Basketball teams set to begin Sun Belt play

Both the Texas State men’s and women’s basketball teams have struggled a bit recently, with the men going 2-2 in the past four games and the women dropping the past two.

With nonconference play complete, the men are 7-6 after beating Rice 74-66 Friday night and the women are 7-4.

Men’s coach Danny Kaspar attributed some of the Bobcats’ troubles to shooting, specifically from the free-throw line and on 3-pointers.

“Free throws have cost us two games this year, maybe even three,” Kaspar said. “It’s very frustrating for us to shoot the ball as poorly as we do. We have a drill. Every day I put them in a pressure situation drill.

“I don’t if it’s a matter of … I’m not saying they don’t like pressure, but maybe it’s because they are not as focused as much at the line. Between the 3-point shooting and the free throws, we should look better offensively.”

The Bobcats have played well defensively, leading the Sun Belt Conference in scoring defense and out-rebounding opponents handily.

The men will open their Sun Belt schedule next Friday against Appalachian State (5-8).

After a three-game winning streak against Prairie View A&M, UT-San Antonio and Sam Houston State, the Texas State women dropped their only two games in the Hatter Classic last week, against Bethune-Cookman 62-56 Wednesday and Stetson 61-54 Thursday.

Even with the two losses, the Bobcats are tied with South Alabama for the best record among Sun Belt teams, while also leading the conference in field-goal percentage (41.6 percent) and 3-point shooting (36.6 percent). Texas State is second in scoring, with 71.8 points per game, and in scoring defense, allowing 57.4 points per game.

The women’s team will start conference play Friday against Appalachian State (2-9).

Barrick Nealy hired by UTEP: Former Texas State standout quarterback Barrick Nealy has accepted a position at UTEP as the director of player development, according to the San Marcos Daily Record.

After playing one season at Houston in 2002 — appearing in four games and throwing three touchdown passes — Nealy transferred to Texas State and was the Bobcats’ starting quarterback from 2003 to 2005. He started 35 games, throwing for 7,206 yards and 52 touchdowns.

In 2005, Nealy won Southland Conference player of the year after throwing for 2,875 yards and 21 touchdowns while leading Texas State to it’s first Southland title. He then led the Bobcats two NCAA Division I-AA playoff victories before they lost in the semifinals to Northern Iowa in overtime 40-37.

Nealy had a tryout with the Minnesota Vikings in the summer of 2006 before playing four seasons with the Calgary Stampede of the Canadian Football League. He recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Texas State and was coaching at San Marcos Baptist Academy.