Southern basketball coaches reflect on abrupt end to 2020 season


BATON ROUGE, La. – Southern’s men and women basketball teams were in the SWAC Tournament semifinals when the pandemic shut down their seasons. Although their years were cut short, coaches Sean Woods and Carlos Funchess learned key things about their squads.

“We had 14 new guys. It took a while for it to all gel, and once they did, they realized the method of the madness. It became fun. Now the thing about it was, it was like our legs was cut from under us,” Woods said.

“Well, we had an opportunity to kind of see how life was going to be without Jaden Towner. Some other people started stepping up, and that was great for us just to see what kind of match-ups we could put on the court,” Funchess added.

Both teams were also on win streaks to end the year. The women won three straight, and the men were riding high with eight wins in a row. The Jaguars are experiencing a culture change with basketball on the Bluff, and the coaches are taking notice.

“It’s great for not just the team but the fans also. I’m always going to Coach Woods’ office and pick his brain and try to find out some new things, things teams are doing to us,” Funchess said.

“It’s just a camaraderie. We both have the same vision in mind to make Southern basketball a great and a unique product because we want to build an excitement to draw fans,” Woods furthered.

Both teams have an edge with their systems next year; the men and women return majority of their starters for the 2020-21 season.

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