DENTON, Texas - Robert Lee has been here plenty of times before, but in a different role.

Now, after serving Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns for eight years as an assistant coach, Lee will be in charge today for the first time in Sun Belt Conference Tournament play when the Cajuns meet Middle Tennessee in a 9 p.m. quarterfinal at The Super Pit on the campus of North Texas.

"This is my ninth conference tournament," Lee said. "I've seen just about everything there is to see. I've seen us lose in the first round, seen us go to the semifinals and seen us go to the finals and win.

"One thing a friend of mine told me, if you don't have good enough players, you're not going to win. I feel I have good enough players."

Lee's approach to the tournament has a different feel to it this time.

"When you're the head coach it's always different," he said. "As an assistant, you don't get as worried. You say, we're going to kill these guys, no problem. You don't worry, and you go to sleep at night."

There are one or two things to lose sleep over for the defending Sun Belt champions.

The Cajuns enter today's game with a 17-10 record and some doubts after dropping the last two games of the regular season.

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Bruce Brown