Updated: Jan 23, 2020
On Wednesday night, the Yeshiva University Maccabees will return to the hardwood for the first time in over a month. The Macs, who are on a 12-game winning streak, will make the 15 minute drive to Throggs Neck to take on Maritime College (5-9 overall, 1-4 Skyline). This will be the only time Yeshiva will face the Privateers in the 2019-20 regular season, as, despite the schools’ close proximity to each other, the Macs play in the Skyline’s Southern Division, while Maritime plays in the North (for more on the conference’s new division and playoff format, see this article). Tonight’s game begins a stretch of 5 consecutive matches (and 6 out of the next 7) against Northern Division teams; in just two weeks from now, YU will have faced every team in the Skyline Conference exactly one time.
Last year, the Macs had great success against Maritime. Towards the beginning of Yeshiva’s historic 17-game winning streak, they defeated the Privateers in the Max Stern Athletic Center by a score of 79-56; with just a few minutes left in the game, the Macs led 73-44. Just under a year ago, the two teams faced off in Riesenberg Gymnasium; at the half Yeshiva had a 37 point lead, and eventually won by 44. Don’t expect things to be as easy this time around; Maritime has shown some improvement this year, and recently defeated a good Manhattanville team.
The Privateers are led by guards Brendan McGovern and Brennan Whelan, whose offensive styles differ vastly. Nearly 75% of McGovern’s shots this year have come from behind the arc, and he has taken over 40% of Maritime’s three-point attempts so far. Meanwhile, Whelan has shot almost exclusively two-pointers, and has made over 65% of his shots from within 22 feet.
Only one other Maritime player—Jaylin Gray—has averaged more than 20 minutes/game this year, as Maritime sports a deep bench. Gray is a slasher who, despite only being 6’0”, leads his team in rebounds. Another Privateer of note is 6’7” big man Sean Flynn, who takes half of his shots from behind the arc, and, despite receiving a good chunk of playing time, is only grabbing 3.5 rebounds/game. He is not the fastest of players, and I would not be surprised if, when he is on the court, the Macs push the ball off of Maritime misses in an attempt to create early offense.
Keys to the Game:
1) Don’t get away from playing our game
While the Macs have looked pretty good in practice this week, there will almost certainly be some rust after over a month away from collegiate-level, competitive basketball
It is not out of the realm of possibility that the Macs find themselves in an early hole
If this occurs, Yeshiva must keep going to their motion offense, and get ball reversal and post touches; the Macs can’t start to settle for long twos and contested threes
Maritime is talented, but it does feel that in this game, the Macs will only lose if they beat themselves
2) Stop middle penetration
Both Gray and Whelan like to get close to the basket by driving middle
The Macs should force Gray to his left hand, as he is not as big of a threat with his weak hand
Whelan is not consistent from outside, so by stopping middle drive the Macs will either force him to settle for long twos or make him drive baseline and into YU’s help defense
As a whole, Maritime isn’t a great shooting team, and by eliminating easy layups the Macs will find themselves in a much better position
3) Force McGovern to shoot over length
Brendan McGovern can take over a game if he gets hot, and if Maritime wants to have a chance to win he will need to be on point tonight
Therefore, Ryan Turell will start the game on McGovern, as Turell’s length will make McGovern’s three-point attempts more difficult
When Ryan is on the bench, expect Ofek Reef, who is extremely athletic and very energetic on defense, to guard McGovern
How to Watch/Follow:
This conference matchup will tip-off at 7:30 PM. Click here to watch the Maritime College broadcast. Click here to access our in-game scoreboard. And, as always, be sure to visit MacsLive.com after the game for our recap.