While professional sports organizations are given the opportunity to trade, sign and release players, college programs are not given that luxury.
I respect college coaches because they have to work with the pieces they are given. General managers are not there to bail them out and the only chance coaches have to improve their roster is through recruiting.
But while many college basketball programs are forced to make changes because of a high standard of winning, an unknown program like Sacramento State’s men’s basketball team should make changes to gain some spotlight.
Sac State is in a perfect position to take risks as it wants. Whether it is changing the offense, the coaching philosophy, the lineup, or its entrance music, the program has nowhere to go but up.
Since the Hornets became a Division I team in 1992, they have been mediocre at best. Their best season came in 2005, when they lost to Northern Arizona in the second round of the Big Sky Tournament with a school record 15 wins.
This season, Sac State already has 12 wins. With five games left on the schedule, a new record could be in its sight.
The Hornets have also not been to the Big Sky Conference Tournament in seven years, and the way this team is playing, fans will have to wait one more season. The time for change is now.
One disappointment has been senior forward Joe Eberhard. This season, Eberhard has averaged his career low with 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He has also shot only 37 percent from the field.
Senior athletes need to step up as leaders for their team, but having a voice can only take a team so far. Actions speak louder than words.
If Eberhard will not step up as a dominant presence, then head coach Brian Katz needs to find one on his bench.
One player that could lead the charge is freshman guard Cody Demps. Sure, Demps is straight out of high school, but he has shown flashes of talent, especially from the perimeter.
In his last game against Northern Colorado, Demps scored a career-high 13 points in 25 minutes off the bench. Imagine what he could do with 30-plus minutes.
If Demps starts as the third guard in the starting lineup, Sac State will have to speed up the offense to make up for its size. Maybe they should start attending the women’s basketball practices to receive some tips on how to score more than 62.9 points per game.
Regardless of what the Hornets and their coaching staff do, time is running out in the 2012-13 season. A perfect opportunity to gain the national spotlight by winning the Big Sky Tournament is in front of them, but the lineup that is on the court is struggling. It’s time for a change and it’s better late than never.
Ryan can be reached on Twitter at @rskuhn