Marlin’s Cajuns Catching Flame [VIDEO]
Playing ten of your first fifteen games on the road is a brutal way to start a basketball season, but the Cajuns found a way to survive.
After taking some lumps to start the season, Bob Marlin's Ragin' Cajun basketball team started to turn the corner in Sun Belt Conference play. Early on, when the shots weren't falling and the wins weren't coming, Marlin had to try his best to keep the team morale afloat.
"We just try to grow as a team and continue to stay positive with them, let them know the most important part of the season is at the end," Marlin said.
There might not be a hotter team in the conference heading into the Sun Belt Tournament. A few other teams got a big head start with the Cajuns on the road, but they caught up ground in a hurry once they got back to the Cajundome. Their fortune didn't change at home though, it happened in the state of Georgia.
A crucial road trip to take on Georgia Southern and Georgia State resulted in two wins that started their current win streak.
The coaches at UL have been known to speech to each other's teams from time to time. Head Baseball Coach Tony Robichaux's motivational speeches have been well documented, but how many times have you heard from the golf coach, Theo Sliman?
Coach Sliman asked Marlin to have a few words after a recent win, and here's what he told the squad.
"Here's the story: where did Coke start? It started in Atlanta. Where did Chik-Fil-A start? It started in Atlanta. Where did your season start? It started in Atlanta," Sliman said.
The Cajuns might not be household names like Coke and Chik-Fil-A, but they're certainly turning heads with their current play on the court.
Looking at the Sun Belt Conference, Little Rock started at a sprinter's pace and have kept their speed up all year. UT-Arlington began with a lot of games at home but face a rugged final stretch. The Cajuns got their troubles out of the way early, now they are rolling downhill directly into their conference tournament.
They might not end up with the top seed, but the momentum is all that matters.
"March is what it's all about," Marlin said. "We finished the years strong recently with our team and been one of the better teams in the league, and its nice to be hot going into the conference tournament."
If you cut down the nets at the end of the season, nobody asks you about the beginning of the year. If you're reading the Cajuns' story this year, don't get caught up on the early chapters. They saved the best for last.