Team preview: Lamar

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

Double takes from opponents on first glance should be commonplace for the Lamar Cardinals this season.

Despite appearance, they are not a Big Ten team. This squad resides in the Southland Conference, though you wouldn't know it by its size.

As was modus operandi for Lamar coach Billy Tubbs during previous stops at Oklahoma and TCU, he will once again bank his success on big men. This year, the Cardinals will dress three players who are 6-9--junior forwards Nasheed Beard (7.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg), Thomas Fairley (8.7 ppg, team-leading 7.5 rpg) and Josh Goodwin (6.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg)--along with 6-10 junior center Jason Grant (4.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 42 blocks) and 6-8, 260-pound newcomer Lawrence Nwevo out of Lagos, Nigeria.

In a league filled with talented, athletic, versatile wing players, Tubbs is upping the ante.

"Coach Tubbs is changing things down there at Lamar," Texas-Arlington coach Eddie McCarter said. "It seems like he just keeps getting bigger and bigger. He's done a great job of getting those guys with size, and that's an advantage for him in this league."

Again, this is nothing new for Tubbs. At Oklahoma, he landed future NBA stars Stacey King and Harvey Grant. He turned TCU's fortunes around by bringing in Kurt Thomas and Lee Nailon.

The names on this year's roster may not be as intimidating as those just yet, but they certainly are starting to fit into the way Tubbs likes to coach.