Cards’ new journey dawns at LSCPA

Published 12:37 am Sunday, October 2, 2016

The last time Colton Weisbrod and Christian Albright practiced at Lamar State College Port Arthur, they were preparing for the NJCAA Region XIV tournament.

On Saturday, they returned to the old stomping ground in Lamar University red and white for the Cardinals’ first official day of practice, a neat way for the two to begin (or resume) their senior college careers. A new videoboard is being installed at LU’s Montagne Center, hence the change in venue.

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“This is ultimately always where I wanted to be,” Weisbrod said of LU. “Being a hometown kid, I always wanted to play for Lamar. It didn’t turn out that way, but it ended up working out in my favor.”

Weisbrod began his collegiate career at New Orleans for the 2014-15 season, so the forward from Nederland is making his second tour of duty in the Southland Conference. Last season, he teamed with Albright, a center from Dallas, to help LSCPA win the Region XIV South Zone championship, all while earning first-team NJCAA All-America honors. Weisbrod contributed 21 points and 11 rebounds per game at LSCPA.

Weisbrod and Albright are just two of six new faces on the Cardinals’ 2016-17 roster, one that is heavily guard-oriented but also includes an experienced group of sophomores including Port Arthur Memorial alumnus Dorian Chatman.

Eight of the 14 Cardinals are listed as guards, including swingmen T.J. Atwood, a recent Central graduate, and senior Marcus Owens, the only three-time letterwinner on the team. Sophomore Nick Garth, a shooting guard, returns after leading the team in scoring (13.4 points per game) despite making just six starts.

“A year ago, I felt like we needed some maturity at the point guard position, so we went with Torey Neal out of [Northern Oklahoma College] and Joey Frenchwood [a junior transfer from Hill Junior College],” third-year LU coach Tic Price said. “I do think those two guys give us stability.”

True freshman Cameron McGee of Dallas is also a viable candidate for extensive minutes at the point.

LU stumbled in Southland play last season with a 3-15 mark after starting 8-4. Price is looking for this season’s Cards to limit turnovers and become one of the better defensive teams in the conference after giving up 77 points per game, ranking ninth out of 13 teams.

“We’ve got some great kids on the team and a great coaching staff,” Weisbrod said. “We think they’re really building us as a team. The guys couldn’t be closer, and we’re going to continue to build on that as the season goes on. We do have a lot of new faces, but those new faces have a bunch of experience behind him.”

Chatman, a forward, made 18 starts as a freshman and turned in 8.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. His mental focus and keeping composure have been his points of emphasis in the offseason.

“Everybody came in on the same page, focused on basketball, winning a championship, and everybody’s pretty much the same type of person, studies first and athletics second,” he said. “It’s just a good mix. Coach brought in a good group of guys.”

Lamar will host its Red-White game at 7 p.m. Oct. 17 and open the season Nov. 11 at home against Howard Payne.

The LU women’s team will begin practice at 9 a.m. today at McDonald Gym on campus.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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