article-SHJ-"Terriers Excited Long Road Trip Is over&qu

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article-SHJ-"Terriers Excited Long Road Trip Is over&qu

Postby terrierbob on Wed Jan 03, 2007 4:38 pm

Terriers excited long road trip is over

TODD SHANESY, Staff Writer

Wofford men's basketball head coach Mike Young wondered if the traveling Terriers should check their home whites for splotches of green or black.

"I'm convinced that those uniforms will have some sort of mold or fungus on them," Young said.

The Terriers have not played at the Benjamin Johnson Arena in more than a month, and just once in the past seven weeks.

That lonely road -- which became lonelier with every defeat -- has been through Michigan, Clemson, Auburn and most recently Charlotte, where the losing streak reached eight games on Sunday.

"It will be nice to get back," Young said. "It's been awhile."

Wofford players and coaches were all in agreement about trading a few favorable home games for big-time opponents.

That decision seemed beneficial after the Terriers started off the season by scaring N.C. State, beating Jacksonville State and then pulling an upset at Cincinnati.

"After beating Cincinnati," Terriers junior guard and leading scorer Shane Nichols said, "we thought we had a lot of momentum going into the other games. But it turned out the opposite way."

And now, Young admitted, he wonders if he overscheduled.

"I hope I haven't worn us out," he said. "I hope I haven't put us in such a bind that we can't go on and have a nice year."

Wofford perhaps would have gained more from games like tonight against West Virginia Wesleyan, a struggling Division II team that has lost seven straight. The Terriers' only home contest since Nov. 16 was a loss to Western Carolina.

"I think the schedule has hurt them in their conference," Charlotte head coach Bobby Lutz. "This is where you have to be careful. No matter how positive they stay as coaches and players, if you keep getting beat, it's hard to win games even that you should win. And I think that's exactly what's happened to Wofford."

Lutz said he told Young as much even before Sunday's game began, and those words were reinforced in the second half as the Terriers blew a lead and faded down the stretch in an 83-62 defeat.

"It can happen. I don't know that it's happened to us," Young said. "But sometimes when you find yourself on the road over and over, when you do get back home against a team you should beat, you've lost your edge. Then you're back on the road trying to regain it. That can have a bit of a snowball effect.

"I'm not going to hide behind anything, what we've done or how we've done it," Young said. "We needed to be at home more. We needed to have a couple of easier games sprinkled in there during the month (of December)."

Wofford did play four of those games without point guard Drew Gibson. Nichols and senior Eric Marshall have also battled injuries and missed time.

The Terriers play four of their next six games at home, and nine of their last 16 on the schedule.

"I have confidence in this team," Nichols said. "I don't think we've lost much confidence, if any, during all this. I know we can get back on track."

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