On Saturday night, November 6th, the Yeshiva University Maccabees will begin their season at the Dutch Burch Tip-Off, as they take on the Lycoming College Warriors in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Entering the game riding a 36-game winning streak, the Macs will look to continue the historic run that they have created over the past two seasons. The Macs will be returning each of their starters from last season, when they were forced to play a shortened schedule due to the pandemic. During the offseason, Yeshiva brought in graduate transfers Ethan Lasko and Jordan Armstrong in an attempt to add depth and help fortify their already strong roster, which includes D3hoops All-Americans Ryan Turell and Gabriel Leifer. Lasko, a former Division I player, spent a season at Indiana University followed by three seasons at Manhattan College, which included a buzzer beater 3-pointer, sending a MAAC conference tournament game into overtime.
A season ago, the Warriors went 5-2 during their shortened season and won the MAC Freedom conference championship. Junior big man Dyson Harward was their leading scorer, averaging 12.6 points per game, the only member of the team to average double-digits in points. In addition to shooting 54% from the field, Harward displayed the ability to shoot from the outside, making 52% of his 3-point attempts. Deaundre Manuel is the next leading scorer returning for the Warriors. The junior forward has a nice pull-up game and good length that allows him to shoot over the top defenders.
Like the Macs, Lycoming’s scoring average was upwards of 70 points per game and they held their opponents to an average of just under 63 points per game. However, the Warriors will be without Darius Dangerfield, a senior last season, who led them in assists and was their second leading scorer. An important key for Lycoming will be to figure out how they can fill the void left by the speedy point guard. They had several bench players contribute and play significant minutes last year, so keep an eye out for others such as Steven Hamilton or Brendon Blackson to take a step forward and help carry the load.
Keys to the Game:
Share and Protect the Ball:
For Yeshiva, who were ninth in all of Division III regarding the assist to turnover ratio last year, it will be important for them to start off the season taking care of the ball and creating opportunities for others.
The Macs have several capable playmakers including Turell, Leifer, Eitan Halpert, and Matan Zucker, who all averaged over 2.5 assists per game last season.
Just like they did last year, the Macs must trust each other and spread the ball around to all of their talented scorers in order to maximize their scoring output.
Welcoming the New Guys:
Graduate transfers Jordan Armstrong and Ethan Lasko are in line to play big roles for the Macs, whether they are in the opening day lineups or come off the bench.
It will be important for the Macs to get them involved early and help them acclimate to their roles.
The core of this Yeshiva team has been playing together for the past two seasons. Feeding Armstrong in the low post and getting Lasko some early touches will help them mesh with the rest of the rotation sooner.
The addition of 6’7" Jordan Armstrong should help the Macs’ interior defense, as well as their rebounding.
A point of emphasis for the Macs should be limiting the second chance opportunities of a Lycoming team that averaged over 10 offensive rebounds per game last year.
By minimizing the opportunity for second chance points, the Macs should also create chances for themselves to get out and run in transition, a style of play in which they have generally excelled.
This game will tip off at 8PM. To watch live, click here.