LEVELLAND—The South Plains College men's basketball team will begin conference play on Wednesday when they travel to Midland for the conference opener with tipoff set for 7:30 p.m.
The Texans come into the contest with an unblemished 8-0 record, ranked 5th in the country and are picked to win the Western Junior College Athletic Conference as voted on by head coaches in the WJCAC.
South Plains finished second in WJCAC play a season ago, splitting the series 1-1 with Midland in 2015. The Texans downed the Chaparrals 89-63 in their first matchup last season on Dec. 2 at the Texan Dome, before dropping the second contest 70-62 in Midland on Jan. 28.
Traveling to face one of your toughest opponents in a rigid environment is never an easy task. That said, the Texans have shown the ability to win on the road against elite completion, as they did with their 110-74 victory over 3rd ranked Trinity Valley on Nov. 6 in Lewisville, and will look to continue that trend when they take to the hardwood on Wednesday night.
"We've played pretty well to this point, but that's all over now and the games from here on out determine the postseason for you," South Plains head coach Steve Green said. "We're catching Midland when they're on a three-game win streak, with a really impressive road win at Three Rivers the other night. I think they found themselves and are playing well, and everyone is zero and zero right now. They've got good players, and I think it's a really good test for us."
The Chaparrals come into Wednesday as winners of five of their last six games, led by sophomores Devin Campbell and Juan Cardenas. Campbell is averaging 15.2 points per game, while Cardenas is averaging 14.9 points per game and shooting 54 percent from the field on the season.
South Plains enters Wednesday averaging 107.6 points per game which currently ranks 7th in the country. The Texans lead the NJCAA in 3-pointers made per game, averaging 14.1 3s per 40 minutes. Facilitating the basketball to create open looks continues to impact the Texans' dynamic offense, as their 22.6 assists per game ranks 9th in the country to date.
Texas Tech commit Jordan Brangers leads the Texans offense in scoring with 20.6 points per game and ranks 3rd in the country with his 38 3-pointers made. Josh Webster, who has also committed to play for the Red Raiders, ranks second in the country with his 78 assists.
"This is a conference game so it's more important, and that more than anything might be a little bit of a factor in how we play in the most important game of the season to this point," Green said. "We have a lot of guys who can score from all spots on the floor, and for the most part, we play pretty unselfishly. We're shooting at a high clip through the first eight games, but I've been telling these guys all season long, 'we have to find another way to win games besides just outscoring people.'"
You can watch the action live at spctexans.com using the 'Watch Games' tab at the top of the homepage. Michael Wiiest of KLVT radio in Levelland will call the play-by-play action, with pregame coverage set to begin at 7:15 p.m.