Just 48 hours after losing a heartbreaker of a game at home against Loyola the Black Knight have to somehow get the loss out of their system as they host Colgate in a nationally televised game. Army rode a wave of emotions on Saturday as the Black Knights first tied Loyola at the end of regulation with a banked in three pointer, before seeing Andre Walker sink two free throws with four seconds left in double overtime to send Army home defeated. This could be one of those situations however where playing again so quickly is a good thing as it gives the Black Knights no time to dwell on the outcome of the contest.
Here is a look forward to the three keys for Monday night’s game:
1. Keep up the perimeter defense
Army may have lost to Loyola on Saturday, but it was not the Black Knights perimeter defense that let them down. The Black Knights held the Greyhounds to just 1-of-10 from three point range over the duration of the double overtime contest. To do that, even against a Loyola team that does not shoot a ton of threes, just days after an overtime contest is impressive. It shows that the guards are doing an excellent job of switching off on their men when needed and that the whole team is really closing down the space on the opposition’s best jump shooters. This will be important against a Colgate squad that was 11-of-25 from downtown on Saturday against Navy.
2. Better shot selection
Shot selection is something we have mentioned before in this spot, but once again it killed Army this week. Against Loyola the Black Knights actually took 10 more shots than the Greyhounds, but hit three less buckets. The resulting shooting percentages (Army 37.8%, Loyola 47.2%) shows what was ultimately the difference between the two teams. This is especially true when you consider Army had more rebounds, more assists and fewer turnovers during the game. We know Army is a shoot at will style team, but if just five shots a game are pulled down to find someone with a better look then this team can be scary.
3. Continue to get healthy
With Tanner Plomb and Kevin Ferguson back in the lineup Army is definitely a different team. Plomb though is reaching for shots more than he did at the start of the year and is still finding his rhythm back in the offense. Of the two it seems to be Ferguson that has come back more like his old self and his double-double (17 points, 14 rebounds) against Loyola would suggest. Expect to see a more consistent stat line from Plomb, as opposed to the 3-of-15 from three he put up on Saturday, as he gets more confident in the health of his knee.