Team preview: McNeese State

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

The last 15 games of McNeese State's 2004-05 campaign say a lot about the entire season.

The Cowboys lost seven consecutive games, from mid-January into early February. They followed that with a six-game winning streak, getting them back above .500 in Southland Conference play, only to lose the season finale and their one game in the league tournament, falling by 18 to Sam Houston State.

Solving this puzzle doesn't require a stay at a Holiday Inn Express. Anyone can see what the Cowboys were clearly lacking was consistency.

Head coach Tic Price knows finding that is paramount for his team this season.

"We didn't consistently defend and we didn't rebound very well at times, especially in the first half of the season," Price said. "After that losing streak, we made a concerted effort to stop people defensively and rebound better. Had we had that same mental approach and attitude all season, I think we would have been more successful.

"Once we won a few games our confidence grew, we obviously began to have a little bit of a swagger. We need to have that swagger long before conference play starts this year."