Tonight’s game should be a lot more interesting and a lot more fun than a game against Gworgia.
– The Daily News has an article which concentrates on how much of a test this game is for Halifax, particularly since they still haven’t beaten a team with a winning record. Here’s a quote from Lewis:
“Vermont is going to have their team,” Lewis reassured. “I won’t substitute five-on-five with Vermont. We won’t take that approach, because we’re going to lose too much on the defensive end with a team like Vermont.”
Here’s a good reason not to use that five on five off subbing strategy: it’s fucking stupid. More of my thoughts on tonights game after the jump.
– How many Vermont guys will show up? I am sure some of them work, and last minute plane tickets are expensive, so I can’t see a whole team showing up. I also don’t think we’ll see just 7 guys – my guess is probably 9 or 10 of the best players on the bench.
– I really hope that Lewis does not blow this one. There are a few ways in which he might: stay in that 1-3-1 zone all night even if Vermont are shooting the lights out; leave Silverhorn guarding Issa Konare for long stretches of the game; play Anderson for less than 35 minutes; not call a time out when Vermont get a ton of momentum; etc.
– Halifax need to go down low early and look to dominate in the paint. We have three legit post scorers and I think that Vermont may be suspect there on the defensive end. Konara is a dominant offensive player but is an average defender downlow, Nelson commits a lot of fouls if you go right at him in the post and Akingbade is their only legit post defender. We should aim to get all three of those guys in early foul trouble to disrupt their game.
– On a similar note the games in which Manchester have beaten Vermont they have done so for two reasons:
Penetration – The Millrats did not settle for jump shots but either lobbed the ball into the post or, more often, used their guards to drive to the basket and either kick it out or draw a foul. One of the reasons is that in the half court set Vermont play smothering man to man defense. (although they sometimes fall into a 3-2 zone) They play to stop outside shots and cause turnovers off passes. If Halifax are going to win today Ferguson, Williams and Anderson are going to have to drive and not settle for jump shots.
Break the Press – Vermont throw at least three different full court presses at teams (a full court man, a 2-2-1 press and 1-3-1 full court trap) and they execute them very well. Manchester built their team around guards who can handle the ball well enough to break those presses, but Halifax did not. Eichelberger, who is a terrible decision maker in the full court, cannot come in at SF. What I would like to see in the 15-20 minutes that Silverhorn is off the court (although Lewis plays him too much even though he disapears for stretches) is Ferguson to play the 3 with Green or Williams at the off guard. This gives us three ball handlers to break the press and two guys who can slash to the hoop.