AIKEN, SC -- It's already been a tale of two seasons for the USC Aiken men's basketball team. After starting the season 0 and 5, they turned around to win 7 in a row. Now, with conference play around the corner, the Pacers are hitting the reset button as they get ready for conference play.
The team relied on their character and chemistry to turn things around after the cold start and they're planning on leaning on those strengths throughout the conference grind. Head coach Mark Vanderslice knows that the team won't be able to get away with only being good in a few areas.
"For us to be competitive and compete at the highest level in the Peach Belt, we've got to be good in a lot of areas. And if you're only good in a few, you better be great in those few. And for us, we know every single night we're going to see something different," said Vanderslice.
After a rocky start that saw the team go from 0 and 5 to 7 and 6, the pacers men's team could use some consistency. The obvious answer: just keep winning. There are a number of areas that help with that, but the most important area may actually be how strong Vanderslice's players are mentally.
"When you add up the games, that's when you get the streak. But if you get them to see beyond that one game, they lose sight of right here and right now and staying in the present. So, no cliche involved, we really have to think one game at a time. If we win today, or we win on Saturday and then we win on Wednesday; we think one game at a time hopefully that will propel itself into a streak."
The Pacers already have a 3 and 0 conference record. It's not quite a streak, but a solid foundation as the Pacers try to improve on last year's second place finish.