Photo – Avi Mehta
Lion Men’s Basketball faces No. 6/6 Texas in the final non-conference tilt.
COMMERCE – Following the Christmas break, the Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team is back in action on Tuesday, facing the No. 6/6 ranked Texas Longhorns in the state capital.
WHO: A&M-Commerce at Texas
WHERE: Austin | Moody Center
WHEN: Tuesday, December 27 | 7:00 pm
RECORDS: The Lions are 4-9 on the season, while the Longhorns are 10-1 on the season.
RANKINGS: Texas is ranked No. 6 in the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll. It is the first matchup against a nationally ranked opponent for the Lions as a Division I program.
LIVE AUDIO: Lion Sports Network – KETR 88.9 FM, Commerce (http://www.ketr.org)
LIVE STATS: https://statb.us/v/tame/428508
FINAL NON-CONFERENCE TILT
• Playing 13 of the first 14 games on the road, Tuesday marks the final non-conference game of the season.
• The Lions are back home on Saturday to play their first Southland Conference game against UIW.
SERIES HISTORY AGAINST THE LONGHORNS
• The Lions and the Longhorns are meeting for the fourth time overall, and it is the first meeting since 1962.
• Texas has won all three prior meetings, which all came to Austin. The closest game in the series was a 77-71 win on 2/20/1957.
HISTORY AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
• The Lions are playing a nationally ranked team for the first time this season, and as a Division I program.
• Last season, the Lions played No. 11 West Texas A&M and No. 1 Lubbock Christian, falling to both.
• The last time the Lions beat a ranked opponent was on 12/19/19 at No. 10 DBU, winning 102-78 in Dallas.
WINNING STREAK SNAPPED
• The loss at Denver on December 4 snapped a three-game winning streak, which was the season’s longest winning streak.
• It was the longest streak for the Lions since winning four in a row during the 2021-22 season.
• The Lions had a winning streak of six games and two streaks of four consecutive wins last season.
IMPRESSIVE HOME OPENER
• After being on the road to start the season for the first six games of the season, the Lions hosted Arlington Baptist on November 28.
• The stretch of the first six games away from the Field House is the longest stretch since six games to begin the 2009-10 season.
• The Lions scored 100 points or more for the first time since 2019 in the win over the Patriots.
LIONS TIE SINGLE-GAME ASSIST RECORD
• A&M-Commerce tied the program record of 31 assists against Arlington Baptist, which it also had against Our Lady of the Lake on November 13, 2018.
VON ROSENBERG WINS NO. 50 IN FIELD HOUSE
•The win over ABU gave coach Jaret von Rosenberg his 50th win at home. He is 50-12 all-time in the Field House.
DEMONIA NAMED TO ALl-TOURNAMENT TEAM
• Demarcus Demonia continues his excellent start to the season by being named to the all-tournament team for the Capitol Classic in Atlanta.
• He is averaging 15.0 points per game, which is sixth in the Southland.
NEVER COUNT OUT THESE LIONS
• A&M-Commerce has fought back from 10-point deficits in five games against Division I opponents this season to either tie the game or make it a one-possession game.
• The Lions were down by six at Air Force before winning the game while fighting back from being down 20 at Northern Colorado to tie the game in the final minute.
• In the win over Eastern Kentucky, the Lions trailed by seven points.
• Last week, the Lions trailed IUPUI by as much as 14 but made it a two-point game in the second half.
FIRST NET RANKINGS
• The NCAA released its first NCAA NET Rankings on December 5. The Lions were ranked No. 203 among all teams in the NCAA in the first rankings as a Division I program.
A HISTORIC FIRST WIN
• A&M-Commerce collected its first win in NCAA Division I on November 14, prevailing in overtime over Air Force.
• The Lions trailed by six points in overtime but sealed the win via a dunk by Demarcus Demonia.
• The Lions moved nine spots in the KenPom rankings following the win.
THEY WERE CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR
• The Lions played two close games to start the season but failed to secure the win in both games.
• In the loss at Northern Colorado, the Lions had two chances to tie the game in the final minute but could not get the shot in the net.
• Tied was the season-opening game at SMU with 13 minutes left in the second half before the Mustangs pulled away.
• A&M-Commerce picked up a thrilling 53-51 win at Hawaii on November 30.
• The Lions led by 14 points in the game, the largest Hawaii had faced up to that point this season.
• A&M-Commerce had the lead for nearly 33 minutes, while Hawaii had only trailed for 19 minutes all season before the game.
• The Lions jumped 20 spots in the KenPom rankings following the win over the Rainbow Warriors.
• A&M-Commerce is in its first Division I season and the Southland Conference.
• The Lions are coming off four NCAA Tournament appearances in their last six chances to close out the Division II era.
• This is the first time A&M-Commerce has switched classifications since moving from NAIA to NCAA Division II in the 1980s.
LIONS APPEAR IN NATIONAL RANKINGS
• A&M-Commerce is ranked No. 279 in the NET rankings released by the NCAA and No. 298 in the KenPom rankings through games played on Thursday.
THE LIONS PICKED SEVENTH IN THE SLC
• A&M-Commerce was picked to finish seventh in the Southland Conference, as voted on by the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors.
• The Lions tallied 56 points in the rankings, a point better than Houston Christian.
• The Lions return just one starter from a year ago in Demarcus Demonia.
• This season’s roster features six new transfers and four first-year students.
• Of the six transfers, three come from other Division I schools, and three come from the Junior College level.
• The Lion first-year students come to Commerce from all over the country, including Texas, Minnesota, and New Jersey.
YOUNG AND HAPPY
• Based on our research, A&M-Commerce’s coaching staff is the youngest in NCAA Division I this season, with a combined age of 128 among head coach Jaret von Rosenberg and assistant coaches Coleman Furst, Yolonzo Moore, and Ted Rawlings.
Youngest Staff in the Country
TIME ZONES ARE AMAZING
• A&M-Commerce is slated to play in four time zones this season and have at least one game in each of the four time zones in the month of November.
• The Lions are playing in the Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Hawaii Time Zones in 2022-23.
• There are 12 other teams in Division I that are playing in four time zones as well.
|Boise State||ET, CT, MT, PT|
|Creighton||ET, CT, PT, Hawaii|
|CSU Bakersfield||ET, MT, PT, Hawaii|
|Dayton||Atlantic (Bahamas), ET, CT, PT|
|Iona||ET, MT, PT, Hawaii|
|Missouri State||ET, CT, MT, PT|
|Rice||ET, CT, MT, PT|
|A&M-COMMERCE||ET, CT, MT, HAWAII|
|Texas State||ET, CT, PT, Hawaii|
|Southern||ET, CT, MT, PT|
|Southern Utah||CT, MT, PT, Hawaii|
|Stanford||ET, CT, MT, PT|
AMONG THE NATION’S BEST BLOCKERS
• A&M-Commerce blocked 5.7 shots per game last season, which was second among all Division II teams.
• The Lions blocked 11 shots in the win over Harding (December 6) and nine against Oklahoma Christian (December 11).
LIONS LOVE BUZZER-BEATERS
• Last season, the Lions made three buzzer-beaters from near half court.
• Augustine Ene drilled a jumper to beat the buzzer and tie the game at 28 against Seattle Pacific on December 13.
• Jairus Roberson beat the first-half buzzer against Ouachita Baptist from about 40 feet away on November 26.
• Alphonso Willis also made his buzzer-beater from about 40-feet away. His shot gave the Lions the win at UTSA on November 15.