College Basketball Nation: Lamar Cardinals

3-point shot: End to court-storming?

February, 18, 2014
Feb 18
9:00
AM ET

Andy Katz discusses a possible rule against court-storming, the upcoming scheduling challenges in the American Athletic Conference and the first domino to fall in the coaching carousel.

ESPN.com's Southland preview

October, 28, 2012
10/28/12
9:15
AM ET
Before getting to the Blue Ribbon team-by-team previews for the Southland Conference, here is Eamonn Brennan's quick Wind Sprint preview of the league:



Blue Ribbon's in-depth previews of all 10 Southland teams: Insider

Central Arkansas
Lamar
McNeese State
Nicholls State
Northwestern State
Oral RobertsInsider Free Sam Houston State
Southeastern Louisiana
Stephen F. Austin
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Video: McGlynn on Vermont's win

March, 14, 2012
3/14/12
10:25
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Freshman Four McGlynn led Vermont with 18 points as the Catamounts beat Lamar 71-59 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

DAYTON, Ohio -- Analysis from Wednesday night’s First Four matchup between Vermont (16) and Lamar (16).

Overview: This wasn’t BYU-Iona or Mississippi Valley State-Western Kentucky for that matter. Those Tuesday games were classics. Vermont’s 71-59 win over Lamar lacked drama.

The Catamounts led most of the game. They shot 46 percent from the field in the first half and took a 30-21 lead into halftime. Pat Knight’s squad recorded 9 field goals in the first half.

The coach’s late-February rant seemed to motivate the squad. The Cardinals won six consecutive games, including the Southland tournament title. But that momentum ended in Dayton.

Vermont expanded its lead in the second half. Overall, it was 25-for-50 from the field and 17-for-24 from the charity stripe.

Turning point: The Catamounts launched a 13-0 run during a six-minute stretch in the first half after they were down 12-9.

Key player: Four McGlynn, who has the best name in the NCAA tournament, led the Catamounts with 18 points.

Key stats: Vermont had five turnovers. Lamar was 20-for-60 from the field.

Miscellaneous: Vermont really controlled the game and played within its offensive sets. The Catamounts are a solid team.

What’s next: Vermont will face North Carolina in the second round in the NCAA tournament.

Video: Andy Katz's Saturday wrap

March, 11, 2012
3/11/12
3:12
AM ET


Andy Katz discusses the Saturday games that intrigued him the most: New Mexico's Mountain West title victory, Missouri's dominant Big 12 performance, Colorado's Pac-12 welcome, Pat Knight's post-rant championship and conference rings for old rivals Memphis and Louisville.

Video: Pat Knight on Lamar's title win

March, 10, 2012
3/10/12
5:47
PM ET

Pat Knight discusses his comments about his Lamar squad, a team that responded by sending Knight to the NCAA tournament for the first time as a head coach.

Video: Andy Katz's Saturday preview

March, 10, 2012
3/10/12
8:00
AM ET


Andy Katz previews five key games for Saturday of Championship Week.

So, hey, how's Pat Knight doing at Lamar? Let's go check, shall we? Let's see here ... actually, things look pretty good. The Cardinals are 17-11, already a four-game improvement over last year's 13-17 team. They have an 8-5 record in the Southland conference, which, OK, the Southland conference is bad. Still, the first-year coach, whose tenure at Texas Tech didn't exactly go well, has his team ranked in the top 140 in the KenPom rankings and No. 97 in the LRMC. At first glance, that's a pretty good year, right?

Apparently, Knight doesn't see things that way. After Thursday night's home loss to Stephen F. Austin, the Cardinals' third in their past four games, Knight let loose with a rather epic postgame rant. It began with Knight's entrance, when he stopped senior guard Mike James from finishing an answer, telling him: "OK, let's go. I'm back. You don't have a clue what it takes to win." Things just sort of took off from there.

[+] EnlargePat Knight
AP Photo/James CrispLamar head coach Pat Knight said the attitude and mentality of his seniors were "awful."
You can see the video here. I recommend you watch it.

Knight directed his ire toward his seniors, who he blamed for poor energy and effort in practices and games. He called them out for attitude issues, for dalliances with drugs, for a lack of accountability -- you name it, Knight said it. He held nothing back. Some of the choicest selections:

  • "We have a bunch of tin men out there right now. They've got no heart. I've never been around a team that's got so many problems as this one has. Usually you've got one or two guys that are a problem. We've got an infestation of guys that are hard to coach. I've never been around a group as a whole that are like that. Not one guy stands up."
  • "When I played, if you acted like the way some of these guys do, you got shoved in a locker with a forearm up against your neck and told you don't do that."
  • "We've got the worst group of seniors right now that I've ever been associated with. Their mentality is awful. Their attitude is awful. It has been their M.O. for the last three years."
  • "We've had problems with them off the court, on the court, classroom, drugs, being late for stuff. All that stuff correlates together if you're going to win games. You just can't do all that B.S. and expect to win games. And if people have a problem with me being harsh about it, I don't care. I came here to clean something up."

Turns out, some people do have a problem with Knight being so publicly harsh. Among them is Rob Dauster, who wrote at Beyond the Arc that he has a feeling Knight "is going to regret this press conference," that the "house issues must stay in house," and that "blaming your players [for] a loss, in my mind, is unacceptable." I can dig that, but I can also see the other side: The whole point of Knight's rant is that he doesn't feel his players (and, as he says, kids in society in general) are held accountable. This may not be the prettiest way to do so, but if you're trying to drive the point home and you're in Month 4 of the season and nothing has worked, making them publicly accountable is one way to do so. It may not be the prettiest way, but it's certainly one way.

Indeed, this may be the freedom afforded to a coach like Knight at a place like Lamar, a Southland program with little in the way of annual national relevance. Could Knight get away with this in his first year in a power-six conference? Probably not.

But this is nothing new: The man is honest, sometimes to a fault, with the press. Two years ago at Big 12 media day, Knight said the 2010-11 season was a "get-fired or get-an-extension kind of year." His team went 13-19 and tied for 10th in the Big 12. On March 7, 2011, Texas Tech fired him. Knight could have soft-pedaled his status, could have said the right things about "building a foundation" and "seeing progress," could have peppered his news conference with mindless preservation-minded coachspeak nuggets. Instead, he told the truth. If only more coaches would do the same.

On Thursday night, Knight told the truth again. It wasn't pretty, and it would be a shock to see Lamar's players finish this season strong; Knight practically pushed them out the door already. But he said what he felt needed to be said. Harsh as it was, in a world full of coaches who treat their teams like nuclear codes, it's hard to fault him for that.

(Hat tip: The Dagger)

Weekend's non-Carrier action good, too

November, 11, 2011
11/11/11
11:52
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Today is the big day: The Carrier Classic. It's exciting. It's fun. It's going to be one of the better spectacles in college hoops history. But for various reasons I discussed on the podcast yesterday, it not be the best-played basketball game of all-time.

Fortunately, there is far more to this opening Friday of basketball. This is really the first day of the season, and this weekend is the first time we get to see one of those familiar all-day smatterings of the sport.

An aircraft carrier's awfully cool, but actual basketball? On Saturday and Sunday? The season is back, folks, and that might be the most exciting part of all. Here's an extended primer on the weekend's most interesting games:

Friday

Marist at Kentucky (7 p.m. ET, ESPN3): For all of the excitement over the return of forward Terrence Jones, Kentucky's freshmen class is the reason this team is one of the favorites to win the national title. Thing is, we haven't seen these freshmen play -- at least not in a real college basketball game. Of course, Marist isn't going to put up much of a fight; Chuck Martin's team was one of the worst in all of Division I last season. Either way, though, it will be interesting to see just how scary this Kentucky team looks. If their recent 126-40 exhibition win is any indication, it could be a long night for the Red Foxes.

Rhode Island at George Mason (7:30 p.m. ET): Former Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt makes his debut at George Mason Friday night. In many ways, Hewitt's Mason move is his opportunity to prove some of the critics of his coaching at Georgia Tech -- those who say he was merely a good recruiter who couldn't often piece together actual basketball teams -- wrong. The team he inherited in 2011-12 is solid, but it lost major pieces (Cam Long graduated, Luke Hancock transferred) from last year's successful run. Hewitt's ability to get big contributions out previous role players will define his first season in the Colonial.

Belmont at Duke (9 p.m. ET, ESPNU): This is arguably the best non-Carrier game of the weekend. Duke is Duke. Cameron Indoor is Cameron Indoor. Coach K is Coach K; he's just three wins shy of breaking his mentor Bob Knight's all-time college basketball wins record, a feat he could very well accomplish in his next three games. But Belmont is far from a guarantee. On the contrary, the Bruins were 30-4 and a major tournament sleeper last season, but a tough No. 4 vs. No. 13 matchup with Wisconsin derailed those hopes. But Belmont returns almost everyone of note from 2011-12 -- they're probably the best mid-major team in the country -- and whatever advantages Duke may have on their home floor could be negated by the Bruins' experience and cohesion. We don't know if this young Duke team has those qualities yet, or if sheer talent will be enough to carry them through. But we get to find out on The U tonight. Don't miss this one.

BYU at Utah State (9 p.m. ET, ESPN3): Speaking of games you shouldn't miss, huh? Here's another must-see, and there are a handful of reasons why: Both teams are consistent winners, both teams are retooling after particularly successful 2011-12 seasons, both teams are well-coached and play smart, sharp, uptempo basketball. Those are all good reasons to tune in. But they may fall short of the two main reasons, which are:

1. This rivalry. Utah State fans do not like BYU, and yes, that is a massive understatement.

2. The atmosphere. Utah State superfan "Wild" Bill Sproat leads one of the rowdiest and most distracting student sections in the country. If he performs "I'm a little teapot" again -- just Google it -- your time will have been well spent. Trust me.

Oregon at Vanderbilt (10 p.m. ET, ESPN3): Neither coach particularly wanted to open the season with this matchup, as our own Andy Katz blogged Wednesday. But Oregon coach Dana Altman was desperate after learning Auburn had cancelled a proposed season-opener, and Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings, a friend of Altman's stepped up and took the game. It's not the most opportune time for Vandy to be playing sneaky-good, well-coached Pac-12 sleepers; starting forward Festus Ezeli will be injured for another six weeks, and until his return the Commodores may be content to tread water. A loss tonight would not be the start anyone in Nashville is looking for.

Saturday


Lehigh at Iowa State (2 ET, ESPN3): As we saw Wednesday night -- just before an athletic and talented St. John's team pulled a win together in the final minutes -- Lehigh, led by third-year star guard C.J. McCollum, can really play. This is a challenge for Iowa State. But much of what makes this game a challenge for the Cyclones will come from within: Is Fred Hoiberg's transfer-heavy lineup, featuring former Minnesota flameout Royce White and former Michigan State cast-off Chris Allen, mature and focused and ready to go? Are the issues that cost those players their original roles with their original teams officially behind them? Can a team with this many transfers be even greater than the sum of its talented parts? The road to answers in Ames begins Saturday.

Butler at Evansville (3 p.m. ET): Last year, when Butler went to Evansville and promptly lost to the Purple Aces, it was fashionable to declare the Bulldogs' season over. It's important to remember, not only for Butler but for just about every team on this docket, that this is only the first game of the season. In Butler's case, it's another chance to see Brad Stevens' handful of new players, as well as check in on how Andrew Smith and Khyle Marshall are adjusting to new featured roles.

Presbyterian at Duke (4:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU): This is likely to be an easy Duke win, but it has meaning: If Duke beats Belmont Friday night, this could be the game Coach K ties Knight for 902 career wins. If Duke doesn't beat Belmont, well, it will have to wait a game or two to finish up all this record business. It's a little anticlimactic, actually: We know he's going to get this victory eventually. It's not if, but when.

Northern Iowa at Old Dominion (7 p.m. ET): Never let it be said that Northern Iowa is afraid to play anyone anywhere. The Panthers open with one of the more brutal mid-major schedules of any team that doesn't have to play crazy guarantee games to keep the basketballs inflated: UNI begins Saturday night at ODU, where senior guard Kent Bazemore is looking to continue his program's recent emergence onto the national scene. Then, after that east coast trip, Northern Iowa travels all the way across the country to Moraga, Calif., where they will play Randy Bennett's experienced batch of St. Mary's sharpshooters. Just a brutal way to open your season. Fun, travel-filled, eye-opening -- and totally brutal.

Sunday

Cleveland State at Vanderbilt (2 p.m. ET, ESPNU): If there's one mid-major team whose fans are most vocal on Twitter, it may just be Cleveland State. They swear -- swear! -- that the Vikings have been overlooked this preseason. The reasons are understandable, they say; 2011 star guard Norris Cole is in the NBA, and CSU didn't make the tournament with him, so why would people think it could do so without him? But the Vikings do have some serious talent: Everybody but Cole is back, and coach Gary Waters has added a batch of talented players to the rotation this offseason. Vanderbilt, playing without Ezeli, gets two nice tests to open the season this weekend.

North Carolina at UNC Asheville (4 p.m. ET, ESPNU): You might be curious: Why would North Carolina go to UNC Asheville to play an early-season nonconference game? In most cases, your incredulity would be warranted. In this instance, it's a gesture of good faith: Asheville is opening a brand new basketball arena on Sunday afternoon, and Williams and the Tar Heels decided to help their satellite campus christen the new digs by dropping on the first weekend of the season. UNC may want to be careful, though: Any Carrier-lag or hangover, and they could find themselves in a battle with a scrappy Asheville squad. No good deed goes unpunished?

Lamar at Louisville (4 ET, ESPN3): Pat Knight is like his father Bob in at least one way: He's a thoroughly enjoyable character. Unfortunately, the younger Knight didn't display the kind of program-building prowess that for decades made his father the king of Indiana basketball. Then again, it's a bit harder to build a program at Texas Tech. It's not exactly "Hoosiers" in Lubbock, you know? Either way, Knight's post-Tech career with Lamar begins Sunday night at Louisville, where the Cardinals are gearing up for what Rick Pitino hopes can be his most successful season since 2009.

Southern at Texas A&M (4 p.m. ET): Texas A&M cruised past Liberty in their debut Wednesday night, and that should be the expectation when Southern comes to town Sunday, too. But the underlying concern here is for new coach Billy Kennedy's health. Kennedy was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's, and he is yet to make his return to the team after leaving to begin treatment earlier this month. Could he come back Sunday?

Chattanooga at Indiana (5 p.m. ET): Indiana fans are as excited for this season as any in recent memory; the addition of top forward recruit Cody Zeller to a slowly improving lineup bodes well for the Hoosiers' chances of avoiding the Big Ten cellar -- and competing for at least some form of tournament presence -- in 2011-12. But Indiana should be careful here: Chattanooga is one of the SoCon's best squads this season, and they could spring an upset on Indiana before you can say "cream and crimson."

Rider at Pittsburgh (6 p.m. ET, ESPN3): There are questions about Pittsburgh this season, questions that may either take a month or two, or no time at all, to answer. Can the Panthers rebound as well without senior forward Gary McGhee? Can point guard Travon Woodall capably handle his larger and more important role? We'll get a glimpse at some of these answers Sunday night, as Rider should at the very least provide a frisky early test for Jamie Dixon's team.

Florida Atlantic at Washington (8 p.m. ET): Are the nation's scribes just a little too low on Washington? It's starting to feel that way. The Huskies received minimal top 25 love this season, and they do have big holes to fill: Isaiah Thomas and Matthew Bryan-Amaning were this team's two most important players, and both are gone. But Lorenzo Romar does have a bunch of talent in Seattle, namely Terrence Ross and star freshman Tony Wroten, Jr., who may eclipse most, if not all, of the other star freshmen guards with his ability to smoothly score and distribute in Romar's fast-break game.

George Washington at Cal (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU): There are high hopes for Cal this season; many believe they're the rightful Pac-12 favorite. If so, they'll have to get nice contributions from Minnesota transfer Justin Cobbs, who has played well during exhibitions and could be a nice complement to experienced guards Allen Crabbe, Jorge Gutierrez and Harper Kamp.
The short version? Pat Knight thinks some of the NCAA's rules are "[expletive]."

The long version is slightly more complicated. Here's the deal: On Tuesday, the Indianapolis Star reported that newly hired Lamar coach Pat Knight may face some NCAA heat for potential secondary violations committed by his father, former Indiana coach Bob Knight. (Perhaps you've heard of him?) According to the Star, the elder Knight spoke for about five minutes apiece with Indianapolis-area high school recruits Jason Smith and Donnell Minton, both of whom committed to Lamar last week. The NCAA prohibits anyone but program staff from attempting to recruit a player to a school; it's the same reason boosters can't meet recruits, the same reason schools try so hard to police those pesky "Come to our school!!!!" Facebook fan groups. The rule also applies to Bob Knight.

So what does that mean for Lamar? Probably very little. The NCAA may investigate and hand down some minor punishments, but these are secondary violations. They're minor. Oh well.

That doesn't mean Pat Knight is all that pleased with the rule itself. Never one to gloss his feelings, Pat told the Beaumont Enterprise just how he felt about the NCAA's myriad minor recruiting restrictions:
"I didn't know it was against the law to have your dad say hello to recruits," Pat Knight said after practice Tuesday. "At least I'm not paying them. The NCAA should look into guys that are paying players and not worry about guys that are doing it the right way."

"I think it's (expletive), honestly," Knight said. "The guy is my dad. If he wants to say hello to a recruit, he can. If we get reprimanded, fine. They need to check into guys that are outright cheating instead of nickle-dime stuff like that."

Pat Knight is hilarious. When placed in a similar situation, your average coach would talk about how regrettable the mistake was, how seriously the program takes its compliance, how important it is that everyone realizes these were sloppy accidents, and boy, will we make sure they don't happen again. In other words, they pay lip-service. Pat Knight, like his father before him, seems physically incapable of paying lip-service.

As entertaining as that is, he's also wrong. If you want to be a college coach, you sign up for a certain set of rules. You may not like them all, but you sign up for them anyway. The NCAA justice system isn't the place to experiment with civil disobedience. You can't just say "that rule's dumb, they should focus on other things." If only!

ESPN.com's Southland preview

October, 11, 2011
10/11/11
12:31
PM ET
Before we get to the Blue Ribbon team-by-team previews for the Southland Conference, here is Eamonn Brennan's one-minute wind sprint through the league:


Blue Ribbon's in-depth previews of all 12 Southland teams: Insider

Central Arkansas
Lamar
McNeese State
Nicholls State
Northwestern State
Sam Houston State
Southeastern Louisiana
Stephen F. Austin
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Texas State InsiderFree
Texas-Arlington
Texas-San Antonio

More Southland content:

-- Andy Katz takes a look at veteran Willis Wilson's new challenge at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
-- Dana O'Neil on Pat Knight looking for a fresh start at Lamar after being fired at Texas Tech.
-- John Stovall gives a lowdown on the recruiting picture in the Southland.

The numbers you need to know

March, 3, 2011
3/03/11
11:23
AM ET
Inside the numbers behind Wednesday’s top performances:

1. BYU just hasn’t been able to figure out New Mexico of late. After Wednesday night’s 82-64 loss, the Cougars are 0-4 against the Lobos over the past two seasons. Against all other Mountain West opponents in that span, BYU is 26-1 in the regular season. The 18-point loss marked BYU’s worst loss at home since 2004. The Cougars never led, thanks largely to a first half in which they shot 26.7 percent. Overall, BYU shot just 33.9 percent from the field, its lowest at home since November 2004 against Cal.

2. Iowa had gone 240 consecutive games making at least one 3-pointer. But Wednesday, the Hawkeyes went 0-for-12 from long distance in an 85-66 loss at Michigan State, Iowa’s 16th straight loss in East Lansing. Opponents had been shooting 37.8 percent from 3-point range against the Spartans, second-worst in the Big Ten. In fact, this was the first time in the past 15 seasons that an opponent failed to hit a 3 against Michigan State.

3. Vlad Moldoveanu scored 31 points while leading American to a 69-53 win over Colgate in the first round of the Patriot League tournament. He’s averaging 29.7 ppg over his past three games. How important is Moldoveanu to American’s NCAA tournament hopes? Consider this: American is now 13-3 since the calendar turned to 2011. In those 13 wins, Moldoveanu is averaging 22.6 ppg. But in the three losses, he’s putting up just 10.0 ppg on 29.0 percent from the field.

4. Temple clinched the second seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament with a 73-62 overtime win at UMass. The Owls got another monster performance from Lavoy Allen, who finished with 14 points and 18 rebounds. It’s the fourth straight double-double for Allen, who is averaging 16.0 ppg and 14.8 rpg in that span. Through 18 games, Allen was only averaging 6.0 rebounds a game, but he’s doubled that over his past 10 games. Last month, he became Temple’s all-time leading rebounder, and is tied for the most rebounds by an A-10 player since David West.

5. Lamar’s bench scored 77 points in a 113-102 win over Texas State. It’s the most points off the bench against Division I team this season. In fact, you have to go have to 2002 to find the last time a bench scored this much against a D-I team in a regulation game. In 2002, Arkansas scored 85 off the bench in a 109-94 loss to Alabama. Wednesday’s performance from Lamar’s bench was exceptional, but not exactly out of nowhere. The Cardinals have the third-highest scoring bench in the nation behind Belmont and Northwestern State. Reserve Mike James led the way with 30 points, his best scoring performance since making headlines with 52 off the bench in January.

The numbers you need to know

January, 5, 2011
1/05/11
11:07
AM ET
Inside the numbers behind Tuesday's top performances:

1. Lamar reserve Mike James exploded for 52 points on Tuesday. The historical significance of that accomplishment was fully dissected in the Nation blog last night. So how did he do it? It wasn’t by being shy. James attempted 21 3-pointers and 35 total shots in just 28 minutes. Over the past 15 years, the only player to attempt 20 3s or 30 total shots off the bench was Mississippi Valley State’s Shun Peterson in 1996. By the way, there were three D-I schools that had fewer points than James on Tuesday, including Arkansas. His 21 3-point attempts were more than 44 of 62 Division I teams that took the court.

2. Speaking of great bench performances, LaceDarius Dunn scored 38 points off the bench as a freshman in 2008. That stood as his career-high until last night. Dunn went off for 43 in Baylor’s win over Morgan State. Coming into the game, he had only connected on seven of his previous 32 3-point attempts. On Tuesday, he went 10-of-18 from long range. The 43 points are tied for the second-most in Baylor history and are the most by a Big 12 player since Mike Singletary’s 43 (off the bench!) for Texas Tech in the 2009 conference tourney.

Most Points in a Game, Baylor History
50 -- Vinnie Johnson, 1979 vs. TCU
43 -- Vinnie Johnson, 1978 vs. San Francisco
43 -- LaceDarius Dunn, 2011 vs. Morgan State

3. Virginia shot 66.7 percent from the floor in an 84-63 win over Howard. That ties the fifth-best percentage in school history and is the highest since 1985. Amazingly, the Cavaliers did this while attempting 25 3-pointers. They made 16 of those, including nine straight at one point. It’s the highest FG percentage for a team attempting at least 25 3s since Pacific (66.7) in 2008. The biggest reason was Mustapha Farrakhan's career-high 31 points. He went 11-of-12 from the field, including 8-of-9 from long distance. Weighing the increased value of a 3, that gives him an effective field goal percentage of 125.0 percent. For a player attempting at least 10 field goals, that’s the highest in a game since Jerel McNeal on 2009.

4. Jared Sullinger had another big-time performance (24 points, 12 rebounds) in Ohio State’s 73-68 win at Iowa on Tuesday. But he wasn’t the only freshman to shine. Melsahn Basabe, who originally committed to Siena, put up a career-high 22 points and added 13 rebounds and six blocks. That’s the first 20-10-5 game by a freshman this season. Amazingly, it’s the only 20-10-5 game by a Big Ten player -- regardless of class -- over the last 15 years.

5. Northwestern State’s William Mosley recorded the fourth triple-double in school history, and the first since future West Virginia center D'or Fischer in 2001. Mosley finished with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 11 blocks. It was his second 11-block game this season, a total only Wake Forest’s Ty Walker has matched. Mosley leads the nation with 4.7 blocks per game, nearly a block more than the next player (Arkansas’ Delvon Johnson). Despite his big performance, Northwestern State actually lost to LSU-Shreveport, an NAIA school.

Lamar player scores 52 ... off the bench!

January, 5, 2011
1/05/11
12:26
AM ET
Entering Tuesday night's game against Louisiana College, Lamar's Mike James had played seven games at the Division I level. The JC transfer was averaging 10.7 points and 15.3 minutes per game since transferring from Eastern Arizona College. It was a nice start to his career at the small Texas school, but certainly not one that had garnered any national attention.

Then Tuesday night happened.

In a 114-62 win over Division III Louisiana College, James came off the bench, as he has in all eight games this season. Only this time he scored 52 points.

Yes, 52 points.

In just 28 minutes.

The 52 points broke a school record that had stood for 30 years. Of those 52, 37 were scored in the second half. Overall, James was 18-of-35 from the field and 11-of-21 from 3.

According to ESPN Stats & Information (i.e. our Research department, i.e. the department that keeps ESPN running), it was the most points scored by any bench player since Roderic Hall of fellow Southland member Texas-San Antonio also scored 52 in a win over Maine on Dec. 6, 1997. The most this season had been from Kentucky freshman Doron Lamb, who notched 32 against Winthrop.

Most Points Off the Bench, Last 15 Seasons
52 -- Mike James, Lamar (2011)
52 -- Roderic Hall, Texas-San Antonio (1997)
43 -- Mike Singletary, Texas Tech (2009)
42 -- J.B. Conley, Texas State (2010)
42 -- Cavel Witter, Creighton (2008)

Interesting to note that four of the five players on that list play(ed) in the state of Texas. Three are from the Southland Conference.

Here's another fun one from our friends at Research:

Most Points in 28 Minutes or Fewer, Last 15 Seasons
52 -- Mike James, Lamar (2011), 28 minutes
48 -- Ed Gray, California (1997), 25 minutes
45 -- Reggie Williams, VMI (2006), 24 minutes
44 -- Okechi Egbe, UT Martin (2000), 24 minutes
43 -- Stephen Curry, Davidson (2009), 27 minutes
43 -- Brian Burke, Lafayette (2002), 28 minutes

And one more to show how James' performance stacks up against other prolific efforts this season:

Most Points in Division I Game, This Season
52 -- Mike James (Lamar) vs. Louisiana College
44 -- Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure) vs Ohio in 4OT
43 -- D.J. Cooper (Ohio) vs. St. Bonaventure in 4OT
43 -- LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor) vs. Morgan State

Many thanks to ESPN Researchers Gregg Found, Nick Loucks and Jason McCallum, the brains behind all the numbers.

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