There are many things that are unsure about the Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team’s 2015-2016 season. One thing that is definite is that it is going to be executing the type of offense that has become very familiar under head coach Tom Curle’s tenure: running and guvnning.
This type of offense has propelled the Cardinals to unprecedented success, but also has the ability to act as a double-edged sword, especially early in the season.
PSUC defeated Clarkson 83-67 in its first game of the season Tuesday night, a performance that at first glance could be seen
as a large success, but further inspection proves there
were parts of the Cards’ play that could have gone much more smoothly.
Curle was not disappointed with the fact that PSUC collected a win, but in describing it clearly showed there was much more left to be desired.
“Sloppy with a lot of mistakes,” Curle said. “We turned it over far too many times.”
The statistics certainly back up his statement.To view more videos, visit our Multimedia page.The Cards struggled to keep the ball under control on the offensive end, compiling 27 turnovers compared to a considerably fewer 11 assists. Curle explained how, though he understands that these kinds of things happen in early portions of the season, they are based on habits that can become detrimental down the line when the level of competition increases.
This struggle also carried on to the defensive end, with the Cards collecting 25 personal fouls.
Edward Correa, a senior guard who leads the Cards in scoring with 15 points in the team’s first game, also believes his team could have played a much cleaner game.
“I feel that we could have played way better,” Correa said. “We definitely need to improve on our defense. They scored 67, on us but I think we could have held them to 40.”
Criticism aside, it would be erroneous to say the Cards did not show some good things during the victory as well, and negatives themselves are just areas that can be improved and turned into positives with hard work.
A bright spot that will hopefully continue to shine is Correa’s play himself. He led the SUNYAC in three point percentage last season with a scorching 50.5 percent and picked up right where he left off, draining four of his eight attempts from beyond the arc.
Correa acknowledges the fact that due to his hot shooting last season he will most likely be on the top of scouting reports but still believes he will be more than capable of still being effective, possibly in ways not previously seen.
“We have been working a lot in practice on finding ways to get me open,” Correa said. “Also, there are times when I may be covered, but I can easily find my teammates who will be open themselves because of the pressure on me.”
Sophomore Zach Coleman has stepped into a much larger role this season; the starting point guard position. The quarterback of the basketball court, a point guard is responsible for both orchestrating and coordinating the offense. This is not an easy position to step into, especially as an underclassman, but based upon his performance in practice and the Cards’ first game, he seems to be doing the position justice.
Coleman paced the offense and collected twelve points and two assists in the team’s win, and while he did commit six turnovers, he believes this will become less of an issue as the season progresses.
“We’re still learning a lot about each other and how we play as a team,” Coleman said. “As we get deeper into the season and gain a better understanding, I believe our turnovers will decrease and we’ll be fine.”
Even though the team is in a transitional phase and still has much to learn, there is clearly a large talent base, and the potential is through the roof.
Correa knows exactly where he wants to be at the end of the season.
“I really do think that we can win the SUNYAC.”
Email Bailey Carlin at firstname.lastname@example.org