Division I NCAA Basketball has seen lower-level schools jump into the division over the past few seasons. This upcoming year will be no different with four teams joining the ranks.
These are not power conference schools, but schools that will help make their respective conferences more well-rounded. We have an in-depth look at all four new NCAA Basketball schools: Tarleton State, Bellarmine, UC San Diego, and Dixie State.
Tarleton State Texans
Yes, Texas has yet another Division I college, this one in Stephenville. The thing that jumps off the page the most about the Texans is their coach. Billy Gillispie, former coach of Texas A&M and most infamously, Kentucky. Gillispie was fired at Kentucky after two years for not even signing a formal contract. He coached for two years under a “memorandum of understanding,” but never signed a deal. Gillispie was offered a contract worth seven years but never put pen to paper.
From the Wildcats, he ended up at Texas Tech and that was also a disaster. He lasted one year and went just 8-23. Before the start of his second season, numerous former players of Gillispie came forward with allegations of player mistreatment. He would then resign from Tech, citing health issues.
Back to the Texans, last year they went 18-12 and won 13 games in conference play. They were led by Josh Hawley and Randall Broddie offensively, with Hawley dropping nearly 15 PPG and Broddie adding nearly 11. Hawley also led Tarleton State in rebounds and steals. Unfortunately for the Texans, Hawley and Broddie were both seniors, so they will not be able to join their team for the transition.
The top returning players are Clashon Gaffney, Isaiah Range, and Devin Bethely. Gaffney put up 9.5 PPG and is the leading returning rebounder and led the squad in blocks. Range shot nearly 50 percent from the floor but can’t spread the floor much, shooting just 25 percent from deep. Bethely was the facilitator, leading the team in assists with 138. He is a senior this season and will be called upon to be the leader.
Dexter Johnson is the leading returning three-point shooter, splashing a robust 44 percent of his shots from downtown.
The Texans will play in the Western Athletic Conference.