NEW BRITAIN - While there are plenty of on-the-court issues that need to be fixed for the CCSU menâs basketball team, head coach Donyell Marshall thinks his team needs an attitude adjustment if things are going to change anytime soon.
âWe have guys that need to put personal agendas to the side,â Marshall said. âThey need to do things for the greater good of the team. Before the season started, they had goals of making first, second or third team in the conference and I told them straight off the bat, âif you win games and your stats are less you will have a better chance of doing that.â
âPeople want to continue to try and prove that if they get certain stats they will make first, second or third team. So until we put personal agendas to the side, and until they start listening to what we are showing them on video, we are going to continue to struggle.â
Those struggles were evident on the court on Saturday as the Blue Devils failed to capitalize on a strong first half and couldnât maintain that level of play in the second to ultimately take a loss from Farleigh Dickinson. It was CCSUâs 12th in a row, leaving the teamâs record at just 2-15 with a 0-6 mark in NEC play.
Considering that this season is just about a wash for CCSU, it isnât all that surprising that the team has started to play for themselves, as that has a tendency to happen with losing teams. As for whether it has been everybody on the team or just a select few players that are playing selfishly, Marshall wouldnât go into detail.
âIâm not going to sit up here and say certain names,â Marshall said. âI just think that guys need to step up and think about team first.â
At this point, 17 games into the season, Marshall is at a bit of a loss as far as what he can do to get his players to start playing the way he wants them to. The first-year head coach has stressed the same things all season, yet still hasnât gotten the results he was hoping for, which can be demoralizing at times.
âIf I knew what I could do to get them to start playing more unselfishly that question would have been answered a long time ago,â Marshall said. âSometimes you get to a point where some people are past that and you canât teach them. You have to try and work with them and use what they can do and what theyâre worth.â
Marshall came into this season knowing that it might be tough, but he never imagined it would be as bad as it has been so far. Coaching is a difficult profession and sometimes things come up that you would never expect. For the Blue Devils, thatâs the selfish nature of the current players.
Despite these issues, Marshall is still choosing to look on the bright side and take the approach that what happens for the rest of the season will mean something for the future of the program, which he is trying to build. It wonât be easy, but he sees a light at the end of the tunnel and will continue to preach unselfishness to his players until it finally registers with them.
âWe have to sit up here and try to keep working,â Marshall said. âWe have 12 games left to try and get these guys headed in the right direction. While the season is slowly slipping away, we are still right there. I know the score looks like double digits and all of that stuff, but we have been right in every game. Itâs the teams that do the extra stuff that win games and we donât do the extra stuff so thatâs why our record is what it is.â
Michael Woolfson can be reached at 860-801-5203 or firstname.lastname@example.org