WATCH: Bob Marlin On Cajundome Renovations, In-State Matchups
The Ragin' Cajuns are on a four game win streak, they have a brand new basketball court, they're back in the Cajundome, and Bob Marlin is enjoying the ride.
After a 1-2 start, with both losses coming on the road, Marlin's Cajuns decided it was time to flip the switch. They decided in the locker room after their second loss that they needed to heat up.
"We said after the (loss) to Montana State we were going to start a streak, and we've been able to do that," Marlin shared.
During the four game win streak, the Ragin' Cajuns picked up three wins in Blackham Coliseum, and they registered a huge win over James Madison on the road. The game against Panhandle State was the biggest blowout in Louisiana's history, but the other three wins were close.
Coach Marlin is happy about the turnaround from his team, but he also pointed out they had to work for those four wins when things got tight.
"There's been a time in every game where it's up for grabs, and we've taken it," Marlin said. He added, "We had good moments defensively."
Marlin also pointed out that he wants the overall team defense to improve, so he still thinks the team has plenty of room for growth.
One player who is showing tons of potential might surprise the fan base, but not Marlin.
Freshman Justin Miller played with Division-I talent on the high school level, so he's familiar with the competition level of collegiate basketball. He proved early on he has a knack for scoring, but over the last few games he displayed an ability to rebound the basketball and hit his teammates with pinpoint passes.
Coach Marlin said he knew Miller would work well in the post with Bryce Washington when they signed him, based on the fact they had similar game styles. Their chemistry is developing rapidly, and Miller is quickly becoming a fan favorite with his play.
"He understands what we're trying to do, and he's a great competitor," Marlin said about Miller. "He knows how to get the ball in the basket."
With pieces like Miller coming into place, the future for the Cajuns is bright. It's getting even brighter with the new renovations to the Cajundome.
As soon as you walk in the doors, you're greeted with the Ragin' Cajuns brand. Every step you take within the Cajundome is met by history, from the beginning days in Blackham Coliseum to the recent successes with players like Elfrid Payton and Shawn Long. It feels like the home of Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns, not a rental space.
Coach Marlin was glad to get back onto the Cajundome court, where they truly feel at home.
"It's always been our home, the way I look at it," Marlin said. "Just the atmosphere...it's a totally different look....we think it's gonna help us in recruiting."
When it came to the details of the new Cajundome, Marlin wasn't specific, but he sounded impressed with the renovations.
"It looks like an NBA arena. You will be impressed when you see it," Marlin said. When asked about the new court, he said, "There's not going to be another one like it in the country."
The Cajuns host three of their next four games in the Dome, so make sure to pack the stands and absorb the new ambiance and experience.
The next stretch of games is important not only on the schedule but also for recruiting. The Cajuns play four in-state opponents next: Nicholls State, McNeese State, Loyola and Louisiana Tech. After that, only three games separate the Ragin' Cajuns from the conference schedule. A four game-winning streak is nice, but how about eight?