Five games into the season, Bob Marlin's Ragin' Cajuns Basketball team sits at 2-3. How does coach feel about the start?

Marlin is typically a cool cucumber, and he applied his same mellow media delivery when talking about how cruel the three point line has been. The Cajuns opponents are shooting 45 percent from beyond the arc, while Marlin's team is struggling at 28 percent. It's been almost mind-boggling how teams have fixed their shooting slumps against the Cajuns.

"They're taking deep threes, shots we want them to take," Marlin said. He then added in that the defense is trying to adjust to foul calls this year too, but he wasn't looking for a cop out, "We're kind of caught in between. I don't want to make an excuse."

Players like Hayward Register and Kasey Shepherd are lighting it up in practice, but when game time rolls around the rim proves to be not just unkind but downright brutal.

How do you spark the fire under a shooter to provide a hot hand? The formula is simple but can prove to be frustrating as time goes on: keep encouraging them to shoot.

If Marlin is truly concerned about his players hitting shots from deep all season long, he's doing a good job of hiding it.

"Once we start getting some to drop, they'll fall into place," Marlin said.

One thing Marlin doesn't lose a wink of sleep over is rebounding. His team beat every single team on their schedule on the glass this season. With Shawn Long patrolling the paint, it gives the other men around him room to clean up the leftovers. Perhaps that's what eases coach's mind a bit about the 2-3 start. When you rebound like they do, all you need is for a few shots to drop.

One of the advantages of having beasts on the boards? It gives you time to focus on other things.

"We don't spend a lot of time at practice rebounding," Marlin said. "We got some guys that can go get it."

When they're not hitting the boards, they're hitting the books preparing for midterms. Once they get those out of the way, a long road trip lies ahead. After a home game against McNeese State, it's out to Ruston for a date with Louisiana Tech before packing the bags for California.

All the way on the other side of the country, the Cajuns will face UCLA, a team with some serious name recognition, then follow it up with a game in Malibu against Pepperdine. Sometimes getting ready for the road comes down to remembering the simple stuff.

"Just make sure they bring enough clothes," Marlin joked. "Teach them how to pack: wallets, passports, drivers license..."

Once he was done talking about the travel plans, he remembered one last thing for the Cajuns to throw in their luggage.

"Hopefully, our defense will travel," Marlin said. "Let's see if we can get it going and take it with us on this trip."

Long road trips are exhausting, but the flight back from the West Coast would be a lot smoother with some wins.