San Francisco vs. Houston Baptist Preview


USF Dons (4-3) vs. Houston Baptist (3-2)

Date and Time: Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 2:00 pm PST

Location: War Memorial Gymnasium, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.



Meet the Teams

San Francisco

USF continues its pre-season tour of the conferences having played against teams from the MAAC, the Missouri River Valley and the Pac-12 conferences. It has been a mixed bag of results.

The Dons and the Houston Baptist Huskies are evenly matched, the Dons a top four team in last year’s WCC, the Huskies a consistent top of the NAIA team though an unknown team in the Southland conference, their new conference this year.

After the loss at Colorado, Coach Walters pointed out that “it is really hard to win a game when you are shooting yourselves in the foot.” The Dons accomplished 18 turnovers in that game which is not a proud statistic. Mark Tollefson and Matt Christiansen led the Dons in scoring against Colorado, Christiansen on fire connecting with 71% of his shots from the floor. Tim Derksen and Kruize Pinkins were well contained by Colorado which left the Dons scrambling for points.

The Dons should be able to win this game. I’m just not sure where the Dons are at in their outlook. Given the high level that the rest of the WCC teams are playing at already in the pre-season, the Dons definitely need to find a different gear to regain their offensive productivity.

Houston Baptist

A new year brings with it a new conference for the Huskies. Formerly an NAIA powerhouse, Houston Baptist has joined the Division I ranks and will compete in Southland Conference.

Based on their NAIA record and the leadership of Head Coach Ron Cottrell, who has been at Houston Baptist for 23 years (longer than most of his players have been alive), this program was frequently an NAIA Top 25 team, frequent winners of their old conference title (the Red River Athletic Conference) leading to 10 consecutive appearances in the NAIA post-season tournament. What we don’t know is how this team will match up against the other teams in the Division I Southland conference.

More from West Coast Convo

What we do know is that this team will be ready to play a WCC team and it will be well matched against USF. Coach Cottrell likes his teams to play up tempo offense with pressure defense which sounds a lot like USF. Houston Baptist won their recent game against Conference USA member Rice University though found themselves on the losing end of their game against Northwestern, a Big 10 Conference member.

Leading scorers for the Huskies include Anchorage, Alaska forward, Colter Lasher who is leading the team averaging 12.6 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game, guard Anthony Odunsi, Latvian Center Richmonds Vilde (who does not appear to be happy with the photographer in his roster photo) and combo guard/forward Reveal Chukwujekwu (say that name three times fast) who is shooting a whopping 65% from the field. Normally, senior forward Tyler Russell is a major contributor to the team but statistically did not make much of an impact in the game against Rice.