Amaker Says

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Following an up-and-down weekend at home—first losing to Princeton and then beating Penn—men’s basketball coach Tommy Amaker sat down with The Back Page to discuss next weekend’s upcoming games (at Yale Friday, at Brown Saturday). The following are some tidbits from the interview.

Injuries to sophomore Keith Wright and senior Pat Magnarelli, and sophomore Andrew Van Nest’s pneumonia:

“We aren’t, as of today, at full strength. I don’t know when and how that can change. Those guys are out indefinitely, so there’s no time table that we’re dealing with. We’ll get some information today that will give us more direction on that.”

Taking on Yale and Brown with a depleted front line:

“With both of those two teams, their front courts, in my opinion, are their strengths, and so that’s not a good formula for us going into that, and being on the road… but we’ll summon up something to give ourselves the best opportunity possible. Trying to keep guys out of foul trouble will be important…And we have to shoot well. There’s no secret to our attack right now—we have to be able to play well from the perimeter spots, and a lot of times that means making shots. The focal point for us always will be can we defend and keep those guys off the glass from a defensive standpoint in terms of blocking out.”

On Brown star forward Matt Mullery:

“Mullery, in particular, is one of the better players in our league, and we’ve had trouble with him when we’ve had our complete lineup. We’re very much concerned with how we’re going to deal with him. He’s a confident player, and they get the ball to him—they run a lot of high-low things where they get to the top of the circle and try to dump it down to him. It’s going to be tough. We’ll play a little more zone, mix things up, change it up, probably all of the above. Trying to keep him in check a little bit will be a huge challenge for us.”

On sophomore Max Kenyi and freshman Brandyn Curry’s inclusion in the starting lineup:

“We went to Max after our Princeton loss; we went to Max vs. Penn, and Brandyn because we wanted better defense on the floor to start the game…We needed to make a statement that our defensive effort was going to be what we were going to rely on, and what I was going to reward. Those two kids were inserted in the lineup for that, and I think they responded incredibly well.”

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