YU basketball returns to the Max Stern Athletic Center for the first time since February, as the Macs are set to take on Brooklyn College in their home opener. The Bulldogs were picked to finish first in the CUNYAC conference this year, and will be another good test for a Yeshiva team which has already played numerous tough opponents in the early going. Brooklyn brings an experienced team to Amsterdam Avenue, with seven seniors on their roster. While they are 0-2, those two losses were both by just nine points, to really good competition. Their first defeat came at the hands of William Patterson, which beat three NCAA Tournament teams last year in Moravian, New Jersey City, and Baruch. Their second loss was to the #5 D3 team in the country, Wittenberg University.
Brooklyn has been shooting the ball really well so far this season, especially from behind the arc. When I talked to him, Coach Steinmetz highlighted the importance of guarding the perimeter on defense. In addition, they are an extremely small team, with their tallest starter standing at 6’3”.
Brooklyn typically goes with a lineup of Jordan Wright, Noah Shy, Michael Tesoriero, Anthony McLean, and Joevanny Dambreville. Wright has the potential to take over a game with his shooting abilities, while Tesoriero is a crafty 5’7” guard who can dish the ball out and nab steals. Dambreville is their ‘big’ man, but he may run into some troubles with Milobsky and Leifer guarding the basket.
Keys to the Game:
1) Take advantage of the matchups
When comparing YU’s size to Brooklyn’s, the Macs are giants. All of our starters are at least as tall as the Bulldogs’, and sixth man Ofek Reef plays much bigger than his listed 6’1” height. The Macs will have a size advantage across the board, and need to take advantage of this. They should get Caleb the ball in the post and let him go to work throughout the game. Turell should keep asking for the ball inside, where he has been lethal this year. Even Simcha Halpert should work the post a little tonight, something which we are not accustomed to seeing. Against Washington, Sim cut to the basket a couple of times, and this led to more open 3’s for the sharpshooter.
2) Crash the boards
As the bigger team, it is important that YU crashes the boards. Here’s a crazy statistic: so far this year, Brooklyn has been outrebounded by a 98-55 margin. Yes, that’s correct: the Bulldogs’ two opponents have averaged 21 ½ more rebounds per game. Despite this, they have only lost by nine points in both of their matchups. If the Macs don’t crash the boards and capitalize on their second chance opportunities, they will be in a lot of trouble tonight.
3) Avoid foolish turnovers
Last year, Brooklyn turned the ball over 14.8 times/game, compared to their opponents’ absurd 19.1 per game. So far this season, the Macs have turned the ball over 14.3 times/game, compared to their opponents' 11.8 per game. More importantly, YU’s opponents have scored 18 ½ points per game off of these turnovers (1.29 points/turnover), while the Macs have only scored .79 points/turnover. Yeshiva needs to limit, if not avoid, foolish turnovers. If these trends continue, and the Macs continue to make poor decisions with the ball, they will probably have close to a -10 point differential on turnovers, which could decide the winner of this matchup.
How to Watch/Follow:
As for all home games, MacsLive will be broadcasting tonight’s matchup. We will go live at 7:40 PM for our pregame show, with tipoff at 8. Simply click Watch Live in the menu to view the game. If you would like to follow along without watching, click here to access our in-game scoreboard. Soon after the game, we will have a game recap waiting for you. And don’t forget to check out our YouTube channel, where the game will be uploaded, as well as a highlights video.