Men’s basketball determined to make playoff push despite controversy

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Sam Casey, men’s head basketball coach, goes over an offensive play during practice with the team Jan. 23 in Candler. The Rangers had lost to the University of Incarnate Word 100-64 at UIW Jan. 22. Brianna Rodrigue

Opponents malfunctioning equipment and unsafe playing
conditions should result in two Ranger wins, coach says.

 Dillon Holloway

The second half of the season has kicked off and the Rangers’ playoff chances are up in the air.

A conflict regarding standings has added confusion to an already challenging season, men’s basketball coach Sam Casey said Jan. 23 in an interview.

The team is a member of the Texas Collegiate Club Sports League.

“We’re either in fifth place, eighth place or 10th place,” Casey said. “As I understand it, the top six teams in the conference make the playoffs.”

Casey referenced two games that he believes should be official wins for the Rangers.

“There’s a game that we played at St. Philip’s, and by rule, their shot clocks were not working,” he said.

Casey said a malfunction caused the shot clocks at St. Philip’s College to shut off once the count reached 6 seconds.

Both teams and officials were aware of the malfunction before the game. By rule, if a home team has malfunctioning shot clocks, the game will still be played with the understanding that the away team be awarded a win regardless of the final score, Casey said.

The Rangers lost to the Tigers 95-89 Oct. 23 in the health and fitness center at St. Philip’s.

 “We lost the game on the court, but by rule, that should be an automatic win — which changes the standings.”

The Texas Collegiate Club Sports League, also known as TCCSL, has league rules, schedules, scores and a section for league standings posted on its website,

The league standings section, however, has been left blank.

“I think with the lack of leadership and lack of organization, it’s kind of becoming like the Wild West,” he said. “That’s just not what college basketball is about.”

The other game in question was against the Northwest Vista Wildcats Nov. 17 in the gym of Huisache Hall at Northwest Vista College.

During the game, a fight broke out in the stands, and play was permanently stopped.

“We had a game at Northwest Vista where their fans fought and the game couldn’t be finished,” he said. “For us, we believe that should be a win as well.”

Casey said the rules state when a safe area of play cannot be provided by the home team, and the game is called off, the visiting team is supposed to win via forfeit.

For the Rangers to make the playoffs, the game against Northwest Vista is especially crucial.

“The way they do the tie-breakers, it’s kind of strange,” he said. “If you and I are tied, but I beat the No. 2 team, and you beat the No. 1 team, then you get in because you beat the better seed.”

Northwest Vista is the No. 2 team in the conference, making play with them a potential tie-breaker, Casey said.

Teams in the TCCSL play both in-conference opponents and out-of-conference opponents, with the former holding more value when it comes to playoff scenarios in the case of a tied record between teams.

Northwest Vista and St. Philip’s also belong to the TCCSL.

Casey said the Rangers record is officially 4-16 with a record of 1-9 in-conference games, but should be 6-14 with an in-conference record of 3-9 if the league rules of forfeiture had been upheld.

Casey has sent multiple appeals to the league office regarding the two, but has not received a response, he said.

Casey also said he believes two teams within the conference may be playing ineligible players.

Casey did not name the two teams, but said he has sent requests to the league office for the team’s rosters, again with no response.

This college is scheduled to host the playoffs in April, Casey said.

Casey plans to push for an 11-team playoff bracket instead of a six-team playoff in the interest of fairness.

“My hope is that we have a single elimination tournament like every other college conference does in the country,” he said.

“I really won’t raise much of an issue at that point because everyone has a chance to win.”

Regardless, Casey said the team must make changes on the court.

Casey said he wants to start playing deeper into his team’s lineup and plans to use more press defense.

The press defensive style is designed to apply consistent pressure to the opposing team’s offense.

As far as offense goes, Casey said he has implemented a more concept-based system for his players to follow as opposed to standard plays.

“We don’t have a lot of A, B, C, D, E, F plays,” he said.

“So that gives them more freedom. We’re trying to simplify things.”

Returning to the team from last semester is psychology freshman Hyshoné Fisher, who plays at the guard position and is the team captain.

Fisher said the team is using more of an attack mindset this semester.

“This semester, the thing that we’ve been doing is coming in hard every day,” he said.

“Play every day kind of like it’s your last day of playing.”

Fisher said the team has been ramping up the intensity at practice with a special focus on rebounding and defense.

Fisher said as the team captain, he has tried to lead by example for the new players joining the team this semester by coming in on time every day and encouraging both old and new teammates alike.

New player Derek Miller, a criminal justice freshman who plays at the forward position, said his goal is to make a positive impact on and off the court.

“I think definitely bettering myself as a person, a student and a player,” he said.

“I want to help this team develop a good culture and atmosphere, and win some ball games.”

The Rangers played Victoria College Jan. 31, losing 122-82 in a conference matchup dropping the team’s official record to 5-17 and 2-10 within the conference.

 The team’s next game will be on the road against the Schreiner University Mountaineers at 8 p.m. Feb. 5 in the Event Center in Kerrville.

Josh Moore, of the TCCSL league office, could not be reached for comment.


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