Cougars hope to make waves at C-USA Tournament in Memphis
After a roller coaster of a regular season that was capped off with a dramatic win over Rice on Saturday and a three-game winning streak, the Cougars are starting over.
“It’s like a new season right here,” freshman guard Joseph Young said.
The Cougars (15-14, 7-9 Conference USA) will open the C-USA Tournament tonight against UTEP. The Miners (14-16, 7-9) will see a very different Cougars squad than the one they faced earlier in the season.
The difference between the Cougars squad that endured a 2-8 stretch in January and February and the one that has won four of its last five games has been improved effort in practices.
“I think that they’ve understood that you have to give a great effort and you’re going to play like you practice — you have to practice hard,” head coach James Dickey said.
Even with their recent success, Dickey has ramped up the intensity of practices.
“The thing that we didn’t do was we didn’t handle success very well,” Dickey said. “So I’ve been much more demanding on them after we win than I have after a loss, although we’ve been pretty consistent on the accountability factor. We just haven’t handled wins very well.”
The amped-up practices have made an impact on the players.
“Coach Dickey has not been soft on us,” Young said. “We got a couple of losses and he’s been on us since those losses.
“We have to come out and compete.”