Basketball Scouting Report: UMES

The Navy Midshipmen face a final pre-Thanksgiving test as they take on an in-state foe this Tuesday night. How will Navy deal with a hefty low-post presence? That and other questions will be answered in this meeting with Maryland-Eastern Shore.


MARYLAND-EASTERN SHORE AT-A-GLANCE

Maryland Eastern-Shore comes into Tuesday's game with Navy at 2-2, but we haven't learned much about the Hawks to this point. The one strong opponent they had on their schedule throttled them. Other than that, UMES has played a rather soft schedule.

With a blend of young talent and some veterans, the Hawks have a deep team that plays 10 players over 10 minutes a game, giving this group plenty of options if one guy is having an off night.

Starting Lineup

Center – Francis Ezeiru –
Senior, 6-10, 260; 2013-14: 6.8 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game

Ezeiru's impact is usually limited, but you have to wonder if he could see a big night versus Navy. At 6-10 and 260 pounds, he will have a massive size and weight advantage against the Midshipmen. Navy must come up with an answer.

Forward – Troy Snyder – Senior, 6-6, 215; 2013-14: 8.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.8 apg

Snyder doesn't play major minutes, and he doesn't do anything truly spectacular. Given his field goal percentage and rebounding numbers, he doesn't appear to be a big part of the UMES gameplan. The Hawks will need him to be more assertive in this contest.

Guard – Hakeem Baxter – Freshman, 6-2, 170; 2013-14: 15 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.5 apg

Baxter is one of the more efficient players on the UMES squad, making him one of the Hawks' go-to players when the team needs a bucket. Navy should give him room on the outside, as his perimeter shot is lacking.

Guard – Kyree Jones – Junior, 6-2, 200; 2013-14: 19 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.3 apg

The leading scorer on the team, Jones also chips in some rebounds and assists, showing he's not a one-dimensional player. His 42-percent conversion rate from three-point range makes him the Hawks' one legitimate perimeter threat.

Guard – Isaac Smith III – Junior, 6-1, 170;2013-14: 13 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2 apg

Smith is one of the more all-around threats the Hawks have across the stat sheet, but he is a very inefficient scorer. He takes large numbers of shots to accumulate the points he provides for his team. This can be very hurtful for UMES in close games. Navy needs to make sure that Smith doesn't gain a comfort zone in the first 10 minutes of play.

Keys to the Game

1) Pack the paint.
UMES shoots 27.6 percent from three-point range as a team. Other than Jones, this team should be welcomed to take threes as long as the looks aren't easy catch-and-shoot opportunities right behind the arc. Three-pointers off the dribble could be the kind of fool's gold that will hurt UMES in the long run.

2) Slow it down and run offense. UMES's team defense concedes almost 49-percent shooting from the floor. It has been shown that if you make sure to put up shots (as opposed to seeing possessions end in turnovers) against UMES, this is a team you can exploit when you have the ball.

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