Troy must follow up

Published 9:41 pm Thursday, January 28, 2010

Last night, the Troy Trojans got a big conference win at home over ULM. The win pushed Troy’s Sun Belt record to 6-4 in conference play and 11-10 overall.

The win over the Warhawks was a good one, to be sure, but as important as the win was, what Troy does next is even more important.

Several times this season, the Trojans have looked as if they were ready to go on a run similar to the 10-game winning streak they enjoyed in 2009.

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However, each and every time, Troy has followed an impressive effort with a lackluster one.

Look at the schedule. A big win at Auburn, followed by a 29-point loss to Marshall.

3-0 in conference play heading to Florida Atlantic, only to get beaten by 14.

Two last-second losses to South Alabama and North Texas.

Probably the biggest win of the season so far against Western Kentucky, followed by a 15-point loss to an average Louisiana-Lafayette team.

And now, here Troy is, having just beaten ULM to bounce back from the tough loss at ULL.

The Trojans have a chance to get some momentum rolling for the first time this season, but only if they can defeat South Alabama Saturday.

The good thing about Saturday’s game is that it is at home. With the exception of the loss to North Texas, all the other previously mentioned losses came on the road.

Another encouraging sign for Troy is exactly how they won against ULM.

Senior all-conference guard Brandon Hazzard had just three points on 1-6 shooting from the field yet Troy won by 19, thanks mostly in part to double-digit scoring efforts from five other players.

In the previous momentum-killing losses, Hazzard struggled, and his teammates were not there to pick him up.

Hazzard won’t be held to three points every time out. He’s too good. But, if the rest of the Trojans can be there to pick him up, Troy will have a chance to get a big win over USA.

Troy has a chance to get things rolling. It remains to be seen if it will.

Nick Duke is a sports writer for The Messenger, and he can be reached at or on Twitter at Messenger_nick.