BayRunners back after 0-7 debacle

Confidence still poor

Stuff is visitor tonight

March 23, 2000|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

The disturbing thing for BayRunners coach Terry Truax was that he actually thought his team could go 5-2 on its 18-day road trip.

Instead, it went 0-7, descending into last place in the East Conference.

"We had beaten all the West Coast franchises, although we had beaten them all at home," said Truax, whose team faces the Cincinnati Stuff at 7: 30 tonight at Baltimore Arena.

"But there's been some slippage in our team in terms of the meshing with the personalities on the court."

Part of that is because the BayRunners are without point guard LaMarr Greer, who has been cleared to start practicing with the team and could return to action in three games.

The other reason the BayRunners (13-30) are on pace to miss out on one of the three playoff spots in the conference is because of their mental makeup.

Truax said the team has little confidence in itself, a situation that has virtually existed since the season opener against Trenton, although with a host of different players.

Former coach Herb Brown turned over more than half the opening-day roster, shuffling players on and off the team.

"You have to change attitude," Truax said. "I'm really concerned that there's an attitude of accepting defeat.

"The harder you work, the harder it is to accept losing. But I don't think we've been demanding enough as a coaching staff. That's starting to show itself now."

Truax also went on to say the team lacks focus at times, and not everybody works hard. The team Truax inherited from Brown is the team he decided to keep.

Truax said he had a chance to move some players before the trading deadline, but declined. However, he did not rule out the idea of making more changes to the team's roster before the end of this season.

"I'm going to talk to the [team] president [Greg Smith] about individual players not playing to our liking. If he's not playing, then why should he be on the team?

"We could have made changes before that deadline, but I just thought the players here needed to get a chance to play together, considering what happened before. I take responsibility for that.

"We just lack toughness mentally and physically. We've been out-rebounded by four or five a game.

"I think when teams face us, they believe they have a pretty good chance of winning. That was the case with Cincinnati [Tuesday] night."

The Stuff outscored the BayRunners 19-7 over the last half of the fourth quarter en route to a 92-85 win.

It should help that the BayRunners are coming back home, though they have a losing record (11-12) there and are facing one of the league's best teams tonight.

But getting back in front of their fans could help a team struggling with confidence.

NOTE: The proceeds from tonight's game will go to the Police Assistance Relief Fund in honor of Baltimore County Sgt. Bruce Prothero, who was killed in February while providing security at a jewelry store in Pikesville while off duty.

BayRunners tonight

Opponent: Cincinnati Stuff

Site: Baltimore Arena

Time: 7: 30

Outlook: G LaMarr Greer should be returning soon from a foot injury. This will be the first of three games in three nights for the BayRunners. The team is 1-5 against the first-place Stuff.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.