Just four weeks ago, the men’s basketball team was flying high. With a 13-6 record and a share of first place in the Mountain West Conference, everything seemed to be going the Horned Frogs’ way.
But things have gone in a disappointingly different direction for head coach Jim Christian’s squad since the exciting, early days of Mountain West Conference play.
A 4-1 conference record has quickly degenerated into a 4-7 mark. Bounces that were once going the Horned Frogs’ way suddenly aren’t. The anticipation of great things to come this season has been replaced with hopes of great things to come in future seasons.
But with a new head coach, four returning players from last year’s squad and a whole host of newcomers, no one should have expected the team to do much of anything this season.
In reality, the Horned Frogs could actually be in worse shape than they are right now.
If not for a three-point victory over a still-winless Air Force team and a triumphant one-point overtime win the following week against Wyoming, the team would be in the midst of a nine-game losing streak to go with a 2-9 record in conference play.
It isn’t hard to decipher why the team has been struggling as of late. An inability to hit shots matched with an equal inability to defend shots usually doesn’t bode well for any basketball team at any level. Also, lack of experience may be a factor – the team only has two seniors on the roster.
But as Christian said Monday, “There’s still a lot of basketball left to play.”
Four games remain after tonight’s home matchup against Air Force. Four games should be enough time for the team to prove the program is still heading in a positive direction. Enough time to prove that quitting hasn’t crossed the minds of any of the team’s players.
After all, the Mountain West Conference Tournament, beginning March 11 in Las Vegas, is right around the corner. There’s no reason to think the Horned Frogs won’t be capable of turning some heads once it rolls around.
Good things have happened with the basketball program this season. It’s just been a while since we’ve seen any sign of it.