McNeese 58, UTSA 54: Four Losses in Five Games
Things are looking rough. Ever since we slid into February UTSA Basketball has sucked. Sure there were some losses early, but those were correctable and excusable. Battling Oklahoma State in Stillwater to overtime after giving up a late lead was commendable. We felt good after that one.
Overtime against Pepperdine, the loss in San Jose, battling back against Houston, we showed some toughness while trying to adjust post-Devin Gibson.
Everything started to click on that five game win streak. Walking off the court against Sam Houston, UTSA capped a 8-wins-in-9-games run.
Then we slid into February.
Now we have a nice 4-losses-in-5-games situation to think about. The loss to McNeese drops the team to 7-5 in the conference and severely lacking in confidence. There are five more games to play (four Southland) including the UT-Arlington rematch.
The good news: TAMU-CC, TxSt and Central Arkansas are all living on the bottom of the standings right now. We have every reason expect a strong finish if we consider this team to be good. Are we who we thought we were?
This is the perfect time to start a run that will carry the squad into the Katy tournament.
Right now this looks like first-round exit material. The comeback was squandered by making the same mistakes that led to the 11-point deficit in the first place. Melvin Johnson, an 83% FT shooter, clanked the front end of a one-and-one. He missed wide-open three point looks. The defense allowed second-chance rebounds when possessions were scarce.
It was frustrating.
It has been frustrating.
Kannon Burrage, stat-king, has looked more like a ball-stopper and lone gunner. You know, the kind that lead losing teams in scoring.
Melvin Johnson looks like a one-trick horse.
The team looks like a shell of the Devin Gibson led squad.
I’ve seen this type of thing last season with my alma mater. North Texas was favored to win the conference, endured a terrible February losing six-of-seven, culminating in a blow out loss on the road. One of the stars was in the doghouse for not playing hard on defense, guys were getting injured, and everything was looking terrible.
Then they won their last two games, got hot, and only lost the title game on a last second buzzer-beater by the Sun Belt Player of the Year.
College Basketball is a weird animal.
If you are feeling discouraged — don’t. If you are losing hope — don’t.
Next up: Georgia State in Atlanta.
They are pretty damn good. They had a nice little 11-game win streak to being the season and are sitting at a reasonable 18-9 (10-6), good for fifth in the Colonial.
I say we look at this as a nice break from the Southland grind and a chance to bind as a team, pull together and get ready to go on a run.
How’s about you?
Editor extraordinaire, UTSA grad student. Twitter