RedHawks looking to snap losing skid


Adjustments will be made. Exactly what that means in terms of the lineup or playing style, Miami University men’s basketball coach John Cooper isn’t saying.

The RedHawks (7-11) are on a three-game losing skid and coming off a lifeless 82-62 home defeat against Ball State. On Wednesday, streaking Western Michigan comes to Millett Hall.

“I don’t know how much confidence we’re playing with right now,” Cooper said. “I’ll be honest, I’m just trying to figure out where I can put this group to put them in the best position to be successful.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do at this point. It still goes back to an effort thing. We’ve got to have better effort. Some of the stuff doesn’t make any sense if the effort isn’t there.”

WMU (12-7) has won its last four games and leads the Mid-American Conference West Division, despite having eight freshmen on its roster. MU is trying to avoid its second four-game losing streak of the season.

“Nobody feels sorry for us, and that’s fine with me,” Cooper said. “This is what you do it for, at least in my opinion. We’ve got to continue to keep working and figure it out.”

The Broncos have been a bit of a surprise this year, according to 10th-year coach Steve Hawkins. Only Buffalo’s Reggie Witherspoon (14 seasons) has a longer current tenure among MAC head coaches.

“We didn’t have a lot of expectations coming in, but it’s a tight-knit group with great team chemistry,” Hawkins said. “We’re not always the prettiest team to watch, but there’s only been one game really all year long where we laid a dud and didn’t play hard, and that was the Akron game (a 65-43 loss on Jan. 9).”

Shayne Whittington, a 6-foot-10 redshirt junior center, leads Western in scoring (11.8) and rebounding (8.2). Defensively, Hawkins said simply, “We play nothing but man to man.”

He said the MAC has changed “in a million ways” in his 13 seasons at Western Michigan (he was an assistant for three years). Hawkins has learned to take nothing for granted.

He said the conference has clearly shifted its emphasis on the court. Most teams now have an up-tempo style of play.

“I think Miami epitomizes it as much as anybody,” Hawkins said. “For the first several years I was in this league and really until just recently, there were a lot of coaches that believed in nothing but man-to-man defense and grinding it out in the halfcourt. There wasn’t a lot of pressing, and there wasn’t a lot of zone.

“Now you have to prepare for any number of styles. I used to think the nonconference part of the schedule was great because it prepared you for several styles of play, but once you got in the MAC, you didn’t need all of that. Now you do.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

5 takeaways from a Western and Southern Open first-timer
5 takeaways from a Western and Southern Open first-timer

This week I had my first Western and Southern Open experience.  Although it was cut short by a nasty rain storm, I saw enough to convince me I need to make a return trip.  Here are my top takeaways from my visit:  The Graeter’s turtle sundae really hit the spot, giving me the energy to seek out actual tennis.  I found it at...
Joey Votto is Kris Bryant’s favorite player
Joey Votto is Kris Bryant’s favorite player

Cubs fans may not be thrilled with star third baseman Kris Bryant’s favorite player. Bryant admitted that his top preferred player is Reds first baseman Kris Bryant. “He’s the best player ever,” Bryant said before Wednesday’s game versus Cincinnati. “He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking...
How the Ohio State offense is getting its swagger back
How the Ohio State offense is getting its swagger back

We’ve reached the point in the football preseason that themes can start to run into the ground.  “How will X be better than it was last year, coach?” is a well-worn question in July and August.  Whatever went wrong a season ago is inevitably a central theme to the following preseason.  Such as it is with an Ohio State...
High School Football: New coach, same expectations for Greeneview
High School Football: New coach, same expectations for Greeneview

The Greeneview Rams have had much to cheer about the past three seasons by earning the program’s first playoff appearance and first postseason victory. But you wouldn’t know it by watching them, especially on the practice field. The Rams have quietly gone about their business after reaching the postseason the past three seasons. &ldquo...
Regarding the ‘Urban Meyer is overrated/underrated’ at Ohio State thing
Regarding the ‘Urban Meyer is overrated/underrated’ at Ohio State thing

This “Urban Meyer has underachieved at Ohio State thing” is a stupid, made-up story, but people love to click those so it's probably worth a few minutes.  I would say he's overachieved twice, underachieved twice and hit expectations pretty much on the head once in five seasons in which he is 61-6 with one national championship, one...
More Stories