Men’s Basketball Grows in the Court & the Classroom

Published: November 30, 2018 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 2 minutes

Photo of SUU Men's Basketball Coach Todd SimonSouthern Utah University’s men’s basketball coach Todd Simon is anticipating another great season from the Thunderbirds. Since Simon began coaching in 2015, the team has made progress in game play, team practice, community engagement, and academic excellence.

“It’s a big focus of ours to develop the whole athlete,” said Simon. “The boys are at SUU to get a degree first and foremost, we want them to leave here with a forty year plan. The biggest thing we want to establish, besides our culture, is our philosophy- do the next thing right.”

The team finished the 2016-2017 season with a perfect 1,000 single-year academic progress rate (APR), and raised their multi-year APR by seven points. The APR measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or academic term and provides a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in every sport. All teams must meet an academic threshold of 930 to qualify for the postseason and can face penalties for continued low academic performance.

The team’s goals for the upcoming 2018-2019 season include program consistency and improved competition play, specifically in conference play. They want to remember their victory last year in making it to the Big Sky Conference Semifinals, and continue progressing in the direction that leads to the finals.

“In the next four years, we hope to win a conference championship,” said Simon.

According to Simon, the Cedar City community has positively impacted the players. During the 2016-2017 season, the desire was to show the community the team is capable of winning; the new goal is for winning be the standard.

“We want the team to be part of the Cedar City community, understand what it means and serve it,” said Simon. “They have been involved in several community service activities such as assisting with move in day, the North Elementary WATCHDogs event, and the Iron Springs Elementary Carnival among several others. The team is currently in second place, out of all the SUU athletic teams, for most community service hours.”

This is Simon’s third season coaching the SUU men’s basketball team. During Simon’s first season coaching, 2016-2017, the team finished 6-27. During the 2017-2018 year, their final numbers more than doubled as they finished 13-19 and played in the Big Sky Conference Semifinals. Further growth is anticipated this year.

Stay up to date on SUU Men’s Basketball by visiting SUU Athletics website and following @SUUBasketball on Twitter.

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