SFA Men prep for Southland Conference Tournament - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

SFA Men prep for Southland Conference Tournament

KLTV Staff KLTV Staff

With another regular season in the books, Stephen F. Austin is preparing for the Southland Conference Tournament.

The only exception is that for the first time in four years, they won't be entering as the No.1 seed.

"We've shown numerous times that we should have been the number one team. It just seems like every time we were given the opportunity to be number one we would have our worst game of the year every time," said Leon Gilmore, junior Lumberjack. 

Instead, the Lumberjacks will have to persevere through the tournament as the No. 3 seed. Which means three games separate the Jacks from their fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance. 

While the Jacks will admit they feel the chip on their shoulder, the pressure that usually comes with this make or break situation is absent.  

"Keller tells us everyday there is no pressure. He tells us the pressure is on them. Everybody looks at us as their biggest game, we know that. We just go in every game with a positive mindset and think about winning," said Gilmore. 

"Everybody is feeling confident. We take after our coach, Coach Keller is the most confident man I know. We take after him, we want to be as confident  as possible walking on the court. We feel like we work hard, and with hard work comes success," said Cameron Dallas, Lumberjacks senior. 

The Lumberjacks calm is not without merit. Their 12 and 6 record may not be as impressive as previous years, but SFA has still handed every Southland opponent a loss. According to Head Coach Kyle Keller, that's the reason he's predicting purple reign.

"There is not one team that we don't feel like we can't beat. I like my team, I believe in them. I think in a one game opportunity, which is what you have at the tournament. I would take my team over anybody that we have to play," said Coach Keller. 

SFA will play the winner of Lamar and Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday night. 

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