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SBC scheduling format presents new challenge

Posted at 5:57 PM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 23:57:01-05

Both Louisiana basketball teams opened Sun Belt play this weekend, splitting their series 1-1. Splits were a conference-wide trend this weekend, one that may not go anywhere.

New this year is a double-header format, and conference wide the results brought series splits at every turn during the opening weekend. Only the ULM and Little Rock men swept their weekend series. Every other Sun Belt team, men and women, split their results.

Ahead of the home game against UNO, Bob Marlin said he liked playing a team soon after facing them. (Louisiana played UNO 12 days apart) but the Cajuns' coach admitted Monday there are challenges with back-to-backs.

"The endurance is important. The conditioning is an important part of it. You need to work the guys hard. We have some guys that have been nicked up. We're just gonna have to be in shape," he said.

On Friday, the Cajuns beat Texas State in overtime, 83-77. Sophomore Devin Butts hit five threes. Saturday, he missed all five of his three-point attempts as Louisiana lost 71-59. Poor shooting is often attributed to tired legs. The solution, Marlin says, will be to modify the team's rotation.

"We have all kind of options. We can play big small. We get trapped sometimes when things aren't going well," he said. "We leave Cedric and Mylik out there too long at times and they need to rest. But it does, it changes your rotation. And you have to decide how you want to go about it."

This year the Sun Belt will play back-to-backs for all series. One exception is Louisiana's series with ULM.
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