Outside of basketball, it's also finals time at UWG (2-2), as the Wolves prepare for tonight's 8:30 p.m. contest against the No. 4 Chargers (4-1) at Spragins Hall.
"That's the way it goes. We're going to play the same number of conference games as everybody, but it is an interesting start. Again, the timing. Right now, we're getting ready for finals. We have players that are taking finals this week and have to go on the road. I'm hoping down the road, the conference will look at this and agree with me that it's really not a good idea to be playing these games right now," UWG coach Michael Cooney said.
West Georgia was able to bounce back from a tough road loss against Clayton State with a 73-60 win against Columbus State on Saturday at The Coliseum. Along with trying to get wins, the Wolves are also trying to get healthy. With some knocks taken in practices and games, this week was focused on making sure there was a full bench for tonight.
"I was really happy that we pulled together and beat a good team like Columbus State. Now Thomas Higginbotham took a shot Saturday night and is doing much better, but practice this week has been more on the care side than being physical. We're trying to get people back healthy so we can have 10 guys ready on the bench," Cooney said.
The Chargers' lost two-time conference player of the year Josh Magette to graduation, but aren't missing a beat early this year.
Zane Campell and Jaime Smith come in as preseason All-GSC performers and lead a strong UAH squad. Smith leads the team with 12 points a game, while Wayne Dedrick adds 11 and Ronnie Mack chips in with 10.2. Campbell, meanwhile, leads with six rebounds per contest.
"They lost a great player, but they have two all-conference players returning and both of those guys are probably up for conference player of the year," Cooney said. "Then the other players that they're starting played roles for them last year — Ronnie Mack, Xavier Baldwin and then they have another really good player in Conner Blasi. So they've very good and very experienced," Cooney said.
Now the Wolves will be tested early in conference and will have to get through some of the injury problems and struggles to get a big win against a top-five team on the road.
"We've improved. I thought we improved between the first game and now. Right now, we're trying to stay healthy and haven't had a lot of quality practice time. We have finals coming up, and as soon as that's over, we can get back to practicing. This group is playing well together, playing the right way," Cooney said. "We're going to play Huntsville and we're excited to be playing them. We feel good about what our guys are doing, that they're improving."