SFA's Kyle Keller: 'The opponent is us'

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The SFA Lumberjacks are just a few days away from the start of the Southland Conference Tournament.

By the end of tomorrow, the team will know who they will play. It will either be Lamar or Central Arkansas. The 'Jacks split the season series with UCA while failing to beat Lamar in the two meetings this year.

SFA head Coach Kyle Keller is not concerned with who they play because it comes down to how they perform on any night.

"The opponent is us," Keller said. "Whoever the other team is the first night is who it is. We know they are capable of beating us. We know anyone in our league is."

If you ask Keller, he will tell you that last year, the team ran out of gas down the stretch, and they lost games they should have won. In his second year with the league, Keller is optimistic in the changes he has made.

"I have coached differently this year in that I have tried to keep our guys fresher this time of year," Keller said. "I think our legs are fresher."

With this being the biggest week of the year, it is business as usual. The team is having daily practices as normal with a few new looks and then travel to Katy as if it was a normal road game.

"We have had three big weeks with senior night last week, then Katy and a possible trip to the national tournament," Keller said. "You can't let your guys feel the pressure. You have to keep the guys loose."

In their losses, the 'Jacks have had a tough time starting the game with points and had to play from behind. In a one-and-done tournament, that is the death blow to a season.

"Playing from behind is hard to do so if you can draw up some plays where Gilmore gets 4 threes in a row that would be great or if it was Hollyfield or someone else," Keller said. "We cannot be that house plant that has to have everything perfect. We cannot be the pet that has to go outside at the same time. We need to have intensity and be able to adjust and grind it out."

The men's first game will be Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. from the Merrell Center in Katy.

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