The Bearkats regular season might be in the books, but there is still plenty of work to do. With the Southland Conference tournament starting today, it is now a win or go home mentality.
The Bearkats face-off against Lamar University in the first round of the tournament today at noon, having already defeated them once this season in an 88-52 blow-out. However, senior point guard Jejuan Plair doesn’t think it is going to be a walk in the park this time around.
“This isn’t the same Lamar team we saw before.” Plair said, “They have gotten a lot better. They are a different team, they’re ready, and they know that they only have one game left so they’re going to give it all they’ve got.”
Plair, who is second in the league in assists with 5.8 per game, knows what he needs to contribute in order to get the Bearkats to the next round.
“I just want to do whatever wins.” Plair said, “Some games call for me to score, some games call for me to get everyone involved. Going into the game, I’ll get a feel for what’s necessary and do whatever it takes.”
Plair was named to the All-Southland Conference Third Team on Tuesday, joining Ryan Bright and Aaron Wade, who were named to the All Conference First and Second Teams, respectively. Plair said any honor or award he ever gets isn’t just for him, it’s for his team.
“It’s a team effort out there.” Plair said. “We won games, we had a good record, and our honors are a reflection of that. If you take care of your business, the awards are gonna come.”
The Bearkats now face a tough schedule for the rest of the week. For a bid in the NCAA tournament, they will have to win three games in four days.
“We aren’t worried about who else is winning, or anyone in the next rounds.” Plair said, “We’re focused on Lamar right now, and we will take the rest as it comes. We’ve had a lot of injuries and people didn’t expect us to do this well. We have had to play people out of position, and do some things differently and still made it. We have a chance to do something really special now, and I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”