Team preview: Alcorn State

Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2005-06 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2005, 12:41 PM ET
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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

Midway through last year's Southwestern Athletic Conference schedule, with his team sitting one game below .500 in league play at 4-5, Alcorn State coach Sammy West was searching for answers.

"It's in us to play better, it's just a matter of it coming out,'' West said at the time. "I've got to find that right button to push.''

That never happened. The Braves lost seven of their last nine games, finished near the bottom of the league standings, missed out on the SWAC Tournament and suffered their second losing season in as many years under West.

As hard as he tried, as many times as he tweaked the lineup, through team meeting after team meeting, West never could right the ship. Of course, if his team could throw it in the ocean, he might've had more of a fighting chance.

Alcorn, featuring a lineup of mostly young players, ranked last in the 10-team SWAC in scoring at 59.1 points per game and ranked next to last in field-goal percentage at 39 percent and free-throw percentage at 59 percent.

Throw in the fact the Braves averaged a league-worst 20.3 turnovers per game and it's easy to see why they struggled so mightily last season. It's also easy to see why West spent many a night tossing and turning in bed.

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