After a disappointing home loss to John A. Logan (Ill.) College on Tuesday, Three Rivers men's basketball coach Gene Bess opened the door on future playing time. "The guys who work the hardest are going to end up with the most playing time in the future," said Bess after losing 84-69. Trust that he means it. Even the best Raiders get benched, including three named to the All-American team the last four seasons. Three Rivers (1-2) has had seven players start so far this season, with Jeffery Porter, Chucky Wilson and Ludy Kayouloud starting all three games. "We've got some individual talent. I've had worse for sure. It is just a chemistry thing," Bess said. "We are going to be all right. I've seen worse. We get to play (Logan) again and I bet we'll go over there and compete. That's all I want to do this year is compete. If you can compete you'll gradually get better and have a chance to win when you have to." Three Rivers never led Tuesday, was within one possession with 2 minutes left in the fi rst half and down by seven at halftime. "We need to work. We need to work in the weight room. We need to get serious in the weight room," Kayouloud said. "We haven't been that serious in the weight room. We just took it as a joke, and now I think that guys realize that the weight room is really important to get big and get strong to the ball." After trading buckets in the opening possessions of the second half, Logan (3-0) took its fi rst double-digit lead 7 minutes in.
Former Raider Ronnie Carson, who led Logan in scoring with 21 points on 8 for 11 shooting, got a putback with 4 minutes remaining to put the Volunteers ahead by 22, their biggest lead of the game. "It was a little emotional today, but it was pretty fun," Carson said. "I was just coming out here focused. I knew it was going to be a tough game, I know what the atmosphere is like, so I had to just bring it." Logan had seven more rebounds and four more offensive rebounds than Three Rivers for seven more second-chance points. "I see us working harder than we have up to this point," Bess said. "We'll work on everything ... I've never seen a team rebound this bad. It is like they're oblivious out there. The ball will just fall into the other team's hands. They have all kinds of excuses, but we have to figure something out. We'll just have to go back to the 'ol drawing board." The Volunteers shot 46 percent overall compared to 39 percent for Three Rivers. Aidan Saunders led Three Rivers with 21 points and was 6 for 17 shooting and 7 for 10 on free throws. Kayouloud added 12 points and was 5 for 7 shooting. "You bring in a really good athlete that can shoot, and the rest of their game is a little questionable. They don't really think there is but one end of the court," Bess said. "They don't understand how important defense and rebounding is, and we haven't communicated that to them yet. We will work on a combination of things and we are going to work harder than we have worked. "
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic