The Texas Wesleyan men’s basketball team lost 102-80 on Monday to the LSU-Shreveport Pilots at the Sid Richardson Center.

Naiel Smith, a former player and now graduate assistant, said that the game didn’t go exactly as they had planned.

“Overall we got a lot of stuff that we still need to work on and we’re just waiting for second semester basketball,” Smith said.

Texas Wesleyan was ranked No. 1 in the NAIA before the game; LSU-Shreveport was ranked No. 11. The loss dropped the Rams to 1-1.

There are definitely improvements that need to be made on the court, Smith said.

“Our defense is a little bit weak; we need to be passing and sharing the ball more, and we always need to be on the lookout for that open man,” Smith said.

Praneeth Udumalagala, senior business management major, said that the best thing the team can do right now is keep their heads up and live to fight another day.

“Obviously it wasn’t in our favor, but we’re going to stay positive ya know it’s just a learning process,” said Udumalagala, a guard. “It gives us a chance to learn from what we did and think about tomorrow,”

Udumalagala said there were some positive moments despite the loss.

“When they were taking long runs we had the ability to hang in there with them, especially during the first half of the game,” Udumalagala said. “They were hitting some tough shots out there, but we stuck through it and made the most of it.”

Forward Jeremy Crane, a senior mass communications major, said the game was something that the team can learn from.

“The outcome of the game was definitely a learning experience and the other team just came out there and played harder than us,” Crane said.

Crane said he doesn’t exactly know what happened, but something was off.

“I don’t really know what it was exactly that was so off, we just kind of strayed away from our offense routine and we just kind of got stagnant and we were ball watching,” Crane said. “Against a team like that they don’t really want to play defense for more than 10 seconds, so if we had just kept the ball moving we probably would have done a little bit better.”

Crane said he thinks there are a few things that need to change in order for the team to gain confidence and improve.

“We don’t need to be hesitant; it doesn’t matter who we are playing,” Crane said. “We just need to be more aggressive and play defense as a team, which is a big one. We also need to make sure we don’t get discouraged when other teams get hot, that is really important.”

Crane also said that playing with a completely new group of guys is definitely something that is a little bit challenging to adapt to.

“We’re still kind of trying to figure each other out and we are also missing a couple of guys in these first few games that are definitely big-time players and will help us out the rest of the year,” Crane said. “We are just kind of lacking in some chemistry right now I guess.”

The Rams will play at Jarvis Christian College 7 p.m. Thursday in Hawkins, Texas. For more information, check out ramsports.net.

Final scoreboard of the men’s basketball loss. Score was 80 to 102.
Photo by Shaydi Paramore

Texas Wesleyan men’s basketball team played against LSU-Shreveport on Monday. Branden Jenkins pictured above.
Photo by Shaydi Paramore

Willie the Ram covers his eyes after seeing the scoreboard.
Photo by Shaydi Paramore

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