PLATTSBURGH — Tom Curle was under the weather on Tuesday.
And after coaching his Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team to a less-than-inspiring 73-58 win over Potsdam at Memorial Hall, he wasn’t feeling a whole lot better.
Curle, however, was feeling better on Thursday and hoping the Cardinals would be back on their game this weekend.
Plattsburgh (11-3, 5-2 SUNYAC) is at Buffalo State (7-7, 3-4)tonight and Fredonia (3-11, 0-7) Saturday in SUNY Athletic Conference play.
“After this weekend, everyone in the league will have played each other once and will know more about where they stand,” Curle said. “This weekend marks the halfway point of our conference schedule.
“There are eight teams currently involved in the playoff race, and they will have a clearer indication of where they’re at. That’s why this weekend is a really important weekend for us.”
Two wins would give the Cardinals a 7-2 record in the SUNYAC, and six of their final nine games will be at home.
Curle wasn’t happy with his team’s defensive effort against the Bears, and that has been a focus this week.
“We had a good practice on Wednesday,” he said. “We looked at tape of the game and how we played defensively against Potsdam. We worked on getting a better defensive effort over the weekend.
“Against Potsdam, we were letting their players get to the basket too easily and expecting to get help from our teammates. That’s not how it works with help defense.
“On one play, Shamoy (McIntosh) was in front of the player he was guarding. The guy made a move to the basket, and Shamoy stayed with him. John (Perez) came over and was able to block the shot. That’s getting help defense.”
Buffalo State dropped an 84-69 decision at conference-leading Brockport on Tuesday.
Justin Mitchell (20.9), Roderick Epps (14.3), Chris Thompson (11.1) and Bradley Doyley (10.0) are all averaging in double figures for the high-scoring Bengals.
“Buffalo State likes to run the floor,” Curle said. “They are a very athletic team. Justin Mitchell is long (6-5), and he can take it coast to coast after getting a rebound. He’s a dangerous player. Roderick Epps has scored over 1,000 points in his Buffalo State career, and he can get points in bunches.
“They like to get out in transition, but their guards are young. They will run out of position at times defensively, and we need to crash the offensive boards. Buffalo State will also play some zone because they’ve been in foul trouble at times this season. We’ll have to take care of the basketball because they will be relentless.”
Fredonia, meanwhile, is in the same boat at Potsdam. When the Blue Devils and Bears meet tonight, they will both be looking for their first conference win.
Fredonia, which dropped a 79-63 contest at Geneseo on Tuesday, is led in scoring by Tyrone Clark (19.6) and Robert Lyles (13.0).
“Fredonia does have a couple of super athletes, and they have a new coach (Philip Seymore), who I’ve known for quite a while,” Curle said. “He’s a quality coach who has played and coached in Division I. They will be a team on the rise.
“They got trounced by Brockport a few weeks ago, and that could have been a wake-up call for them, showing them what it takes. They’ve been more competitive in their games since then.”