Large season win outlines season for men

Rachel Taylor

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Redshirt senior forward James Currington jumps for one of his eight rebounds in the win against Loyola University New Orleans. The Lions secured their fourth consecutive win with the victory. Rachel Taylor/The Lion’s Roar

The Lions basketball team added another win with their match against Loyola University New Orleans giving them a four game winning streak.

Despite the team’s success, Head Coach Jay Ladner had higher expectations for the Lions’ performance.

“I didn’t think that we were as locked in mentally as we should have been,” said Ladner. “I’m not disappointed in the guys, but we talked with our players at halftime about, you know, what do we want to become? Do we want to be like the other southeastern teams or do we want to try to accomplish something and do something special?”

Redshirt senior forward Jordan Capps led the pace of the game with 21 points, and a career best three 3-pointers. He was followed by junior forward Moses Greenwood with 15 points. Greenwood had the game-high of nine rebounds, which helped boost the team’s total to their season-high of 41 rebounds. Junior guard D’Angelo West had a career best of 12 points.

West credited the help of his teammates when talking about his performance in the game against Loyola.

“My teammates would just get me open, get me the right spot, and I was just fortunate enough to hit it,” said West.

Ladner had favorable things to say about the player.

“He has a great attitude, and he works hard every day,” said Ladner. “So I was glad to get him some minutes tonight. He is going to be a real valuable asset to us as we continue through the year.”

Ladner is pleased with the win, but he is focused on moving forward.

“I’m proud that we won,” said Ladner. “There were certainly some bright spots. I don’t want to sound like I’m just down in the dumps about it, but I’ll just say this: we’ve got some work to do.”

That work is all to prepare the team to be able to take on league play.

“I just asked our players that in the locker room, and I said, ‘you know, we have to decide what we want to be and if as a coaching staff we want to play for the league championship, but there’s a price to be paid for that,’” said Ladner. “There’s a level of play that you have to accomplish if you’re going to do that. It’s only been done one time in the history of our school, so you know, we’ve got a tall order.”

Ladner thinks the team has the means and ability to make it to the Southland Conference Championship.

“We’re going to have to improve a lot between now and in the season, but I certainly think it’s conceivable,” said Ladner. “I think we have the players to do it.”

The upcoming break in games for finals and the practice it allows gives the Lions the opportunity to make those improvements.

“I’m excited about getting back to practice,” said Ladner. “One of the things that I don’t know if a lot of people understand is when you’re traveling as much as we’re required to travel, you lose practice time, and you don’t have as much time to maintain that level of intensity. I think what I’ve seen tonight, I saw some slippage in fundamentals. I saw some slippage in our execution and in our transition to defense, and those are the things that we need to get back to practice for. So, we’re going to treat these next 10 days as a boot camp, not in terms of punishment, but as a kind of way to get back to the basics.”

Junior forward Moses Greenwood prepares to shoot a free throw in the match against Loyola University New Orleans. Rachel Taylor/The Lion’s Roar

 

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