5 Reasons Why Stephen F. Austin Will Be A 2014 Cinderella Team
Stephen F. Austin will make only its second NCAA tournament appearance in school history. The Lumberjacks finished the regular season 31-2. It finished 18-0 in the Southland conference. Stephen F. Austin is one of the schools talked about as a possible Cinderella story. Here are five reasons why the slipper might fit a Lumberjack.
Desmond Haymon and Jacob Parker provide the kind of leadership one would expect from upperclassmen. The 6-foot-3 Haymon is not afraid to put the team on his shoulders. His running mate Parker can light up the scoreboard if he needs to. Deshaunt Walker is a third weapon the Lumberjacks can lean on.
4. Protecting the Ball
4. Protecting the ball
Stephen F. Austin does not turn the ball over much. The Lumberjacks average just 11 turnovers a game. Point guard Trey Pickney has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2:1. VCU may try to press Stephen F. Austin. If Pickney can break the press, the Lumberjacks should have some easy shots.
The Lumberjacks shoot the ball well. The team finished 67th in the country in field goal percentage. Parker is shooting 54 percent from the field and 47 percent from behind the arc. Leading scorer Haymon shoots 43 percent. This kind of consistency can help a team win 28 straight.
Stephen F. Austin comes into the tournament brimming with confidence. And why shouldn’t the Lumberjacks? They have won 28 straight games. The team finished undefeated in conference play. Stephen F. Austin knows it is the underdog vs. VCU. This puts all the pressure on its opponent. Expect the Lumberjacks to come out loose and ready to play.
Stephen F. Austin has been stingy on defense. The Lumberjacks surrender just 63 points a game. This is good for 26th in the nation. One reason why teams have had a hard time scoring is because Stephen F. Austin has been proficient at creating turnovers. The Lumberjacks are 38th in the country in steals with just under eight a game. An opportunistic defense matched with good shooting makes Stephen F. Austin a potential Cinderella team.