The men’s basketball team is undefeated and with 12-0 in ASC play seems poised to hoist the ASC championship trophy. But, the team may be in the worst possible position if history has anything to say about it.
With six home games out of the final 10 games, UTD seems to be in a good position to top the league. Except, the Comets have a tendency of performing better as underdogs than as favorites, and at least five examples come to mind:
- 2012-13: The men’s basketball team was crowned ASC East Champs, but lost to Concordia-Texas in the semi-finals of the ASC championship tournament.
- 2011-12: The team was crowned ASC East Champs, but lost to Hardin-Simmons 63-64 in the semi-finals.
- 2004-05: The team barely managed to secure the last playoff position and had a record of 10-12 in the ASC, but won the championship tournament.
The women’s basketball team seems to face a similar problem.
- 2012-13: The women’s basketball team had a torrid season when they lost six games consecutively, but won the tournament when they defeated nationally ranked Louisiana College.
- 2008-09: The women’s basketball team was crowned ASC East Champs for the first time in program history, was nationally ranked, but lost in the quarter-finals to Mary Hardin-Baylor, a team they had defeated earlier in the season.
This year might alter the trend because there is a distinct chemistry and personality with each new set of players and every team, each year, is different.
The Comets have taken home the trophy as both the underdog and the favorite. But, it really boils down to preparation for every single contest, one at a time.
“It’s very difficult physically and mentally for guys to be ready to play 25 times, to be at the very top of your game 25 times,” head coach Terry Butterfield said. “If you look at any sport, even football, where there are not a lot of games played, no team comes out firing all cylinders every game.
Butterfield said he hoped his team had learned from past experiences and believes the team has done its due diligence when it came to preparing for each game.
“So far our consistency for preparation and being ready to play has been really good. Last year, we had a couple of really bad letdowns during the season,” Butterfield said. “And probably the letdowns we had kept us out of the NCAA tournament and I am hoping our guys remember that — our seniors particularly — and are not willing to see that happen.”
Preparation is 75 percent of the work, and with great preparation comes brilliant execution. If the team continues to demonstrate its current work ethic, this year could definitely be different than what history suggests.