Jenkins, Eagles Happy To Be Back Home

The Southern Miss basketball team returns home Saturday night for a well deserved home game after a long road trip and finals week. We caught up with Cedric Jenkins after Friday's practice to talk about the team's preparation for the upcoming stretch of games.

The Golden Eagles are glad to be back in the friendly confides of Reed Green Colesium.

After a great 6-0 start, Southern Miss hit three tough road opponents in New Mexico State, Arizona, and Louisiana Tech. Though they dropped all three, senior Cedric Jenkins says the Eagles remain upbeat and positive about where they are as a team.

"We are focusing on trying to be sharp offensively and getting game ready as we have all week," he said in an interview with after practice today.

"We know we have to execute better, so that's really been a focus offensively. We have had problems with turnovers so we are getting that addressed and focused on staying sharp."

Jenkins believes it is a mindset they need to develop in order to get back to their winning ways.

"We have to stay focused mentally," he said. "We have to encourage each other and take it one game at a time. We need to do the little things better.

"The little things lead to the bigger things for us. Once we get going again it is contagious."

The message from Coach Tyndall, says Jenkins, has been upbeat and positive.

"He tells us we just have to move forward and learn from it," he said. "We played some great teams, and that is what you want.

"We have to stay positive and learn from those experiences. We know it can help us in the long run."

Jenkins, who has battled injuries since the start of the season, said the long break has benefitted him.

"I'm back but still trying to get my explosiveness back," he said. "I'm not going to be a distraction, practice as hard as I can, and evetually I'll be back to where I know I can be."

Jenkins said it will take a full effort from everyone again to get back to winning.

"I think we adjusted as a group to all the new players," he said. "They have bought into what we are saying, and now we support each other so much.

"You should see us in practice though, we are competing hard against one antoher. That intensity really translates to the court though."

Jenkins is looking to get more involved as he improves his health and gets back in the swing.

"I want to stay active and make an impact in the game," he said. "My confidence is coming, and I just want to help the team accomplish our goal, a conference championship.

"Coach teaches us to be humble. When you are humble and working hard, you can accomplish a lot of things. Coach teaches us to keep working and no matter where you are, to go after it as a team. We are embracing that."

The Eagles will tip off tomorrow night with Grambling at 6:30 in Hattiesburg.

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