Jackrabbits hit the road in search of late-season success

Brian Kimmes

Brian Kimmes

After an unsuccessful stay at home, where the men’s basketball team went 1-3, the team embarks on a four-game road trip.

In their last game, the men lost to North Dakota State University, 78-60. The Bison were on fire from the floor throughout the game, finishing 59.6 percent from the field, including hitting seven of 10 3-pointers.

The Jacks, led by freshman Kai Williams’ 17 points, could not match the torrid shooting and the defensive pressure produced by the Bison.

“They just shot the heck out of the basketball. They just have some very good offensive players,” said SDSU Head Coach Scott Nagy.

On Feb. 8, the men travel to New Jersey to take on the New Jersey Institute of Technology, followed by a game against Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne on Feb. 10. Afterwards, the Jacks play the University of Texas-Pan American on Feb. 15.

While the Jacks continue to struggle this season, Nagy worries that his team is nearing the point where they stop working hard.

“You get to a point where you don’t really see the fruits of your labor. You don’t mentally say to yourself, ‘why would I be working this hard if I’m not going to see any fruits?’ But it gets to that point, and I’m concerned for our basketball team that we could be to that point because we didn’t have a good week of practice,” Nagy said after the loss to NDSU.

Nagy said his team will continue to work hard, and he hopes the players finish the season strong.

“I hope that our kids will continue to battle, because it takes special people to go through the kind of season we are going through and still come out and play hard every night. We need our guys to be special,” he said.

Nagy also continues to work hard, as do all of the coaches. However, he struggles to continue to find new ways to motivate his team and keep them working hard.

“I don’t have any definite answers to get them (the players) to where they need to be. It is going to have to come from them. As coaches, we’re going to have to do a good job of encouraging … We can’t get our heads down. We’ve got to be able to come back and be good leaders for them.”

Although the Jacks have struggled on the road this season, winning only two games, Nagy said this road trip may be a good thing for the team.

“Sometimes going on the road is good for your team because it’s just your team, and your guys are together, and sometimes I think that helps, but I don’t know.”

#1.883787:1002725368.jpg:sdsuvsndsu02.jpg:Michael Loney of South Dakota State tips the ball in over the hands of North Dakota State’s Lorenzo Riley during the first half of their game on Feb. 3 in Frost Arena. NDSU defeated the Jacks, 78-60.: