ADA, OK -- For the first time since the middle of November the ECU Men's Basketball team is taking the court following a loss, but the confidence is still high.
"Skyrocketed," Senior forward Braxton Reeves said. "Like you said, starting 0-4 everything is tougher. Tougher to eat, come to practice, but once we got the ball rolling it brightened up."
Led by Reeves, who is first in the conference and top-30 in the country in points per game, the Tigers won 12 straight games, the longest in about 70 years.
"That's something they should be proud of, being able to accomplish that," ECU Men's Basketball coach Ja Havens said. "It would be a great time to start another one."
It may be quiet at the Kerr Activities Center, and the seats may be empty during the afternoon, but when Arkansas-Monticello rolls into town on Thursday it'll be a different scene.
"I'm excited," Reeves said. "I know everyone else has been talking about it, but it's the next game up and that's why it's important for us."
"We're looking forward to the challenge," Havens said. "It would be a nationally ranked team coming here to the Kerr Dome, and we want to get as many fans as we can in here to make it a great atmosphere. I think this team deserves it and they will represent the program and the university well."
The Boll Weevils come in ranked 18 in the country, but a loss on Saturday as well keeps the Tigers just two games back.
"This is where you get separation," Reeves said. "Last season we were in the same position with Harding, and it ended up coming back to bite us."
With all that in mind, it will be quite the show when the ball tips at 7:30.
"It's going to be a chance locally to see two good college teams, two good programs and playing with a lot on the line," Havens said.
"They have been pretty packed, so keep it up," Reeves said. "We can't do it without (the fans)."