Needless to say, the first half of league play has been a wild, inconsistent ride for a team that was basically rebuild with nine new players. Kelvin Downs and Cameron Golden are the only two players who saw playing time last season.
Against Troy on Saturday, A-State trailed by 11 early in the second half and went on a 27-5 run that turned the game around.
The win improved A-State to 6-5 on the road, 2 wins shy of the single-season record.
“I told our team after the game, the thing I’m most proud of is the way we played with toughness and showed resiliency after what happened on Thursday,” Brady said. “We’ve got enough players and we showed character and toughness tonight. We’ve got to have that attitude and unselfishness like we had tonight.”
“Defensively, we really guarded well tonight,” Brady added. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of these players tonight. To come back and win on the road after the debacle last Thursday, it’s just a character win. It’s good to be able to come back home and play UALR on Thursday.”
Obviously, Brady has not been a fan of the schedule, which had the Red Wolves playing 10 games in 26 days, 6 of those on the road. Texas State, also 4-6 in the league, was the only other team to play that many games in that period. The final 10 games of league play are stretched out over 42 days.
“The most difficult thing now is this wacky, unfair schedule in the Sun Belt,’’ Brady said after the Red Wolves’ home victory over Texas State. “We've got 5 games in 9 days and 3 on the road. There is not time to practice; no time to prepare. I hope they correct it because it is not fair to the coaches or the players to put their best basketball together when you have to travel and play in succession like we have like we have.
“For us to play at App State on Thursday and then travel all day Friday; Texas State got to Jonesboro before we did. Then we don’t practice yesterday. We watch an hour of tape; we talk to our team. We come in today for 45 minutes, watch tape, go do some shooting and walk through some things and play this game. And then tomorrow (the same thing) and we play again on Monday. And then you take the mandatory day off on Tuesday. Then you travel Wednesday to go to Lafayette and then you go from Lafayette to Troy on Friday; you can’t get there.
“So there is no time to teach and prepare as you need to and I think it is unfair to the student-athletes who are playing. But that is not an excuse it is a fact because we won the game tonight.”
Even though A-State is 6-5 on the road, it has been a challenge.
The Red Wolves have their second 5-day off period this week. They face UALR at home on Thursday, and then travel to Georgia State on Saturday. That is the beginning of a stretch where the team plays four games over 21 days.
A-State plays six of its final 10 conference games at home. The regular season finale is March 7 against Louisiana-Lafayette at home. The SBC tourney is March 12-15 in New Orleans at Lakefront Arena. The top eight teams qualify and the bottom four seeds don’t receive byes.
After another road victory beginning to wonder if Arkansas State @AStateMB needs to start wearing road unis at the Convo ...— AStateNation (@AStateNation) January 25, 2015