Trojans ready for conference play

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 30, 1999

Sports Editor

There have been some hard knocks for the Troy State Trojans in the early going, but all that’s in the past come tonight.

At 6:30 p.m. head coach Don Maestri and his Trojans will travel to the University of Central Florida getting back into their important Trans America Athletic Conference Schedule.

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This year every conference game will be a little more important to the Trojans as they try to finish at least sixth in the TAAC to seal up a bye in the first round of the TAAC championships. Maestri feels that his team has what it takes to finish in the top six and actually hopes they might place even higher.

"Those top six spots are so vital this year because everyone in the conference is going to the TAAC tournament," Maestri said. "So if you have any hope of winning the conference tournament, which is how you get the NCAA bid in this league, it’s important."

Although the Trojans are only 5-5 at the present time, the coach feels that his team has seen some of the toughest challenges it will see this year. Most of the time they fared well against those challenges.

In their five losses, three were by one point while the other two were tough road losses against Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Southern Mississippi.

"We’ve been in a lot of games, we’ve won five and we’ve played good teams that have really guarded us well," Maestri said. "They’ve all been good defensive teams and I think that’s going to be helpful to us because we’re not going to be guarded any better than we’ve been in the pre-conference games."

He also feels the holiday break may have helped his Trojans.

"I think it was good for us to get away and take a break," he continued. "I also think it was good that the break wasn’t overly long. Four days is a good break, you don’t lose your conditioning, but you do realize this is a different time of year. It’s conference play, you’ve had a little vacation now you feel rejuvenated when you come back. Hopefully that’s how we will handle it."

Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. with all action being carried locally on 100.3 FM.