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Gameday Preview: Yeshiva @ Saint Joseph (CT)

The day Maccabee Nation has been waiting for is here. Tonight, the Yeshiva University men's basketball team begins their 2023-24 season at the University of Saint Joseph of Connecticut. It's more than just a game: it's an opportunity for redemption and a chance to set the tone for a remarkable season.

The tilt marks the fourth meeting between the Macs and the Blue Jays. Yeshiva has been dominant in this series, leading 3-1.

However, ST Joseph won last year's season opener 69-60 at a rowdy James A Calhoun Gymnasium. The Blue Jays took control in the first half and never looked back. It was their first of 27 consecutive wins to begin the year, which saw them pace D3 hoops until they fell to Albertus Magnus College in the GNAC title game. The team rebounded and captured their first NCAA tournament wins before their season ended in the Sweet 16. 

The Macs will look to begin the season on the right foot against the Saint Joseph Blue Jays of Connecticut (Photo Credit: Akiva Poppers/ Macs Live)

This season opener brings challenges as the Blue Jays have graduated four of their five starters, including crucial contributors like Ryan O'Neil, Jaecee Martin, Delshawn Jackson Jr., and Jake Sullivan. That said, they're still projected to finish as GNAC runner-ups

The Macs will look to wipe the slate clean, harness the power of fresh beginnings, and remind the Blue Jays that their series edge is no fluke.

Yeshiva was ranked second in both the Skyline Conference Preseason Poll and Gold Division.

In their quest for a successful opener, the Macs must be sharp in various areas. 

Keys to the game:

Control the Pace: The Blue Jays love to run and gun, especially in transition. To counter this, we need to manage the tempo. If Yeshiva can slow things down when necessary and prevent the game from turning into a track meet, they'll keep themselves in the contest. 

Exploit the Halfcourt: The Blue Jays might have their moments in transition, but Yeshiva can make their land of opportunity in the halfcourt. Their motion offense is the secret weapon here. It's all about those off-ball screens, slick ball movement, and cutting to create open looks. 

Ball Movement and Defensive Pressure: Offensively, Yeshiva should keep the ball swinging, create those opportunities, and avoid getting stuck in one-on-one battles. Their man-to-man setup should be complemented on defense with competent help defense and taking the right angles. It will shrink the floor for the Blue Jays and make life harder for them.

How to Watch:

Tip-off at the James A Calhoun Gymnasium is set for 7:00 PM. You can watch the game here


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