So we’ve heard by now Jordan Varnado, the leading scorer and rebounder for the men’s basketball team, is out the door. For Head Coach Phil Cunningham and the rest of the Trojans, this is a crucial point in the season, as Troy is desperately trying to win its way into the upcoming Sun Belt tournament.
With only four games left to play, the standings before Troy’s matchup with Texas State look as follows: the Trojans sit at the bottom, in a tie with Appalachian State for the last place slot. The two squads have the same conference record (4-10), but Troy has a better overall record, 11 wins to nine losses.
Of Troy’s remaining matchups, two are at home while the others are away. Troy is set to host conference leader Texas State before playing host to UT Arlington, who sits comfortably in fourth place, two games up from a three-way tie between Louisiana, ULM and Coastal Carolina.
Troy then will travel to Boone, North Carolina, to take on Appalachian State, a winnable game for Troy, but adjustments will have to make to accommodate for Varnado’s absence.
Alex Hicks stepped up in Saturday’s loss to South, pitching in 21 points, but the absence of Varnado was still felt as Troy was outrebounded late.
So, what’s the end of Troy’s season looking like? By no means is this a failed season, as a core group of five freshmen showed promise throughout the whole year and most notably, freshman guard KJ Simon.
Simon is fresh off a career high outing against Georgia Southern where he logged his most minutes (26) and scored a season high 12 points.
March 9 marks the end of the regular season as Troy travels to meet Coastal Carolina in Conway, SC, a nearly must-win scenario for Troy.
Troy is on the outside looking in.
If the Trojans can steal a game from a struggling App. St. squad and sneak past the Chanticleers, making a run in the Sun Belt tournament looks a little more realistic, despite the loss of a key centerpiece of the team.