Many college basketball coaches have some degree of autonomy over their regular-season schedule, and they usually try to use that power to their team's advantage.
Jamion Christian took a different approach, having his Mount St. Mary’s team open this season with five straight road games. The team has lost its first four, and will try to end the skid with a win at UMES on Wednesday night, but Christian said he does not regret how he arranged the opening portion of the schedule.
“I really like to challenge our team early in the year,” the second-year coach said Tuesday night. “I think that’s really important. I think that’s something a lot of coaches are afraid to do, to put their guys in difficult situations and see how they react. We don’t have a fear of failure here. We’re trying to push ourselves to the limit. Starting the season out on the road gives you a lot of opportunity to have success. We haven’t done that, but we like the schedule, we like the teaching it provides, and I think it’s vital to look at our team and find the things we’re really good at, and we’re going to continue to try to enhance those strengths.”
The Mountaineers will play their first game at Knott Arena this Saturday, when American visits. Christian conceded that there is a part of him eager to play in front of the team’s fans.
“You always want to play at home,” he said. “There’s something about playing at home in front of your home fans and feeling the energy and excitement that they give you. Sleeping in your own bed the night before, there is something about that that is always fun.”