Despite staggering from quite a shelling recently, the University of Central Arkansas men’s basketball team remains in the hunt.
The Bears are 2-10 in the SLC and have lost nine in a row.
However, they remain just two games out of an SLC tourney berth. The champions of each division gain automatic berths. The slots go to the six teams with the best records. Three of UCA’s remaining four games are against teams struggling like itself: Nicholls (4-8), Southeastern Louisiana (3-9) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (3-9).
"We still have a shot and we think we have two winnable games this week," said UCA assistant coach Anthony Walker, who substituted for head coach Corliss Williamson, who had a meeting, at Monday’s Bearbacker luncheon. "We are not giving up and this coaching staff is not giving up. Three of the teams we need to beat we still have to play. We are looking for consistency every day and we’re holding these players accountable. But that accountability needs to result in some wins."
Walker used LaQuentin Miles, the Bears’ leading scorer who has had some up-and-down games recently, as an example.
"Until LaQuentin Miles can be as good as he can be, we can’t be as good as we can be," Walker said. "I’m not telling you anything he doesn’t know. It’s something we tell him every day."
He said, in addition to consistent play from players across the board, the Bears must figure out ways to better deal with a drought or a flood.
"We get within one or two points, then we go into a big scoring drought," he said. "The other team then pulls away. That has got to stop. We have got to quit having those lapses in the second half."
UCA Sugar Bear coach Matt Daniel recited more than a dozen highly ranked men’s and women’s programs that have been upset in the last week.
He’s thankful the Sugar Bears (21-4), who have won 10 in a row, were not among them, although they’ve had some close calls.
"We’re trying to focus on Nicholls State (Wednesday’s opponent) right now," Daniels said. "We had to come from behind to beat them in Thibodaux. They well they owe us and we feel we owe them."
The UCA women need to go 2-2 in their remaining four games to assure the No. 1 seed in the SLC postseason tournament.