Cardinals Highlights

General information

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Southland Conference
Past Conferences: Southwestern Junior College Conference, Lone Star Conference, Western Athletic Conference, American South Conference, Sun Belt Conference
City: Beaumont, Texas
Arena: Montagne Center
NCAA Tournaments: 6 (1995, 1998)


National Championships: 0
Conference Titles: 12 (1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1970, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 2008, 2012)

Team History

The Lamar Cardinals can trace their roots back to the 1924-25 season, when they were South Park Junior College. The team played for five seasons and then disappeared until after World War II. The team returned under its new name -Lamar Junior College- for the 1946–1947 season and played in the Southwestern Junior College Conference. The team won the state championship in 1947–1948, and Lamar became a four-year school several years later.

The university recognizes the school’s first season as a four-year college in 1951-52, and, as expected, Lamar struggled a bit making such a big jump. But Lamar’s winning ways returned in 1958-59, and the Cardinals earned their first trip to the NCAA Division II Tournament in 1960. Lamar won four consecutive Lone Star Conference titles between 1961 and 1964, playing in the Division II Tournament in 1962-1964. Lamar then made the move to Division 1 and the Southland Conference. After a couple of down seasons in the early 1970s, the Cardinals turned things around when Billy Tubbs took over as head coach.

Lamar went 18-9 in Tubbs’ second season, and in 1978-79, the Cardinals advanced to their first Division I NCAA Tournament, defeating Detroit in the first round. The Cardinals returned to the NCAA Tournament the following season, advancing to the Sweet 16. Tubbs left Lamar for Oklahoma, but the Cardinals made it back to the NCAA Tournament the next season, with Pat Foster at the helm, and again in 1983, with Foster on the bench.

Lamar appeared in the NIT in 1982, 1984, 1985 and 1986 and then had a lengthy postseason drought that lasted until the team won the Southland Conference tournament in 2000. It was more than 10 years before Lamar reached the NCAA Tournament again in 2012. Since then, the Cardinals have appeared in the CIT in 2017 and 2018.

Lamar Cardinals All-Time Records

Points Scored

Mike Olliver, 2,518
B.B. Davis, 2,084
James Gulley, 1,832


Clarence Kea, 1,143
B.B. Davis, 1,132
James Gulley, 967


Atiim Browne, 641
Alvin Brooks, 432
Anthony Miles, 416

Lamar Cardinals FAQs

What Is Lamar’s Longest Home Winning Streak?

Between February 18th, 1978, and March 10, 1984, the Cardinals were unbeaten at home, ending with an 80-game winning home streak, the seventh longest in Division I basketball history. The streak ended in the 1984 Southland Tournament, as Karl Malone hit three jumpers down the stretch, and Louisiana Tech defeated the Cardinals 68-65. Lamar had beaten Louisiana Tech 85-60 at home three weeks earlier.

How Many NBA Players Have Played at Lamar?

The Cardinals have sent five players to the NBA, with Adrian Caldwell having the longest career, playing in six seasons. Mike James, who played 13 games for Brooklyn during the 2020-21 season was the last player from Lamar to make the NBA.

What Is Lamar’s Largest-Ever Margin of Victory?

On December 21st, 2018, the Cardinals played host to Division III Howard Payne. Lamar led 23-1 just over eight minutes into the game and took a 47-13 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Cardinals used a 34-2 run in the second half on their way to a 121-32 victory. The 89-point margin topped the 75-point win against Division III Mary Hardin-Baylor in 1996.

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