Heading into Monday’s home game against Paul Quinn College, the Southern men’s basketball team finds itself in a situation it hasn’t been in for more than a decade.
Four games into the season, the Jaguars have a winning record.
Online records extend back only to the 2005-06 season, but Southern has never started a season better than 2-2 during that span. In each of the past seven seasons, including four under current coach Roman Banks, the Jaguars started 1-3 through the first four games.
Arguably more impressive than the number of wins Southern has accumulated is whom it has beaten to get there.
The Jaguars pulled off upsets against Mississippi State on the road and Tulane at home, with their only misstep coming at the hands of Arkansas in the season opener.
Banks called the win against the Bulldogs, “One of the biggest wins in program history,” at the time, despite it being the second win over a Southeastern Conference opponent during his tenure. Banks is 2-3 against the SEC, with the only other win being against Texas A&M in 2012.
“This team is ready for a couple of days off,” Banks said after Tuesday’s game against Dillard. “It’s been an emotional ride for us, and I think that we all need a brain freeze and let them be just ordinary students for a day or two and then let them come back and rejuvenate themselves with basketball.
“I think this team, so that they can keep playing with that edge, needs a day where they can just exhale.”
Banks said he’s looking forward to using Monday’s game against Paul Quinn to experiment with the lineup, namely searching for someone to add depth at the guard position.
Banks listed sophomores Rashad Andrews and LaQuentin Collins as possible players to fill the role off the bench, but Tuesday was the first in-game action either player has seen all year. Andrews shot 0-for-2 in the three minutes he played against Dillard, while Collins missed his only shot and pulled down a defensive rebound in one minute.
“We need to get some guys healthy, so we’ll get a chance to cut back on minutes in practice with those guys and give some other guys some minutes in practice,” Banks said. “Hopefully we can play well enough to where I can get a look at some other guys.”