Home stretch: Trojans riding four game win streak as regular season nears its conclusion
Published 3:00 am Friday, February 24, 2017
Three weeks ago the Troy Trojans found themselves sitting at the .500 mark with a 12-12 record. Four games later, the Trojans sit at 16-12 overall and 8-6 in the conference.
“The league has been so good this year,” said Troy head coach Phil Cunningham. “The league and everybody in it is eating each other up. It’s been hard to string wins together.”
The Trojans have managed to do that now by rattling off four straight wins against UL Lafayette, ULM, Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State and find themselves in seventh place in the conference but only one game back in the loss column to fourth place Georgia Southern at 10-5.
“The game against Lafayette I think really spurned it all,” Cunningham said. “We played so well down there in a difficult place to play…We came home and played really well against Coastal Carolina and then we didn’t play a great game against Appalachian State, but we played well enough to win.
“I think right now it’s a matter of confidence. It’s been so hard to get momentum going and to build that confidence to string wins together.”
During the four game winnings streak, the Trojans have averaged 84 points per game. The success on the floor for the Trojans, according to Cunningham, is because his players are starting to play their role for the team.
“Everybody is accepting their role and it’s really becoming about the team,” Cunningham said. “I don’t see any selfishness. Everybody is sacrificing individual play for the team.”
One player that has excelled as of late is sophomore Jordon Varnado. The sophomore has averaged close to a double-double during the stretch with 23 points and nine rebounds.
“He has really taken his play to the next level,” Cunningham said. “Three weeks ago we challenged him to take that next step as a player and really concentrate on your effort and attitude. I think he has matured as a player. In the last month I have seen him change.”
One player that has flown under the radar has been Jeremy Hollimon. The senior has averaged 12 points off the bench for the Trojans this year and had a season-high 25 points in the win over Louisiana.
“He comes off the bench and doesn’t get a lot of attention,” Cunningham said. “If you look at his offensive numbers he has been super efficient all year long.”
The Trojans have four games remaining in the regular season and even though they have a chance to climb in the standings, Cunningham still preaches the importance of taking things one game at a time.
“I think if we start thinking about next week or seeding it can take us off course,” Cunningham said. “We definitetly know heading into Saturday’s game that we are playing the team we are tied with. We need to make sure we do everything in our power to get a win.”
The Trojans and Texas State will tip off at 4:30 Saturday in San Marcos.