HUNTINGTON — Marshall basketball coach Dan D’Antoni wants the new year to feature a new mindset for his team.
Instead of worrying about the troubles of the past, D’Antoni wants his team locked in on moving forward and turning the 2021-22 season around in the 2022 portion of the schedule.
D’Antoni feels that while his team has lost four straight games by double digits, the team is not that far off from being really good.
It just comes down to execution when it matters, which is what the team will look to correct at 7 p.m. Saturday against Florida Atlantic at Cam Henderson Center.
“If you look at the stats, we’re not that far away,” D’Antoni said.
D’Antoni even chuckled when trying to explain the team’s bad fortune at this point, comparing it to a “shroud” over the team.
He even pointed out one particular play that worked to perfection, except for the final execution, against Louisiana Tech.
“I don’t even know how to explain,” D’Antoni quipped. “We ran the best two-down, had perfect timing, throw it down to Obinna [Anochili-Killen] and it goes through his legs. I don’t know why. I have no clue.”
With Marshall having more than a week between conference games due to the Southern Miss game being postponed last Saturday and a regularly scheduled week with one Saturday game, the Herd has gotten the chance to work on some different things this week in practice to gain confidence throughout the lineup.
The break has also allowed D’Antoni to work different combinations together, which is critical with COVID-19’s omicron variant ripping through college basketball, leaving teams shorthanded.
The one constant that D’Antoni has been looking for is energy and proper mindset from his players.
D’Antoni implored his team during practice this week to roll with the punches as they come.
“Everything’s not always going to go right,” D’Antoni yelled after stopping a drill. “You’ve got to just play ball. Keep playing through it!”
D’Antoni feels that if the team does so, its fortunes will turn around in the near future.
“We’ve made critical mistakes when it really hurt you and we didn’t make shots when you have to have them to stay in the ballgame and be competitive,” D’Antoni said. “That’s all it is. It’s nothing more than that. Those are things that are fixable.”