Believe it or not, UL men’s basketball coach Bob Marlin found a few bright spots from the recent three-game road trip.
It began with a splash with a road win over Appalachian State, before two blowout losses to the Georgia teams.
“It’s been a long trip,” Marlin said Monday after losing 90-52 at Georgia State and 71-51 at Georgia Southern.
“Second week-long trip when we played three games. This time, it was conference play and a little bit more difficult because we were a little bit more short-handed than we were the first time.”
But as Marlin looks at it, his Cajuns got their Sun Belt traveling to the Eastern time zone out of the way for the rest of the season.
Still, if any team couldn’t afford a three-game road test, it was the current Cajuns, who fell into a tie for last place in the Sun Belt at 7-11 and 2-5.
“We’re on an NBA-type schedule, talking about five games in 10 days and we’ve got eight players basically,” Marlin said. “We’ve hardly practiced in between games — just travel and travel. It’s a good example of what the NBA goes through at times.”
UL’s injury report might be getting worse.
Marlin sounded optimistic getting senior guard P.J. Hardy back from his ankle injury on the upcoming three-game homestand.
Junior guard Cedric Russell was added to the list with a foot injury.
Marlin didn’t sound optimistic about guard Trajan Wesley’s return from concussion protocol.
“He’s got a sore back and we’re fortunate that wasn’t worse,” Marlin said of Wesley. “There’s no timetable for his return; don’t know that he will.”
Marlin said he’s waiting on result of doctor visit on freshman guard Mylik Wilson, but was hopeful he could return soon.
The other good sign to Marlin was how well his young team responded in the first half against Georgia Southern after the blowout Thursday.
“We did respond well. We challenged the guys and asked them, ‘Hey, this game is an important game,’ ” Marlin said. “Just like we lost (at Georgia State) two years ago when we were like 10-0 and went in there and got beat and gave up 100 points. Bryce Washington pulled me aside and said, ‘Coach, we’re going to get this game.’
“We had a plan and went out and did that. Our guys had that same mentality. We went out and played a really good 28 minutes and then we lost Tirus (Smith to foul trouble). Then to be honest, we just ran out of gas. We just didn’t have enough firepower down the stretch.”