Cardinals in SLC tourney for 1st time since 2008

KRISTIE RIEKEN AP Sports Writer Published:

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) -- Pat Knight's epic rant after a recent loss by Lamar made it sound like he was coaching the worst team in college basketball.

The reality is Knight's Cardinals are good. The coach didn't like the way they were slacking off and the premeditated tirade was an unconventional way to get them back on track.

It would seem unlikely that saying he had the "worst group of seniors" and accusing them of "stealing money by being on scholarship" after a 10-point loss to Stephen F. Austin on Feb. 22 would motivate a team.

But it did.

The Cardinals have won three straight since then to finish with the Southland Conference East Division title and the school's first 20-win season in 24 years.