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Men’s basketball can’t explain losses to Big East bottom teams

No one has an explanation.

Especially when a paper is not supposed to lie.

Maybe it does and maybe is doesn’t, but with the paper showing the Big East conference standings, the men’s basketball team is at the bottom with a 0-8 record. DePaul, which the team faced and lost to 80-66 on Friday, only had one Big East win coming into the game.

Yet no one on the team can explain why the Bulls lost by three points to No. 4 Villanova, four points to No. 11 West Virginia and by another three points to No. 17 Georgetown, only to get blown out by the Blue Demons and St. John’s.

“I don’t know (what it is),” said coach Robert McCullum, whose team is on a 10-game losing streak as of Friday. “I’ve talked before about the matchups and being concerned with those. I understand the (questioning), talking about the teams on paper, and we do better against teams that were picked against us.

“I just know if it’s a situation if our guys get up more psychologically for the teams were not supposed to compete with. I don’t know because I wish I had the answer,” McCullum said.

Junior Melvin Buckley, who had a team-high 22 points Friday, tried to put the untimely losses into a certain perspective figuring the explanation is pretty simple.

“(The whole thing) is hard,” Buckley said. “It comes down to those two words there. But I think it’s pretty simple. We play the Villanovas and the Georgetowns and the West Virginias, and you have to realize the hurting it puts on us. And then you turn around and have a DePaul come in, and you had five, six guys who went all out for 40 minutes two nights before.”

“We’re in no position to makes excuses, tired or not; we just can’t get it done,” Buckley said.Teammate Solomon Jones, who is second in the Big East with 3.24 blocked shots per game, disagrees with Buckley.

“It’s part being tired, but that’s all mental,” Jones said. “I may be tired inside, but I would never show it. I’d never let you see that. If opponents see that, then they will come right at you. I don’t know how you can come out and say you’re tired. I’m not tired.

“I don’t think we understand what kind of place we are in right now and how many wins we have to get to make it to New York,” Jones said.

Even if the Bulls can’t find an explanation, they are receiving sympathy from those they know best. DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright pointed out Friday that Seth Greenberg at Virginia Tech – a familiar face to USF – is 2-7 in the ACC and is also experiencing unexplainable mysteries.

“I’ve known Robert McCullum a long time,” said Wainwright, “and I don’t think another coach – maybe at what Virginia Tech is going through with injuries and illnesses. These are tough times, especially when you have to step into a league like this one.”