Looking at the jam-packed crowd at the Wildcats’ homecoming pep rally Thursday, you’d never know the team is having an awful season. Of their 24 games, they’ve won just three. With two games left in the regular season, the SIAC East champions from a year ago are last in the standings.
"Right now, we don’t even talk about wins and losses," head coach Sammy Jackson says. "We just talk about the next game and trying to get better."
Jackson’s problems aren’t caused by having a young team. In fact, most of the starters are older guys. Several of them transferred in this season.
"Us being older, we tend to gel a little slower," senior point guard Desmond Lofland says. "But we’re bringing it around though."
The ‘Cats started the season 0-12. All three of their wins have come in the last 12 games, including two against Morehouse College.
"We just had a stretch through the season where we were going through a rough time and getting to know each other–team chemistry–and just getting together and becoming a team," says senior forward Tyrone Brinson. "Now, we’re at the point close to the conference tournament where we’re playing very good. (We have) good team chemistry and are gelling together as a team."
In a season like this, where wins aren’t easy to come by, Jackson is thankful for the fans who continue to support. He believes this team can make a run in the SIAC tournament.
"HBCU, homecoming, it gets no better than the rivalry between Fort Valley State and Albany State," Jackson says. "This is one of our biggest games. It’s our next game. We’re going to use the momentum (from Wednesday’s win over Morehouse), carry it into Saturday and carry that on into Monday which will be senior night, and then go into the tournament."
Saturday’s game against Albany State tips at 8. It follows the girls’ game, which starts at 6.