The Sam Houston State University men’s basketball team is looking to secure the Southland Conference title for a second year in a row, but this time they have a new look with sophomore guard Zach Nutall.
Nutall and the Bearkats have started their 2019 campaign 4-3 and are a perfect 3-0 so far at home at Johnson Coliseum. Last year’s title, however, was not enough to satisfy Nutall.
“I don’t feel accomplished,” Nutall said. “We won a conference championship last year, and we are just pushing to do it again this year.”
The Bearkats had a stellar season last year gaining a regular season title before falling short in the semifinals against the New Orleans Privateers 79-76. Nutall averaged 17.4 minutes per game last year as a freshman and is now a full-time starter in his second year as a Bearkat.
Even with minimal minutes, Nutall averaged 6.6 points per game which was good for top-five on the team, and his 3.2 rebounds per game was fourth best. On Feb. 2 against rival Stephen F. Austin State University, he picked up a career-high nine boards.
His career-high game in points came this year against the University of San Francisco on Nov. 23 when he tallied 23 points. Nutall started the season strong by averaging 16.4 points per game through the first five contests.
Nutall has been effective defensively as well averaging 1.7 steals and four blocks on the year.
“I enjoy playing the one, two, three and four,” Nutall said. “Anything I can do for this team to help them win, I’m going to do.”
Being able to play more than one position has been a big help for the Bearkats after losing both Cameron and Josh Delaney. SHSU is also led by senior forward Kai Mitchell who currently leads the team in points, rebounds and blocks.
The 6-foot, 3-inch guard out of Bryan High School was a four-year letterman who helped lead his team to the regional tournament in 2017 for the first time since 2003. Nutall was the District 18-5A Offensive MVP his senior year when he averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.
Nutall and the Bearkats will return to action this Sunday at Johnson Coliseum to face Louisiana Tech University with tip-off slated for 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 18 marks the opening of conference play when SHSU battles Northwestern State University at 6:30 p.m. in Huntsville. Conference play will run through December and into 2020 up until the Southland Conference Tournament March 11-14 in Katy.