Schakel looks to end culture of losing
ALAMOSA- There's a culture to losing that, once acquired, is as difficult as an infectious disease to get rid of. That's exactly what Doug Schakel was brought to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to do.
The Mountain Lions were defeated again Saturday night 80-58 by the Adams State grizzlies at Plachy Hall. How that loss came about is indicative of Schakel's dilemma.
"This is a difficult task for me as well because I'm totally unaccustomed to this," said Schakel, a winner of over 500 games as a basketball coach and a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.
While the mental lapses that have plagued the Mountain Lions have gotten both shorter and less frequent with each game, it was one of those lapses that turned the tide Saturday. UCCS led by five points with 3:44 left in the first half and had been executing beautifully on both ends of the floor. A pair of turnovers helped Adams State close to within one before a Dan Deveau 3-pointer seemed to stem the tide.
It didn't. Roman Moniak got free for a layup with 1:32 left and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but Greg Baker snuck inside a grabbed the rebound away from four Mountain Lions. The UCCS defense forced two more missed shots, but the Grizzlies got the offensive rebound each time. Finally, David Hull hit a short jumper to tie the game. After another UCCS turnover, Rajshad Anderson hit a long 3-pointer as time expired to complete the eight-point swing.
Instead of going to the locker room with a lead and a spring in their step, the Mountain Lions left the floor down three points and hanging their heads.
"I can see that the culture of losing is firmly embedded and I think that what happens is when the slightest bit of adversity comes our way; it's almost like an expectation," said Schakel. "It's like 'here it goes again.'"
The lapse carried a hangover with it. Adams State scored the first eight points of the second half, holding UCCS scoreless until a Bly McGuire free throw with 17:28 remaining.
Schakel, ever the teacher, tried to keep the Mountain Lions from falling apart. That attempt forced him to use his final timeout with 13:59 still left on the game clock and the Mountain Lions down 51-35.
The lead remained in the 12-16 range until the final couple of minutes, when the Grizzlies had a couple of SportsCenter moments that took away what little fight the Mountain Lions had. The final margin had more to do with emotion than it did events.
Patrick Hannaway led UCCS (2-19, 1-12 RMAC) with 17 points and nine rebounds. McGuire and Patrick Simpson added 12 points each.
Moniak led Adams State (10-11, 7-6 RMAC) with 22 points.
So the old professor still has quite a task before him. He believes he knows what to do about it, though.
"My task now is redirect their thinking because I think what happens is they start thinking about what not to do," said Schakel. "(They think) â€˜don't make mistakes- but the mind thinks in pictures and it doesn't have a picture for the word -don't."
"We have to paint a picture of what to do rather than what not to do."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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