MEN'S BASKETBALL: Cardinals refreshed after long break

Team ready to play Wednesday for first time in 11 days

As coach Billy Taylor spoke at Monday's news conference, it sounded like the full week of practice came at the perfect time for his team. 

After playing three games in four days at the Great Alaska Shootout in November, the Ball State men's basketball team started an 11-day stretch without a game.

Taylor said he gave the team the first two days off to get their legs back and get organized before coming back to practice midweek.

In its last game against Alaska Anchorage, Ball State struggled to shoot the ball and scored a season-low 44 points in the loss. Sophomore guard Jauwan Scaife said a week without games gave him a beneficial recovery period.

"After that last week [in Alaska], I was pretty tired," Scaife said. "This week I got some good shooting in, some running. I got my wind back up and got some lifting in to get my strength back as well. I think that's always good for shooters."

During the Shootout, Ball State ran into some bouts of inconsistency. The Cardinals played well in stretches against Big East Conference opponent St. John's, but then lost to Division II Alaska Anchorage.

Taylor said his team focused on basics during the week off to improve execution.

"At times it is still sloppy, but other times it looks great," Taylor said of his team's execution. "We're still not where I'd like to see us from an offensive standpoint, but I do think, defensively, we did a better job this past week."

The Cardinals have a 3-3 record with road games against Eastern Illinois and DePaul this week. Scaife said his team approached the break with the same attitude as before.

"Coach always expresses the same amount of urgency every day and be aware of the things we have ahead of us," he said. "It's just a game at a time. You don't worry about [Mid-American Conference] season coming up. You just try and continue to get better and play as hard as you can."


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