Team preview: Stephen F. Austin

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

Stephen F. Austin coach Danny Kaspar's recruiting goal this off-season was very simple.
Find some help for 5-10 senior guard Marcus Clark (13.0 ppg, 104 assists).

"Last year, we had a very hard time putting it in the hole," Kaspar said. "Pretty simply put, when Marcus didn't score, most times, we lost. If Marcus didn't score and Anthony Paez (10.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg) didn't score, we for sure lost."

Suffice to say the balance Kaspar wanted to see wasn't there. That's why despite having a second-team all-conference performer in Clark, the Lumberjacks fell nine victories short of their total for each of the previous two seasons (21) and failed to win 13 games for just the second time in the last five years.

And, by losing their last three conference games, the Lumberjacks fell one game shy of eighth place, which kept them out of the Southland Conference Tournament.

"It was a disappointing season considering what we had done the last few years," Kaspar said. "But we did lose a lot of close games, and that could be attributed to the fact we didn't have a lot of depth. We needed to go get that, and even though we're only bringing back four players, I think our talent level is greater and our coachability level is greater. That's very important. Now, we have a lot of kids who will say 'OK coach' and go do whatever you ask of them."