Bob Marlin On Ragin’ Cajuns Rough Trip To Arkansas [VIDEO]
Ragin' Cajun Head Basketball Coach Bob Marlin's team still hasn't won a game on the road, but he's keeping his cool.
When you factor in that all the teams the Cajuns played on the road this season have only lost a total of four games at home, you start to understand why Marlin said last week that the team might have bitten off more than they can chew. That being said, Marlin isn't letting the 0-8 record on the road bring his team's morale down.
"We're not going to let adversity get into our circle and divide what we're trying to do," Marlin said in his weekly press conference.
Throughout his presser, Marlin reiterated that the team is close to where he wants them to be. The problem is, shots just aren't falling. In practice, he says the coaching staff watches players like Hayward Register knock down three ball after three ball. When it comes to game time, the magic simply isn't there. It's beyond frustrating for a coach to watch his players leave all their shots at practice, but Marlin might be even cooler than a cucumber.
He's willing to do anything to spark his shooters. He even said they would make the perimeter players wear their gameday red jerseys in practice...to carry the mojo over? You can't blame him for trying. Nothing else so far has worked.
"We haven't shot well this season," Marlin said. "We have to make shots."
He hopes whenever the Cajuns break out of the slump, that there is a "battle at the bat rack." Coach is a baseball fan, and he's been waiting for a home run for a while now.
It ultimately comes down to the guard play. Shawn Long continues to manhandle people in the post for double-doubles, but he's not getting much help on the perimeter.
Kasey Shepherd is second on the team with 11.0 points per game, but Marlin would really prefer to bring him off the bench, where Shep is more comfortable. The problem is, they can't play his as a sixth man if their starters aren't stepping up. The other issue is, he hasn't had the same swag off the bench as he did last year.
"I would like to bring him off the bench, but he has to be consistent," Marlin said.
Guard play will be essential on their trip to Statesboro. Georgia Southern plays a very small lineup, sometimes running four or five guards out on the court at one time.
Statesboro is also a homecoming for point guard Jay Wright. Last season, he filled the stands with friends and family but didn't register the performance he wanted. This time around, Marlin expects more.
"Jay [Wright] will play better than he did last year, I promise you that," Marlin said. Wright was a key cog last season, and Marlin needs him to slip back into position, "It's no different than it was a year ago...he's going to bust out. He had a few 20 point games for us last year."
Wright was held to zero points in the Cajuns' last game against Arkansas State, so he desperately needs to get back on track if Marlin expects to pick up a few W's in the state of Georgia.
Sitting at 5-8 on the season, Marlin and the Cajuns are running out of time to correct the course. With a conference tournament, all they have to do is get hot at the right time. For Marlin, the right time is any day now.
Watch Marlin's full press conference video above to get the full landscape of coach's feelings about the year, and let's all hope those shots start falling sooner rather than later.