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Trojans prepare for battle to win upcoming games

Submitted by Margaret Rogers on October 23, 2014 – 3:34 pmOne Comment

In Greek mythology, the Trojan Horse was strategically used against its opponent and it succeeded by winning the war. What the UALR men’s basketball team is preparing to do is no mythological tale. The Trojans had their first official practice for the 2014-15 season earlier this month to begin working on game plans to use against upcoming competitors.

Senior Ben Dillard said the team is working on improving their defense, getting towards the ball, and learning block out fundamentals.

“We’re a small team so we really got to focus on defensive rebounding as well as offensive rebounding,” Dillard said.

The Trojans have only been practicing for a few weeks, so it’s a little early to determine exact strengths and weaknesses. With the way practices have been going, Dillard noted speed and scoring are the team’s current strengths.

“I think scoring is going to be something good for us, shooting in particular,” Dillard said. “We got a lot of guys that can really shoot the ball.”

For Dillard, one challenge he faces as a player are injuries. He has been dealing with a knee injury as well as a hip injury. He is figuring out how to work through them during the season. Some strengths Dillard has are beneficial offensively and defensively.

“I pride myself on getting towards the ball and helping teammates out,” Dillard said.

During the 2013-14 season, the men’s basketball team went 15-17 overall and 9-9 in conference. The team overall scored 71.5 points per game last season. For past couple of years the team has always been skilled, and Dillard is excited with the talent the team possesses this year.

“I think the last two years we’ve really been a skilled team but this year’s really talented, particularly in shooting the ball,” Dillard said.

One of the team’s drawbacks right now is their size, according to Dillard. That’s why the team is focusing on improving their defensive strategies. In practices, they perform drills to help further their technique and overall skill.

“We do a lot of defensive slide drills,” Dillard said. “The majority of our practice is defense and boxing out.”

On Nov. 16, the Trojans will have their first conference game against the University of Arkansas at Monticello Boll Weevils. With the way things are headed, Dillard is confident that the Trojans will be ready.

“I think we’re going to be pretty good,” Dillard said. “We’re a mature basketball team, I think we’ll have a pretty good year.”

The Trojans are a primarily mature team, featuring talented juniors and seniors along with Dillard. The team has a significant bond with one another that will prove to be an advantage going into the season.

“A lot of us have been together for two to three years,” Dillard said. “It’s a good chemistry with the team.”

The UALR men’s basketball schedule is up to view the different teams the Trojans will compete against this season. The team that is on Dillard’s mind this early in the game is Georgia State.

“They might be the most talented team in our league, but it will be a good match up for us,” Dillard said.

The “trojan horse” in this situation is the strong unity the team has continually shown each season. Let’s not forget the ongoing development offensively and defensively the team is currently practicing. This season should be action-packed with plays that will be used to defeat their rivals.

One Comment »

  • charles says:

    Why is Josh Hagins not in your starting lineup and only playing about
    12 minutes per game so far. Clearly one of the teams better players, on both ends of the floor, why is he not on the floor more?