Army will once again try to stop their slide on Wednesday night as the Black Knights travel to take on Lafayette. Navy sent Army to its fourth loss in a row in the rescheduled Star Game on Monday night as the Mids raced out to an early lead and never looked back on their way to a 64-50 victory. The news though was not all bad for Army as injured stars Tanner Plomb and Kevin Ferguson finally made their way back into the lineup.
Here is a look forward to the three keys for Wednesday night’s game:
1. Take better shots
Army fell to Navy in large part on Monday because the Black Knights could not buy a bucket. Army was 15-of-55 from the field and 6-of-28 from three-point range against the Mids and, as a general rule, you cannot win a Division I college basketball game when you score 50 points (unless you play in the Big Ten). Part of this will be getting Plomb and Ferguson back into the lineup and comfortable with their roles. Part will be not jacking so many threes when the game starts to get out of reach. Army has to shoot better and play smarter to turn this season around.
2. Beware of the comeback
If Army can get a lead against Lafayette the Black Knights would do well to keep pushing to score out. On Sunday the Leopards trailed by as many as 21 points in the second half against Loyloa before mounting an epic comeback. Lafayette twice got the margin down to a single point, but just could not hit the shot that would have put them ahead. As so often happens in this situation the team that had the big lead clung on and hit some clutch free throws to eke out an 84-77 victory that was far closer than the final score suggests. If Army can hit shots, and if the Black Knights do get a lead, then they better not relax against this team.
3. Get Kyle Wilson going
One of the most noticeable features of Plomb and Ferguson being out injured, aside for the losses, is just how much Kyle Wilson had his game affected. The Army sharp shooter became the Black Knights only offensive threat and as a result he found himself shut down night after night as the opposition would rotate defenders on him keeping them fresh. This all came to a head on Monday as Wilson scored just four points of 2-of-10 shooting against Navy, one of the lowest outputs of his career. If Army is to make any kind of surge late this season then Wilson has to become that deadly perimeter jump shot threat once again.