The Macs will complete their first turn through the Skyline Conference’s Southern Division on Sunday, when they head to Patchogue to take on St. Joseph’s College-Long Island. The Golden Eagles have yet to play a Skyline team; they are 3-2 through five games. The Macs, who have played nearly twice as many games as St. Joseph’s, have also won eight in a row. These squads played twice last season, with the Macs winning both matchups, by a combined 41 points. This will be Head Coach Michael McSloy’s first look at Yeshiva; St. Joseph’s hired a completely new coaching staff for this season.
The main man for St. Joseph’s is still Frank Basile, who is now in his senior year. After a spectacular season in which he averaged 19.7 points/game, the guard was named to the 2018-19 Skyline All-Conference Second Team. The typical starting five for the Golden Eagles also includes: Doug Niblock, who is shooting over 50% this year and averaging 12.2 points/game; Michael Darby, who averages 10/game; Matthew Lavin, a sophomore guard with a high ceiling; and Jonah Caldwell, a 6’5” big man. Yet, besides for Basile, the most notable player for St. Joseph’s is Cristian Pace. Despite receiving only one start so far this year, the talented freshman is averaging 8 points/game, while shooting 46.2% from the field. He can shoot 3’s with precision, and after Basile graduates, expect the Golden Eagles offense to run through Pace.
For the Macs, Ryan Turell is not expected to play. Turell is famous for doing damage against the Golden Eagles; see the above video for a fun look at why. While the star sophomore is close to 100%, Coach Steinmetz wants to take no health-related risks. He should be back on the court next Sunday against Eastern Connecticut State.
Keys to the Game:
1) Prevent Middle Drive
The Macs’ help-defense comes into play on baseline drives, but struggles against middle drive
St. Joseph’s likes to work the ball into the middle, and then either take shots close to the basket or work it back out for open three-pointers
It is therefore important for the Macs to wall off the middle from guards trying to use screens to drive to the basket, and force them further away from the hoop
2) Don’t Give Basile and Pace Space
Almost half of Basile’s shots are from outside the arc, while 77% of Pace’s attempts are threes
The Golden Eagles typically set a screen and allow Basille to go right, where he shoots best; the Macs should break up these screens and make him go left
Shutting down Basile is a simple path to victory, as the Golden Eagles offense relies on him to put up points; the athletic Ofek Reef will start on him
The Macs also can’t give Pace space behind the arc, and should force him to put the ball on the floor
3) Don’t Settle on Offense
The Macs should not settle for contested looks early in the shot clock
Rather, they should continue the offensive theme of this season, and move the ball around while using the entire 30 seconds to break down the defense