Rogers State Basketball No. 1 Seed In NAIA Tournament

Tuesday, March 17th 2009, 4:26 pm
By: News On 6

By Kyle Dierking,

CLAREMORE, OK -- When it comes to Rogers State basketball this season, the stats are astounding: one loss in 30 games, a number one seed in the NAIA National Tournament and it's only the second season for Hillcat athletics.

"When we created athletics, one of the things we wanted to do was create opportunities to play for national championships in all sports," said Rogers State coach Lloyd Williams. "For us to be the first sport to get to the national tournament, it's a built-in excitement for everybody on campus."

The top-seeded Hillcats play William Jewell on Wednesday. If they make it to the championship game, it'll mean five games in six days. RSU does have a deep bench - 11 guys log at least 10 minutes per game.

"I feel like we're always going to have energy," Williams said. "The one thing I'm trying to express to our team is, let's not depend on that alone. We still have to go out there and play smart, play hard and play together every single night. If we don't do that, our depth isn't going to matter."

Williams hasn't taken a different approach to prepare his team for the national tournament. He's just trying to keep everybody loose.

"As an athlete you have enough pressure on you," Williams said. "What I try to do is release some of that pressure and try to let them go out and enjoy the game."

The Hillcats tip-off against William Jewell Wednesday evening at 6:15 in Kansas City.

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