Pearson, Kaspar eye weekend sweep

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Men's College Basketball

Sophomore guard Nijal Pearson believes this week’s road trip is important for Texas State as the Bobcats travel to take on Arkansas State on Thursday and Little Rock on Saturday.

Pearson knows it would be a boost of confidence if the team could sweep its opponents.

“They’re two good teams,” Pearson said. “I think every team in the Sun Belt is good. Every team is tough. I don’t think it’s going to be a walkthrough. It’s going to be a fight. I feel like this is a very important weekend. If we can go up there and get a sweep, and that’s what I’m aiming for, then we’re in a very good position. One game at a time, but I feel like we got to lock in and play every game.”

Head coach Danny Kaspar feels his team can sweep, but says both teams will provide a challenge.

“I think Arkansas State has played some very good basketball,” Kaspar said. “Both teams have good players, but I think Arkansas State’s been a little bit more competitive thus far, that doesn’t mean things can’t change.

“I know that Little Rock beat (Louisiana) Monroe recently, if I’m not mistaken, that could give them a big confidence boost. So, sometimes you just need a little bit of a light switch to turn on and the players get it and rally around it. Last year, when we swept the two teams on our North Carolina-South Carolina road trip that flipped the switch for us. So, I would like to think that we’re capable of sweeping, but like most coaches you hope to sweep but you say ‘We got to get at least a split.’”

The Bobcats (10-7, 3-1 Sun Belt) are riding into this weekend’s games on a three-game winning streak. Pearson said the biggest reason for Texas State’s good fortunes early in Sun Belt play is the team is starting to gel.

“Just gelling, playing with each other more and more, more games, learning how each other likes to play and how they like to shoot it,” Pearson said. “There’s no secret formula to it.”

Pearson now wants to see the team learn how to strongly win games instead of having to hold on as they’ve had to during their winning streak. Pearson believes it would be beneficial if the Bobcats learned how to keep their foot on opponents.

“We’re used to when we kick somebody, kick them down, they stay down,” Pearson said. “But it’s college, it’s Division I, it’s Sun Belt, it’s conference play, you kick them down, they’re going to get back up. So, we just got to keep kicking them and once we learn how to do that then we’re going to be a really good team.”

Texas State begins its road trip at 7 p.m. on Thursday against Arkansas State and closes the weekend out at Little Rock on Saturday at 5 p.m.

San Marcos Daily Record

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