HAMMOND, La. — Heading into the 2017-18 season, the Southland Conference will be one title race to keep an eye on.
For the second year in a row, stars from across the conference have moved on to the next chapters in their respective basketball careers. With that said, the conference race appears to be more wide open this year than it has been in recent memory.
The likes of the Lamar Cardinals, Abilene Christian Wildcats, and Southeastern Louisiana Lions look to overtake perennial powers like the Texas A&M-CC Islanders and Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks, and each team has the talent to do just that.
With the immediate future looking bright for the Lions, they added a transfer who could help the team in a big way in 2018-19.
Maxwell Starwood, a transfer forward from the Texas State Bobcats, has committed to play for the Lions, returning to his home state of Louisiana in the process.
Starwood hails from nearby New Orleans, which is just a short hour drive down the I-10 W and I-55 N from Hammond.
As a freshman in 2016-17 with the Bobcats, Starwood appeared in 33 games, playing an average of 8.2 minutes per night. He averaged 2.1 points and 1.3 rebounds per contest, while shooting 43.2% (32-of-74) from the field.
Starwood put up a career-high 12 points on December 20th against Howard Payne to close out the home portion of non-conference play at home for the Bobcats. He was a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor on the night.
In the regular season finale against the UL-Monroe Warhawks, Starwood went for eight points, seven rebounds, and two assists in a career-best 20 minutes of court time.
Out of high school, Starwood was listed as a three-star recruit by ESPN in the Class of 2016 rankings. He chose Texas State over the likes of the SMU Mustangs, Murray State Racers, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, and his hometown Tulane Green Wave.
The 6’8”, 225-pound forward will sit out the 2017-18 season due to transfer regulations, and will have three years of eligibility remaining with the Lions, beginning with the 2018-19 campaign.
If all goes according to plan, Starwood will join the likes of Marlain Veal, Chris Mejia, and Moses Greenwood to form a solid core for the Lions to contend with in the Southland Conference in 2018-19.
– T. Bennett