UTSA vs. Old Dominion photo gallery

UTSA guard Jhivvan Jackson is fouled as he goes through the lane against Old Dominion on Thursday night at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA guard Jhivvan Jackson is fouled as he tries to go in for a driving shot against Old Dominion.

Old Dominion beat UTSA 65-64 on Thursday night in a Conference USA game at the UTSA Convocation Center.

Wallace’s dunk highlights victory over FIU

UTSA players on the bench watch the replay of teammate Keaton Wallace's second-half slam dunk on Thursday at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA players on the bench watch the replay of teammate Keaton Wallace’s second-half slam dunk.

UTSA had already pushed its lead to 30 points when Roadrunners sophomore Keaton Wallace threw down a thunderous dunk late in a 100-67 victory over Florida International on Thursday at the Convocation Center.

See Wallace’s dunk below:

UTSA vs. Florida International photo gallery

UTSA guard Giovanni De Nicolao goes in for a shot against Florida International during the Roadrunners' 100-67 victory. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA guard Giovanni De Nicolao goes in for a shot against Florida International.

Keaton Wallace scored 27 points, Giovanni De Nicolao had 16 and UTSA shot 58.0 percent for the game in a 100-67 victory over Florida International on Thursday at the Convocation Center.

UTSA vs. Old Dominion photo gallery

UTSA's Keaton Wallace was 9-of-15 on 3-pointers including the game winning with 15 seconds left in a 74-73 victory over Old Dominion on Saturday at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Keaton Wallace was 9-of-15 on 3-pointers including the game winner with 15 seconds left.

UTSA came back from 18 points down to beat Old Dominion 74-73 Saturday at the UTSA Convocation Center.

UTSA vs. Rice photo gallery

Jhivvan Jackson scored a team-high 24 points as UTSA beat Rice 95-79 on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jhivvan Jackson scored a team-high 24 points for the Roadrunners. – photo by Joe Alexander


UTSA beat Rice 95-79 on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at the UTSA Convocation Center.

Photo gallery: UTSA vs. SE Oklahoma State

UTSA guard Jhivvan Jackson recorded 32 points and 10 rebounds to carry the Roadrunners to a 70-67 non-conference victory over Southeastern Oklahoma State on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA guard Jhivvan Jackson recorded 32 points and 10 rebounds to carry the Roadrunners.

UTSA beat Southeastern Oklahoma State 70-67 on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, at the UTSA Convocation Center.

Photo gallery: UTSA vs. Bethany men’s basketball

Adokiye Iyaye came off the bench to score 11 points for the Roadrunners in a 101-77 victory over Bethany on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018 at the UTSA Convocation Center.

Adokiye Iyaye came off the bench to score 11 points for the Roadrunners.

UTSA overpowered Bethany 101-77 on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018 at the UTSA Convocation Center.

UTSA vs. Mid-American Christian photo gallery

Adokiye Iyaye scored 11 points off the bench as UTSA beat Mid-American Christian 104-74 on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Adokiye Iyaye scored 11 points off the bench as UTSA beat Mid-American Christian.

UTSA beat Mid-American Christian 104-74 on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, at the UTSA Convocation Center.

UTSA vs. Texas state photo gallery

UTSA's Atem Bior goes in  for a shot. Texas State beat UTSA 69-68 on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Atem Bior goes in for a shot against Texas State.

Texas State beat UTSA 69-68 on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 at the UTSA Convocation Center.

What if? Lon Kruger once got a call to gauge his interest in UTSA

Before Oklahoma basketball coach Lon Kruger left the UTSA Convocation Center Monday night with his 621st career victory, I knew I had to ask him about a story that I’d heard for years.

Did former UTSA athletic director Rudy Davalos really call him back in the 1980s, inquiring about whether he wanted to coach the Roadrunners?

“I think we had that conversation,” Kruger said.

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger. Oklahoma beat UTSA 87-67 on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger. — Photo by Joe Alexander

As the story goes, Davalos was worried that he was about to lose Don Eddy, who was interviewing for the head coaching job at Oral Roberts in Oklahoma.

Which prompted Davalos to start looking around to see who might be available to fill the void.

He ended up calling Kruger, who was in his 30s and coaching the Pan American University Broncs in Edinburg.

Pan American is now known as UT Rio Grande Valley.

“I don’t remember the details,” Kruger said. “But as you mention that, it seems like there’s some truth to that. We had a conversation about, ‘What if?’ ”

As it turned out, Eddy did not get the Oral Roberts job.

He returned to UTSA for a fifth season, and Kruger would continue to build his program in the Valley.

By the spring of 1986, Pan American won 20 games, and after the season, Kruger got a much better opportunity.

He took over in the offseason at Kansas State, his alma mater, and ended up reeling in a pretty good recruit by the name of Steve Henson.

As Kruger’s very first recruit in Manhattan, Henson went on to star as a point guard for the Wildcats.

Now in his third year as UTSA’s coach, Henson would also play several years in the NBA.

“Steve was our first recruit,” Kruger said. “He was a fantastic player and a great leader. No surprise that he’s continued that throughout his life.”

Henson later served as an assistant under Kruger at Illinois, with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, at UNLV and at Oklahoma.

Kruger was the first college coach to lead five different programs to the NCAA tournament.

He’s coached two teams to the Final Four, including his 2016 OU team, which was aided at the time by Henson.

“He’a just had an unbelievable work ethic,” Kruger said of the UTSA coach. “He had it as an NBA player and as an assistant coach. Now he’s doing it as a head coach.”

UTSA coach Steve Henson. Oklahoma beat UTSA 87-67 on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA coach Steve Henson. — Photo by Joe Alexander

Postscript

For the record, Oklahoma beat UTSA 87-67 on Monday night in front of a rowdy crowd of 2,494.

With the victory, Kruger improved to 621-395 in his career. He is 4-3 against UTSA, including 2-3 in his four years at Pan American and now 2-0 at OU.

As for whether he would have come to UTSA if Eddy had left the program, we’ll never know.

“It just didn’t happen,” Kruger said.

Lon Kruger vs. UTSA

Legendary college basketball coach Lon Kruger is 4-3 in his career against UTSA, including 2-3 when he worked at Pan American and 2-0 at Oklahoma.

1983-84

Jan. 28, 1984 – At Edinburg – UTSA def. Pan American, 68-67

Feb. 25, 1984 – At San Antonio – UTSA def. Pan American, 75-68

1984-85

Jan. 19, 1985 – At San Antonio – Pan American def. UTSA, 79-70

Jan. 24, 1985 – At Edinburg – UTSA def. Pan American, 60-59

1985-86

Jan. 25, 1986 – At San Antonio – Pan American def. UTSA, 84-71, OT

2017-18

Dec. 4, 2017 – At Norman, Oklahoma – Oklahoma def. UTSA, 97-85

2018-19

No. 12, 2018 — At San Antonio – Oklahoma def. UTSA, 87-67