I haven't blogged this week because it is hard to type when you are depressed and frustrated. After the Arkansas-Pine Bluff loss I needed to go blogless for a few days! With that said, I will give you a "Blog Four-Pack" to make up for the week:
1. "Pine Bluff"
As you can imagine, I was really frustrated with that performance. Looking back, our staff realized our team didn't take that game seriously. Since UAPB had a record of 0-7, coupled with the fact that we had just played very well in our previous outing, our guys thought it was going to be easy! Plus, we were to play at A&M in two days....we were coming off exams....UAPB played a very tough schedule....I knew they were better than their record. All the makings of a perfect "Trap Game".
Who are we to take anyone lightly! That is the problem with inexperience. We will have "high highs and low lows" with an inexperienced group.
After the poor performance, I took the team into the practice facility and we ran sprints for an hour and twenty minutes. I didn't yell or scream. I just let them know that their lack of effort was not acceptable and will not be tolerated!
2. "The Day After"
One of the best things about college basketball is you often have two or three games in a week. This forces you to move on quickly from one game to another. We watched film from the previous night. From the jump ball you could tell by our body language that we were sluggish. I pointed out the poor effort and told the team we need to learn from this. We then went out and had a short practice to move on from Pine Bluff and to prepare for A&M.
After practice we got on the bus for College Station.
3. "Mo Better"
Good news came on Wednesday - Mo Faye was going to be eligible for the A&M game! We had hoped he was going to play vs. Pine Bluff, but this was going to have to do. Thanks to all the people who worked to make this happen. Mouhammad is a talented player that will entertain the Mustang faithful over the next two seasons. He is a big wing that can pass, handle and shoot the ball!
We made a few adjustments in preparing for A&M. We played a smaller line up that gave us more energy as we incorporated a "Run and Shoot" type offense that spreads the floor more. We wanted to try to take advantage of the Aggie's size, using their strength against them.
I could sense a better focus in the shootaround, the pre-game meal and the scouting report. I think we grew from the Pine Bluff game, yet it would be a big challenge to beat A&M.
We started off very well. Rob Nyakundi showed off his shooting prowess and our smaller team played with a scrappiness I admire! Even though we lost, I know we got better as a team and as a program!
Now we need to be able to finish games off. Carter's big three after we cut it to one point is a case in point. He should never had that type of look against us in that situation.
Next stop: at Northwestern next Tuesday.