll guys. He’ll wall up in the post. He covers a lot of ground and blocks more shots than our other big guys do, for sure.

“You notice him when he’s in there. Guys who get penetration and are used to finishing down in there, he’s challenging those shots. He just plays noticeably bigger than our other big guys.”

But, as mentioned, Linguard has other hurdles to clear before coaches can even begin to think about including him in a game plan. Technically, he is academically ineligible, and UTSA will need to get a waiver from the NCAA for him to play this season.

Also, the appeals process is only in the discussion phase right now. So, even though fall semester final exams will conclude at the end of the week, don’t expect Linguard to be on the floor when UTSA (5-3) opens a road trip on Saturday against the undefeated University of New Mexico Lobos (8-0).

Henson seemed reluctant even to speculate on when he expected to learn whether Linguard can play this year. “I don’t know if it’s between semesters, or what,” the coach said. “There’s nothing really we can do about it. We can push and ask and all that, but I don’t have any idea.”

Even though the school’s compliance office has been contacted on the matter recently, nothing has been filed with the NCAA.

“We were talking with compliance the other day on the best way to go about it,” Henson said. “We trust them. They know how it works. We’re kind of monitoring the semester and all that and monitoring his health along the way, as well … Hopefully we can get something submitted (to the NCAA office) very soon.”

Whatever happens, Linguard is expected to play for the Roadrunners at some point. After high school at Stevens, he played one year at Temple Junior College, where he attracted attention from high-major basketball programs, and then the last two at Kansas State.

So, it is UTSA’s thinking that if he is allowed to play after the semester break, then presumably he’d have just one year of eligibility remaining in 2023-24, but if he can’t play this year, then he’d have two years, through 2024-25.

Likely, players on this year’s team would love to have him back as soon as possible.

You can sense that much by the sight of him running up and down the floor in practice, by the look of excitement on players’ faces and by the cheers that echoed through the Convocation Center after one certain play above the rim Tuesday afternoon.

Germany’s double-double helps UTSA beat UIW to end a two-game losing skid

Jacob Germany. UTSA beat Incarnate Word 68-62 in men's basketball on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, at the UTSA Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA senior Jacob Germany has joined the school’s 1,000-point club. He’s got 1,027 for his career. Germany muscled for 15 points and 11 rebounds against Incarnate Word.
– Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The UTSA Roadrunners rebounded from two tough losses to win in the finale of the 210 San Antonio Shootout, riding a double-double from senior Jacob Germany to a 68-62 victory Monday night over the University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals.

After the Cardinals pulled to within three points in the final minute, Germany, a 6-foot-11 center, sealed the victory for the Roadrunners by hitting three of four free throws. He finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

It was a redemption victory for the Roadrunners, in a sense, considering that they had entered the Shootout last week riding a three-game winning streak and then had been humbled, losing by 20 to Grambling State on Friday and by one in overtime to Dartmouth Sunday.

Japhet Medor. UTSA beat Incarnate Word 68-62 in men's basketball on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, at the UTSA Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Japhet Medor is met at the rim by UIW forward Stephon Payne III. Medor, who twisted an ankle Sunday night, played through some pain in Monday’s finale of the 210 San Antonio Shootout. He produced 11 points and three assists. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Because of the possibility that they could have been swept at home in their own multi-team event with a loss to UIW, Germany acknowledged a certain tension in the locker room before the game tipped off.

“We obviously kind of had that chip on our shoulder,” he said. “We obviously wanted to keep our little winning streak going, to not lose at home. But coach said after the game (Sunday) that it’s hard to win games, especially when any team can get hot, whenever.

“So, going into the game (tonight) we were kind of upset. But I don’t think that affected completely how we played. Obviously, we were going to play hard, because we wanted to win.”

In the first meeting between the only two NCAA Division I basketball programs in San Antonio, UIW more than held its own. The Cardinals built a lead to four points once in the first half and then went on a 10-0 run early in the second half to go ahead by two.

But in the end it was Germany, Japhet Medor and John Buggs III coming through with clutch plays to give the Roadrunners San Antonio bragging rights, not to mention their fifth victory overall in eight games this season.

“It just felt good to get the win,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “We talked about that a lot. We walked out of here last night and, one play goes the other way and our mood is different, our lives are different.

“It doesn’t change the way the game was played but the effect of winning and losing on your mentality is pretty large. So many games, (it comes down to) one play. This ball game, it got real close at the end. If we hadn’t found a way to win we’d be sick right now. So it felt pretty good.”

It felt good in another way, as well. UTSA discovered that it can win Division I games with others besides Medor playing well on the offensive end. Curiously, the Roadrunners’ growth came about after the 6-foot senior from Florida turned an ankle Sunday night.

As Medor struggled, playing most of his 19 minutes after the injury early in the game against the Big Green from the Ivy League, Germany got himself going and scored a season-high 27.

John Buggs III. UTSA beat Incarnate Word 68-62 in men's basketball on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, at the UTSA Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

John Buggs III enjoyed a solid offensive game with 14 points on five of seven shooting. He hit four of six from 3-point distance. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Germany on Monday continued to play aggressively against the Cardinals, taking 14 shots and hitting six of them. Of his 11 boards, four were on the offensive glass.

In addition, Buggs played efficiently, scoring 14 points on five of seven shooting, and others such as Josh Farmer and Aleu Aleu looked much more comfortable and in synch than they did against Grambling or Dartmouth.

Meanwhile, Medor battled through some discomfort in the ankle to score 11 points against the Cardinals, eschewing his drives to the bucket to step back occasionally and take an open three. In fact, he knocked down two of them.

As the Cardinals made a run at the Roadrunners down the stretch, Henson said he remembers Buggs and Medor in the mix, helping their team win.

“There were a lot of drive and kick opportunities there,” Henson said. “I felt like Buggs and Japhet knocked a couple down. Japhet, we ran a set for him to get to the rim. He tried to go in a couple of times, going into bodies, hoping to get foul calls and wasn’t getting them.

“But then we ran a nice set for him to get downhill and finish with his right hand. That was a big bucket for us.”

Forward Davante Davis did most of the damage for UIW, exploding for 22 points and seven rebounds in nearly 29 minutes. Point guard Jonathan Cisse hit four 3-point shot and finished with 19.

Guard Brandon Swaby also made an impact, hitting four of seven shots for eight points. He dished out three assists and had five rebounds.

Henson credited UIW coach Carson Cunningham for leading the Cardinals to two wins in three games at UTSA this weekend.

“He’s doing a really good job,” Henson said. “They had a great game plan this week. They were very well prepared. They play to their strengths. They tried to neutralize their opponents (with) their defense, it’s real active at times.

“It’s a real credit to them. They came in here and played great.”

First half

Stung by losses at home to Grambling State and Dartmouth over the past three days, UTSA came out with a determined focus in the first half. Jacob Germany, Erik Czumbel and John Buggs III played well and helped the Roadrunners forge a 32-26 lead on the UIW Cardinals at the intermission.

Germany had six points and six rebounds in the half. Czumbel came off the bench and scored five while passing for a couple of assists. Buggs bounced back from a poor shooting night on Sunday against Dartmouth to hit both of his shots, one of them a three. The UTSA newcomer also finished the half with five points.

For UIW, guard Jonathan Cisse had eight points to lead the Cardinals, who had come into the UTSA game having knocked off both Dartmouth and Grambling.


UTSA 5-3
UIW 4-4

Coming up

Dallas Christian College at UIW, Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. UTSA at New Mexico, Dec. 10.


Christon Cameron and Virshon Cotton both scored 15 points Monday afternoon as the Grambling State University Tigers downed the Dartmouth College Big Green, 73-49. Both UIW and Grambling finished 2-1 in the four-day, 210 San Antonio Shootout. UTSA and Dartmouth both finished 1-2.

Jacob Germany has joined the 18-member 1,000-point scorers club in UTSA men’s basketball history.

After hitting for 27 points on Sunday and another 15 on Monday against UIW, the senior from Kingston, Okla., has now amassed 1,027, passing Steve Meyer (1,001) and tying LeRoy Hurd for 16th on the school’s all-time list.

Germany joked that he is now going after Jhivvan Jackson‘s school record. “I think I got, like, 1,500 (more) points to catch Jhivvan,” Germany said, smiling. “You never know, man.” Jackson, from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, scored 2,551 points from 2017-18 to 2020-21.

The University of the Incarnate Word is a newbie in NCAA Division I, as this is only the university’s 10th season at the top level.

Known originally as the Incarnate Word College Crusaders, the school started as an NAIA athletics program in the 1980s and moved into NCAA Division II in the 1990s, and then into Division I and the Southland Conference in 2013-14.

After four seasons of transition to Division I through 2016-17, UIW has been eligible for national postseason play for only the past five years.

In that time, the women’s basketball team made the NCAA tournament once — last season. But the men have yet to reach the NCAA’s Big Dance.

UIW coach Carson Cunningham, in his fifth season at the school, entered play Monday night with a 34-89 record.