Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Men’s basketball searching for identity

The Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team used a disappointing performance against Skidmore as motivation to eventually propel them to a victory against St. Lawrence.

Head coach Tom Curle was disappointed by his team’s effort against Skidmore, and used the following practices to try to focus on the team’s hustle.

“Our intensity level was nowhere near it needed to be against Skidmore,” Curle said. “I knew moving forward that there was no way we can win and be competitive if that’s how we are consistently playing.”

The Cardinals looked like a completely different team against St. Lawrence, thankfully.

PSUC secured the win behind an even scoring effort from three seniors and a freshman newcomer.

Freshman Jonathan Patron led the Cards with 18 points, and seniors Edward Correa, Kyle Richardson and Xavier Thomas followed behind with 17, 15 and 15 points a piece.

A majority of PSUC’s points were the direct result of solid ball movement and assists, which was another focal point for the Cardinals.

Sophomore Zach Coleman took over the starting point guard position this season and has been an impact player ever since. Coleman led the Cards’ ball movement bonanza with seven assists against St. Lawrence, three more assists than PSUC’s total in their game against Skidmore.

Coleman is happy with how his team is playing right now, and proud of the improvements he has seen so far in just a few weeks of action.

“We are already at a better spot than we were a few weeks ago,” Coleman said. “We have been working hard in practice, and it is definitely paying off, but we also still have a long way to go.”

Another area that the Cards have been putting an increased focus on and hope to improve upon moving forward is their team defense.

Senior Xavier Thomas, who is known more for his rim-rattling dunks than defense, is confident that his squad’s increased effort is going to start making a solid impact on the team.

“That Skidmore game made us feel bad because that is a game that we really should have won,” Thomas said.

Thomas is also trying to adjust certain parts of his own game to try to improve the chances for team success.

“Myself, I’m trying to work on getting my teammates more involved. I’ve been working on my passing,” Thomas said. “I think it is extremely important to get everyone involved if you want to win games.”

Curle does not really know the identity of his team yet. Two very different teams have shown up so far through the first three games.

Curle believes, for his team to be more effective, there needs to be less guys logging minutes, a so he is currently trying to figure out is what players will be involved in his rotation as it tightens up.

“Against St. Lawrence we really had to tighten up our bench. I want to find a rotation of 10 sometimes 11 and not get beyond that,” Curle said. “It’s hard to win otherwise.”

He hopes the team that appeared against St. Lawrence is the one that makes the most appearances this season.

“It is still too early to really tell who we really are,” Curle said. “I do hope that the outlier game was Skidmore, and we will see a lot more of the effort we put up against St. Lawrence.”

Email Bailey Carlin at

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