Southern coach Morris Scott thinks it's a bit crazy.
For the first time as the Jaguars' coach, Scott will face Florida A&M, his alma mater, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Baton Rouge. But Scott doesn't seem to expend much thought about his personal tie to Thursday's game, which connects Scott's past as a former Florida A&M Rattler to his present and future — a coach most worried about another win for his new team in his maiden season.
“It’ll pretty much be kind of the same as any other game for me, to be honest," the former Florida A&M guard said. "I haven’t even thought about it that way, which is crazy. I haven’t really looked at it that way."
Scott's verbiage strategically underemphasized an individually special and unique undertone to Thursday's contest at Clifford Seymour Gym perhaps because of Southern's urgency to add another win amid a three-game losing streak.
The Jaguars' last win predated their most recent three-game road trip to Tulane, Central Florida and Iowa. Without a win this month, Southern (2-8) rocked NAIA's Wiley College 92-69 on Nov. 29 at the F.G. Clark Activity Center, which is unusable for Thursday's game because of commencement ceremonies scheduled for Friday at Southern.
"I’ve looked at it like it’s the next game, next opponent and we need to find a way to get a win," said Scott, who was a piece of Florida A&M's first team to earn a NCAA tmorris scottournament berth in school history in 1999.
Leading up to Thursday, Southern bounced a stomach bug around its locker room after snow and colder weather painted Baton Rouge frosty white one week ago.
As many as 2-3 players caught the illness this week, including backup centers Shaquille Benson (6-foot-10) and Mubashar Ali (7-foot), but Scott is hopeful both will be available by Thursday night's tipoff. Torrey Mayo, a 5-foot-8 junior guard, is also "nursing an injury," the coach said.
“I’m hoping to have the whole entire team there," said Scott, also a former member of Florida A&M's baseball team from 2000-2002.