In any other season, Northern Arizona would be another year away from serious contention. Jones is the Lumberjacks' only returnee who averaged more than five points game. Everyone else on the team is either brand-new, or being called upon to assume a much greater role.
The good news for the Lumberjacks is that, aside from Weber State and Montana, every other Big Sky squad faces major question marks as well. So if things come together ahead of schedule, NAU could make a run in the league standings.
One plus? Continuing renovations at the J. Lawrence Walkup have the Lumberjacks expecting to play home games once again at intimate J.C. Rolle Activity Center, where they went 12-1 last season.
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NAU hoops coverage over at Northern Arizona News is decent. (http://northernarizonanews.com/blog/category/sports/).
There's an article explaining the reasoning behind playing in Rolle Activity Center instead of the Skydome. A little more insight into Austin Smith leaving the program: "Along with the loss of Rogers to start the season, the Lumberjacks are also without the services of forward Austin Smith, who abruptly quit the program two weeks before the fall semester began."
Thanks for the info and link MTJ, that is good stuff. Interesting about Smith... wonder what the backstory behind that is, I suppose we may never know (which is ok, everyone has a right to their privacy). Looks like their are some good nuggets there!ReplyDelete