Last night I happened to start talking some PC-Northeastern basketball with Keith Lavon on Twitter from WRBBSports.com (a Northeastern radio station up in Boston). Keith was nice enough to answer some more questions in-depth about tonight’s upcoming game.
Friarblog: What are the expectations for the team this season? Around the same as last year?
Keith: I think the expectations for this year have to be the same as last year, that is win the conference and make the tournament. Matt Janning and Bill Coen have had four years to get it together and this was the year everyone pointed to as the one to finally get back. After falling early in the CAA tournament last year this Huskies team is hungry.
Friarblog: The Friars like to push the pace and sub in a lot of players. Northeastern has been generally playing 7 players for the majority of
the minutes. Do you think that will be a factor?
Keith: NU likes to slow the game down and be deliberate with the ball, in games they have struggled its when teams start working up and down the court, the NU bench is just not that tested yet. It will be a factor in the sense of whoever dictates the pace, if the Friars push it up and down than NU might be in some trouble.
Friarblog: Friars fans know about Matt Janning from last year. Who else should we be looking out for this game?
Keith: Chase Allen. That is the key guy for NU, the better he plays, the better chance they have to win. In the victory over Wright State Allen paced the Huskies with 21. Allen is also important interms of dictating the pace of the play as the point guard. If he starts hitting threes, the opposition is in trouble.
Friarblog: PC has had some trouble defending down low this season — is
Northeastern capable of taking advantage of PC big weakness?
Keith: Yes and no. Can they take advantage? Simply answered yes, Manny Adako and Nkem Ojougboh can be forces. YET, they also can both dissapear and if they get in foul trouble (as was the case against Boston University) then the Huskies don’t have much left in terms of a down low game, its those two or bust. I’d imagine the Huskies will work it down low and here is a suggestion to Coach Davis, put Nkem on the line. Hack a Nkem. He’s not reliable from the stripe at all.
Friarblog: What were the big factors in both of the losses so far?
Keith: Siena’s is an incredibly good defensive team and really shut NU down. The Huskies shot less than 40% from the floor in that game, not a great game. The BU loss was bad, really really bad. It was a game the players had circles and they could not convert. BU did their best to hand that game to the Huskies and they just could not pull it together, went the last two minutes plus without scoring, bigs got in foul trouble, just a bad overall game.
Friarblog: Prediction for the game?
Keith: Ugh I hate these, have to pick Northeastern though right? I’ll take NU 67-62. Northeastern is 34-11 at Matthews Arena in the modern era of the play at Matthews, its a mighty tough place to play…Providence however won’t be as freaked out about playing in a building that’s an ice rink, that throws many teams off.
Thanks Keith! You can listen to the game for FREE tonight at WRBBSports.com