Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Eagles Will Get in Huskies' Faces ; Plan Is to Stop 3-Point Shooters

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Eagles Will Get in Huskies' Faces ; Plan Is to Stop 3-Point Shooters

Article excerpt

The University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team hopes to deliver an anatomy lesson on Saturday. "Make sure they know what the wrinkles of your elbows look like when they go home," USI coach Rodney Watson told his players in practice on Wednesday.

The 14th-ranked and third-seeded Screaming Eagles (25-5) will face a team from Michigan Tech (22-7) that averages 23 3-point shots per game - and makes an average of almost 10 - during Saturday's noon quarterfinal in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional at Drury University in Springfield, Mo.

So Watson wants his players with their arms and hands in the faces of the Huskies every time they touch the ball beyond the arc.

"Their biggest (starter) is 6-6," said USI point guard Lawrence Thomas, "so they have a lot of shooters. We have to get out to them."

Fortunately for the Eagles, they have faced similar teams in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Watson said Michigan Tech is somewhat like Maryville and Saint Joseph's, especially the Pumas.

"They use every screen imaginable and have a lot of confidence in their shooters," he said of the Huskies. "They're similar to St. Joe, but they don't want a lot of possessions. They're also similar to St. Joe in that they play four guards all the time."

Tech's top scorer is Austin Armga, a 6-foot-3 senior averaging 23.2 points per game but who is just 18-for-53 (32.7 percent) from 3-point range. The main long-range threat is Ben Stelzer, a 6-1 junior averaging 17.2 points. He has hit 108 3-pointers - an average of almost four per game - while shooting 43.2 percent from beyond the arc.

Other deep shooters include Alex Culy, a 6-2 senior who is 48- for-103 (46.2 percent) from 3-point land; Jordan Chartier, a 6-2 sophomore who is 37-for-90 (41.1 percent); and Jason Hawke, a 6-5 freshman who is 33-for-88 (37.5 percent).

"We have to pressure the ball and make sure they don't throw to a scoring position," said Watson.

USI sometimes struggled against teams like that during the regular season. …

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