The University of West Georgia men's basketball team will look to get 2018 started off on the right foot tonight when it resumes Gulf South Conference play with a 9 p.m. battle against Union University in Jackson, Tennessee.
The first 10 games of the regular season featured a mix of ups and downs for the Wolves (5-5, 1-3 GSC) as injuries and the holiday break interrupted the team's ability to get into a groove. But with a full deck finally in the fold for the long conference haul, veteran head coach Michael Cooney is looking forward to his team potentially taking a step forward.
"We're getting healthier and that's exciting to see," Cooney said. "William Sides had been out with an injury since before that break, but he'll be back (tonight). When he gets out there, it'll be the first time all year that I've had my full starting five on the floor."
Coming off a 93-86 overtime victory versus Livingstone College on Saturday, Cooney and his ballclub will try to get a winning streak going when they face Union (6-5, 0-3), which is still searching for its first conference victory of the year. The UWG head coach expects a tough road challenge this evening.
"It's a road game in the Gulf South and those are always hard to win," Cooney said. "We just have to play good defense and rebound. On top of that, we're fast-breaking well, but we just have to share the ball better. That's going be a major point of emphasis for our team moving forward. If we can accomplish those things, we'll be in the ballgame and have a good chance."
Tonight's matchup will be the beginning of a two-game GSC road trip in the Volunteer State for the Wolves with them traveling to Memphis to meet Christian Brothers on Thursday. For West Georgia, this is the perfect time to get into a rhythm and set the stage for the rest of the season.
"It's time to get some continuity going. When you're juggling your lineup sheet because of injuries on top of things like finals and the break, it's hard to get into a flow," Cooney said. "So that's what we're looking forward to, just being in a flow."