Texas teams in close quarters within division
Nov16

Texas teams in close quarters within division

By Cody Weems It’s no secret that Texas is a football state. However, all three of the state’s NBA teams are looking to make Texas a force to reckon with in the basketball landscape. The three division foes are set to battle it out for a spot atop the Southwestern Division of the Western Conference. The ageless Spurs are favored by many to repeat as division champions, but the biggest question mark the team faces is whether or not players can stay healthy for an entire season. Guard Manu Ginobili, who missed significant time last season with a broken hand, was already sidelined for the first two games due to a back injury. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has said he intends to limit the playing time of 36-year-old Tim Duncan, but as he told ESPN’s Andrew McNeill, Duncan has an ability to make the most of his minutes. “It’s just a credit to his professionalism, his character, his understanding of the human body and that there are only so many steps and years you have,” Popovich said. “He’s taken the best advantage he possibly can to extend that as long as he can.” San Antonio made a statement in their second game of the season by defeating Oklahoma City, the defending Western Conference champions. While the road to the NBA Finals may run through San Antonio, Dallas is looking to bounce back after a disappointing season. Last year, the defending champs sneaked into the playoffs only to be swept in the first round by the Thunder. The Mavericks are more than capable of competing for a championship but are forced to start the year without Dirk Nowitzki. The 11-time All-Star underwent arthroscopic knee surgery prior to the start of the season and isn’t expected to return for at least six weeks. Nowitzki told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon that it’s up to his teammates to step up in his absence. “The boys need to find a way to win some games, sometimes with defense, win some ugly games,” Nowitzki said, “but definitely find a way to win some games and play some decent basketball until I come back.” The addition of O.J. Mayo has given new life to the Mavericks offense. Mayo signed with Dallas in the offseason and has impressed through the first few games, which includes a 30-point performance in a huge 126-99 win against Charlotte. The Mavericks have looked solid on the young season and should be a complete package once Nowitzki returns. The third Texas team is one that many overlook, but the Houston Rockets are hoping to get noticed with their play this year. After signing...

Read More

Women’s hoops to start season at Southwestern

The women’s basketball team has hit the hardwood in preparation for its 2012-13 season. New Head Coach Lisa Curliss-Taylor will begin her first season with the Lady Cru. The team will return nine players and add nine freshmen to the roster. Brandy Dittert, Gabby Guzman and Tina Miller are the three seniors on the team this season. Curliss-Taylor has set the objectives this year by focusing on the present. “Our main goal is to get better every day. We want a successful season, but we also want to build foundation and continue to get better,” she said. The Lady Cru will depend on their strengths to get them back in the American Southwest Conference Tournament. Curliss-Taylor believes the team has much talent. “We have quickness, and can shoot it from outside and inside. This will make it difficult for some teams to defend us. Overall, we are a balanced team,” she said. Freshman visual communications major Kourtney Bevers agrees. “We have a lot of speed on the team, and when we use that to our advantage, we are dynamic,” she said. The team will also use relationships within itself as an advantage on the court. Senior nursing major Brandy Dittert thinks that the bonds formed on the team will show on the hardwood. “Our strengths this season are our chemistry and our heart. Everyone on our team is a hard worker and has the same goal in mind. Our team is very close. We get along on the court, and we spend time together off the court. The chemistry we have made will benefit the way we will play this season. I believe when a team is unified, it is a key to being unbeatable,” she said. Sophomore computer information systems major Samara Williams supports Dittert on team relationships. “For an extremely young team, we have great chemistry. We are also good about keeping each other accountable without taking anything personal. We all genuinely love and support each other,” she said. Last season, the Lady Cru finished 5-16 in conference play and had a 6-19 overall record. In the 2012-13 ASC’s annual Preseason Coaches and Media Poll, the Lady Cru are picked to finish fourth place in the West Division. The Cru totaled 77 points in the ballot voted by ASC West Division coaches, sports information directors and media members. They chose Concordia University to finish first with 137 points, followed by Howard Payne University with 129 points. Hardin-Simmons University comes in third place and totaled 108 points. Bevers talks about this year’s squad. “We are a very young team this year and definitely new. We have worked really...

Read More

Cru Basketball: Men expected to dominate conference, again

In 2002 the movie Like Mike took the screens by storm as actor and rapper Lil’ Bow Wow acted out a dream that many young basketball players share—to play in the NBA. Even more popular was the song titled “Basketball” that was released as part of the movie’s soundtrack. What Bow Wow didn’t know was that 10 years later the words in his song would highlight the thoughts of many Crusaders: “They’re playing basketball. We love that basketball.” The season is drawing near, and several around the ASC West believe that the men’s team has what it takes to maintain its title. The Cru received 17 first-place votes and totaled 140 points in the overall balloting at the West Division’s annual preseason meeting of coaches and the media. This is nothing new for the Crusader team Coach Ken DeWeese said. “Being picked first is something we have come to expect. It is nice that others think highly of our team in the preseason. However, at the end of the season, the team that is first is the team that has earned it with the best won-lost record. There will be no vote to see who is first. It must be earned,” he said. To come out on top, the team has several new challenges to overcome. First, ten of the players on the 18-man roster are new faces for the Crusaders. To have a successful season, the Cru must come together despite the changes in personnel. Next, with the graduating class gone, a vital part of the team’s scoring and rebounding must be replaced. The graduating seniors accounted for 62 percent of the points scored and 68 percent of the rebounding. Some of the weight will be handed to the team’s freshmen. Currently, they occupy eight spots on the roster, but they don’t plan to let their youth keep them from being key contributors in games. Freshman biology major Layton Zinsmeister said, “With losing all those key players… we have big shoes to fill. I speak for all the freshman. We are most looking forward to getting better and growing as a team. We want to work hard in practice to make the games seem easy. We all are going to work extremely hard in an attempt to win a conference title.” The team got its first taste of basketball against St. Edwards (Division II) in an exhibition game. The Hilltoppers upset the Cru 95 to 69. It was the long-range shooting of St. Edwards that clipped any momentum the team had tried to build. “St. Edward’s shot 38 three-point shots and made 19 for 50 percent from the...

Read More
Lady Cru ends season 3rd in ASC
Nov16

Lady Cru ends season 3rd in ASC

Lady Cru volleyball made school history this semester with the most wins in a season, 22-8 overall and 12-4 in conference play. The result was a trip to the conference tournament, and third place in the ASC. In the first day of the double elimination conference tournament UMHB faced off against Texas Lutheran University to win 3 sets to 0. An identical fate would await U.T.-Dallas in part two of the double header for the Lady Cru. In day two of the tournament, UMHB would fall to Hardin-Simmons for the third time in the season. A consecutive loss on day three against U.T.-Dallas ended the season for UMHB. “We finished a top-three team, and going through the season that’s where we felt we should be,” Head Coach Rob Frost said, “us, U.T.-Dallas and Hardin-Simmons at top three.” The team had an unusual dynamic this season and was comprised of 12 players, four seniors and eight freshmen. Senior leadership led the athletic freshmen through the record-breaking season and five All-Conference Team players. Shelby Prather is one of five freshman starters, and she filled a crucial hole left at the setter position. A graduate of Leander High School, Prather sparked the interest of Division I schools like the University of North Texas and University of Texas at San Antonio but believed that God was leading her to UMHB. “I was extremely blessed this season to be able to spend it with those girls. We got along so well and worked hard together to earn our success,” Prather said. “Coach Frost has done a great job with the program here, and I’m honored to be a part of it.” Prather posted 931 assists and averaged a little less than nine assists per set, had a team-best 33 service aces and 239 digs. Prather and Tina Miller were both decorated with second-team all conference honors. Miller, an education major and middle hitter for UMHB, led the team in kills, averaging 2.98 per set. She is proud of her accomplishments but pays credit to her teammates. “The setter is a very important part of my success this season,” Miller said. “I think (Prather) did amazing this year, and she will get even better in seasons to come.” Miller is one of four seniors who played the last of their college volleyball at the semifinals of the 2012 ASC Tournament. Morgan Baker, Elise Butler and Sapphire Reid were the other three. Baker, a three-year starter for the Lady Cru was a significant source of leadership and will be missed next year. She received Academic All-District honors and will graduate this May after her third year...

Read More
Lacrosse club earns spot in LSA
Oct16

Lacrosse club earns spot in LSA

It started out last year as a long shot. Trying to find enough athletes to field a team for a sport that most Texans have never heard of seemed an impossible task. However, the long shot scored, and now the club lacrosse team is a member of a college league. UMHB lacrosse was admitted to the Lone Star Alliance Lacrosse League recently. The Crusaders will be part of the LSA’s Division II, which consists of nine other teams in the Texas/Louisiana/Oklahoma area. “Being in the league, it’s going be a lot more exciting, a lot more competitive, and (take) real drive to actually compete and win,” junior marketing major Alfredo Rojas said. “Hopefully, it will be a better experience overall for the team. It’s a good way to get organized.” The LSA lacrosse season will start Jan. 26. Games will take place on four different weekends with two games played each weekend. Cru lacrosse’s competition last year was limited to scrimmages because they were not affiliated with any league. Now players will be able to have a set schedule with chances at playoffs through the LSA. “It’s going to help the school overall because it gets our name out there more,” junior business major and president Rowdy Gillis said. Last year the club was founded as a school organization, scheduling seven games last year and finishing the year with two victories. “Last year was kind of chaotic and unorganized,” Rojas said. “I’m looking to get a real team with some real wins on the schedule.” Despite some bumps along the road, lacrosse is back for another season. With Gillis as new president leading the charge, the club hopes to build its success. “Last year was in disarray,” Gillis said. “We didn’t have real organized practices. We’re going to be more organized this year. We’re going to approach this professionally.” The club is run by the players. Members of the LSA were impressed by the team who often fielded a team of around 10 players last season, the minimum number necessary. “Last year, even with the odds against us, we still stepped on the field to compete,” Gillis said. LSA members applauded the effort shown by the Cru. They have already started practices, but team members are busy searching for new players to join their team. They say that no experience is required to join. “I saw a sign for it (lacrosse) in Hardy and ignored it,” freshman exercise sports science major Ryan Ramirez said. “Then my friend Josh told me I should try it out.” Gillis hopes that with the added exposure through the LSA, more high school lacrosse...

Read More
Cru athlete from Cuba prospers on field
Oct16

Cru athlete from Cuba prospers on field

We live in a country that enjoys liberties allowing us the freedom to realize dreams. The people of Cuba do not enjoy such freedoms and have been suppressed for over half a century by a strict communist regime. The Human Rights Watch believes Cubans are denied many basic rights including free speech, privacy and due process of law among several others. This seems like such a farfetched reality to students living in a sheltered bubble at a private Christian university like UMHB. But the fact is, a student stands among the student body who has overcome the adversity of the world he was born into. Silvio Diaz, EXSS major and defensive tackle for the Cru, is thriving and realizing the American dream in an age when it has been thought to be a myth. Diaz was born to Osmany Diaz and Leydy Borges in Santa Clara, Cuba, a large city in northern Cuba. Growing up, Silvio showed he was a natural born athlete. He played soccer for a few years before taking up one of the country’s most celebrated sports, boxing. Silvio boxed for several years and quickly surpassed his peers, seizing two national titles. “I boxed for five years, and I was the champion of Cuba in my weight class in the 11-12 year-old category,” he said. After winning his second title at the age of 12, Silvio, his parents and his little brother Osmany Javier, would receive news that would change the course of his life. Diaz and his family had applied for a special visa program. In 2004 they were approved and immigrated to the U.S. They arrived first in Buffalo, N.Y., where Silvio seamlessly continued to train on his boxing. Six months in, work pulled them farther south to Leander, Texas. There, Silvio had nowhere to train for boxing and turned to soccer to satisfy his thirst for sports in middle school. Upon arriving in high school, two years after entering the country, his teammates on the soccer team told him he had the build for football. Though Silvio’s father wished him to continue to box, he would make his way to the gridiron. After a record-setting career at Leander High School, Diaz went from being a foreigner to the sport to knowing the ins and outs of a defensive lineman. Silvio interested several collegiate programs including Abilene Christian University, Virginia Tech, Air Force Academy and the University of Texas. However, due to the location and the school’s winning record, he would eventually commit to UMHB. The Cuban native has made quite a bit of noise in the Crusader football program these past three seasons....

Read More
Page 32 of 60« First...1020...3031323334...405060...Last »