Basketball Scouting Report: NJIT

The middle of November is a time when every college basketball team must begin to learn how to make adjustments. We'll see how Army evolves when the Black Knights take on the New Jersey Institute of Technology.


NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TECHOLOGY AT-A-GLANCE

As one of the rare independents in the Division I college basketball ranks, The New Jersey Institute of Technology – New Jersey Tech for short, and "NJIT" in the world of "acronym-speak" – comes into this season with a variety of opponents on the schedule. This comes at a time when most don't expect much from the Highlanders.

With only two games under their belt, the Highlanders are already 0-2, but they have some names that have produced to an appreciable extent early in the season.

Starting Lineup

Guard – Winfield Willis –
Sophomore, 6-0, 180 2013-14: 9 points per game, 1.5 rebounds per game, 3.5 assists per game

Willis plays more off teammate Damon Lynn, but he has shown a measure of all-around ability early in NJIT's season. Expect him to be the team's number three or four option, however, and not necessarily the first player the Highlanders look to if Lynn is taken out of the equation. Willis's 3.5 assist-to-turnover ratio is the team's best.

Forward – Terrance Smith – Sophomore, 6-6, 195; 2013-14: 14.5 ppg, 4 rpg, 1 apg

The lone forward who starts for the Highlanders, Smith is the team's main presence on the boards as well as its primary low-post scoring threat. He's NJIT's most efficient scorer (in terms of points per shot attempt).

Guard – Damon Lynn – Freshman, 5-11, 165; 2013-14: 17.5 ppg, 2 rpg, 2.5 apg

Despite being just a freshman, Lynn has established himself as the go-to scorer early in the season. His scoring average leads the team, and Army will have to account for him on offense at all times.

Guard – Ky Howard – Sophomore, 6-3, 185; 2013-14: 9.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4 apg

Howard's biggest impact thus far has been on the defensive end, where he leads the Highlanders with two steals per game. His passing allows Lynn to be more aggressive on offense. Choking off passing lanes will be important for Army's defense against NJIT, and this need will never be more acute than when Howard has the ball.

Guard –Nigel Sydnor– Sophomore, 6-2, 220; 2013-14: 5 ppg, 5.5 rpg

Sydnor is more of a matchup starter. He played only 13 minutes in his team's last game despite starting. Expect NJIT to see how he stacks up in the game plan over the course of the first few minutes. The under-16 timeout in the first half might give NJIT head coach Jim Engles reason to stick with Sydnor, but one shouldn't expect as much.

Keys to the Game

1) Hit the boards.
NJIT has been outrebounded in both of its first two games, and if it goes with its expected four-guard lineup, the Highlanders give up size in exchange for speed. Army must make NJIT adjust to the Black Knights' own strengths.

2) Be aggressive on offense. New Jersey Tech is averaging 20 fouls per game thus far, clearly working on adjusting to the new stricter foul calls we're seeing throughout college basketball. If Army is aggressive, it could get into the bonus early in each half and accumulate a lot of easy points.

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