LAFAYETTE — The University of Louisiana at Lafayette men’s basketball team will play the first of several difficult nonconference road games at 6 p.m. Monday against Miami, and coach Bob Marlin said he is excited to see how his team responds to the challenge.
If the Cajuns are able to have some success against the big-name school, it could pay dividends when the Cajuns make similar trips in the next month.
“It’d be huge to go in and play well and give ourselves an opportunity to win,” Marlin said. “We’re going to have to make shots and limit their shooting, that’s the first thing.
“Then we’re going to have to out-rebound them, that’s an area that we can compete with them, and it’s something that we’ll maybe do well (Monday) night.”
The Cajuns (1-0) open their two-game road swing against a Miami (1-0) team that won 25 games a year ago. The Hurricanes used a 58-point second half to beat Texas Rio Grande Valley 86-59 in their season opener.
Guard Sheldon McClellan, one of four Hurricanes seniors, led the team with 18 points. The transfer from the University of Texas led Miami with 14.5 points per game last season.
The Cajuns also got off to a good start Friday against Louisiana College with a 108-68 win. Eleven players scored at least five points, and Devonta Walker led five Cajuns in double figures with 17 points off the bench.
“Everyone played and everybody contributed,” Marlin said. “The scoring was balanced and the minutes were certainly balanced. … It was a good opportunity to use our depth and look at some different combinations and get the first one under our belt.”
The Cajuns will likely need a similarly balanced attack Monday against Miami.
“There’s not a team that we can’t beat. But if you ask me, right now, and I’m not saying this because we’re playing (Monday), but I think they’re the best team on our schedule,” Marlin said.