Hannah Dolle - AState Athletics

Wrapping up Arkansas State men's basketball

Wrapping up men's hoops

In the aftermath of Wednesday's disappointing 73-70 overtime loss to UL-Monroe we call for a reflection.

And it's not so much reflection of this past season, although there were many high water moments, but back to March 2015 and March 2016.

Feel better now?

You should. Last year, no conference tourney at all since AState wasn't among the top 8 seeds and basically no hope for a program that was trending down.

Basketball is back at the “no longer sleepy little ole school in Northeast Arkansas” level. 

So now that you hopefully feel a little better let's take a look at what happened vs the Warhawks.

Our thoughts on the defeat:

--Free throws. We've seen this all season and the Red Wolves were 10 of 22 on the freebies for the contest and 10 of 20 during regulation. 11 of 20 and you are a winner. You look at all the stats and A-State stacked up well.  It was something Grant McCasland addressed in the post game presser. It’s been there all year and was the second worst showing, topped only by 8 of 20 vs. TCU.

--With a pair of double figure victories over ULM you have to wonder just how much focus this team had. They started slow and finished strong in the first half for a 37-28 lead at the break.

You have to wonder did A-State think ‘ok we got this’ but ULM said not this time. The Red Wolves did not answer the second half bell.

--Struggling down the backstretch. There are two thoughts here: One is this team ran out of gas and the other is the competition got a lot tougher down the stretch. That is true and if the team is running on fumes that is not a good combination. McCasland settled in on mainly eight players for league play, but Rashad Lindsey and Devin Carter played a lot of minutes.

--What is next?: The Red Wolves will not pursue an invitation to the CIT, CBI or Vegas 16. Post-season would have been a nice reward for seniors Carter and Donte Thomas but that was the biggest positive for what was essentially an eight man team down the stretch.

--The future: There are two signees, point guard Marquis Eaton of Jonesboro and 6-9 Mark Tikhonenko, who will be freshmen and Roosevelt Smart of New Mexico Junior College. Smart will be a sophomore. At this time we don’t know if there will be any other additions. But things happen and we would not be surprised is there is another addition.