Bobcats set for challenges WAC schedule will bring
SaN MaRcOS — Doug Davalos has spent the better part of seven seasons piecing together competitive basketball teams from disjointed parts, so he can identify a bit with Texas’ early difficulties.
But the Longhorns — who host Davalos’ Texas State team on Saturday — have it easy compared to the Bobcats. After three seasons of limited scholarships, players dealing with academic problems and different talent levels, Davalos brings to Austin what might be his best team yet at Texas State.
Still, because of the Bobcats’ move to the WAC and the tougher schedule that came with it, Texas State has won only four of its nine games. One of those losses was to SMU, which is 8-1, and three others came to perennial NCAA tournament teams Charlotte, Oral Roberts and Utah.
“If I would have had this team last season, we would have been 8-0 before we played Texas,” Davalos said. “The schedule we had last season was very easy compared to the one we have this year, but that’s the price of moving to a different conference and upping our expectations across the board.”
Davalos has had mixed results at Texas State, going 84-106 in his sixplus seasons. The Bobcats’ best season under him came in 2010-11, when they were 16-16. Texas State was 13-17 last season, including a 34point loss to Texas.
The ante has been upped by Texas State’s move to the WAC, creating more name recognition but also producing a new set of hurdles such as travel, scheduling and revised study times for the teams.
“We went from busing to just about every away game (in the Southland) to flying across the country every week,” athletic director Larry Teis said. “It’s been tough on all our teams because the competition we are facing is just better than what we faced in the past.”
Davalos, who is in the last year of his contract, said his schedule was built to be able to give his team the things it needs when the WAC season begins, and that he expects the Bobcats to be competitive. For the most part, they have.
“As a coach, you want your schedule to be indicative of your team’s talent level and the expectation of how you team will improve as the season progresses,” he said. “I don’t think about what kind of affect our schedule is going to have on my future at Texas State — all I can do is get my players ready to play the best I can and do the best in situations on the court during the game if they don’t.”
Teis said that, like all the Texas State coaches, Davalos’ progress with the Texas State program would be assessed after the season.
“The public only sees the wins and losses,” Teis said. “But we always look past that to how our coaches are building their programs, for how they are working with our players and their academics for what they are doing in the community.”
Texas State coach Doug Davalos’ Bobcats are 4-5, but most losses have come against good teams.