UTSA practiced for a little over three hours on Tuesday as the team prepared for a pair of huge games at the end of the week. The 'Runners sport a 12-10 overall record with a 6-5 Conference USA record. Coming off back to back road wins, UTSA is poised to make a move in the CUSA standings. But Center Kaj-Bjorn Sherman (who was named Conference USA Player of the Week this week) knows the two upcoming games vs ODU and Charlotte will be tough. "It's no secret ODU has a really good team. They were once 25th in the nation. And Charlotte is no chump team either, they got a bunch of good guys," said Sherman. "But if we can get these two wins here at home, I think it will give us a nice push of momentum to the end of the season that hopefully we can carry out to the tournament." Having alternating wins and losses for the better part of the season, the 'Runners are trying to get on a roll with only about a month left in the regular season. "The beautiful thing about this game is that it's just about peaking at the right time," said Sherman. "We're a dangerous team. We're creeping up to our potential." Over the last few games, UTSA has improved their defensive performance. According to Associate Coach, the improvement on defense is more effort-related. "I don't think we're there. I think you're always trying to get there," O'Dowd said about the recent improvement on defense. "We always felt like offensively we were going to be pretty good. It's just a matter of how we are going to defend. Our guys are starting to take a little bit more pride in it. They're a little bit more determined." Sherman can see the improvement on the defense end as well. "That's what coach has always wanted and we're finally there," Sherman said about the defense. "We've been buying in more every single day. Everybody is just ready to give 100%. That's what's really changed for us on defense. And good defense breeds good offense. That's what's been happening for us." UTSA has also cut their rotation down. According to O'Dowd, that's by design. "We've been playing the same guys and now they're getting a rhythm together," said O'Dowd. "We've tried to limit our substitutions. When our first five to seven guys are out there on the court, they have a real sense of what needs to be done." UTSA will host Old Dominion on Thursday night. Tip off at the Convocation Center is set for 7pm. Practice Note:
-Starters Gino Littles and Jeromie Hill were held out of practice today. A spokesman for UTSA said both player were not injured, just resting.
Hoops Practice Report 2.10.15
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