PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team resumes SUNY Athletic Conference play this weekend on a bit of a roll.
The Cardinals (7-2, 1-1) have won four games in a row and closed out a 6-1 nonconference portion of their schedule with a 63-47 victory at Middlebury College on Tuesday.
Head coach Tom Curle, however, doesn’t put much stock in games that have already been played.
“I’ve said all along that anyone can beat us and we can beat anyone,” he said. “If we come to play with great energy, enthusiasm and intensity, we’re a good team.”
Plattsburgh hosts Geneseo at 8 p.m. tonight and Brockport on Saturday at Memorial Hall.
While the Cardinals have played two conference games already, both on the road, the Knights and Golden Eagles have not played any. The two were supposed to play against one another on Tuesday, but the game was postponed due to inclement weather.
Geneseo and Brockport have had early-season success with 6-1 records against nonconference foes. In fact, SUNYAC teams have compiled a 44-27 overall record against teams outside the conference thus far.
“The SUNYAC has a lot of quality wins this year, some on a national level,” Curle said. “It’s a tough league — it’s always been a tough league.
“I seem to say the same thing every year, but Geneseo and Brockport have such contrasting styles.”
The Knights last played on Dec. 30 in an 80-66 win at Puget Sound. Geneseo is currently outscoring its opponents by an 85-69 average.
Gordon Lyons (17.7), Connor Fedge (13.4), Matt Curry (11.4) and James McKenna (10.6) are averaging in double figures.
“Geneseo went to Puget Sound and beat a good team,” Curle said. “Lyons is shooting 67 percent from the field.
“They pass the ball instead of dribbling it and run a Princeton-style offense. They have power inside. They will try to slow you down by using a three-quarter-court press.”
The Golden Eagles, who will play in Potsdam tonight, are outscoring their opponents by a 79-65 average.
Brockport last competed in the Medaille Tournament on Dec. 30 & 31 and recorded two wins, including a 66-52 decision over the hosts in the championship game.
John Ivy (18.4) and Brandon Caruthers (14.4) lead the Golden Eagles in scoring.
“Brockport will try to trap you and create chaos,” Curle said. “They also have a 6-10 kid who helps protect the rim. You have to be able to protect the ball against them and hit some jump shots.
“The good part of it is that we’re playing at home.”
Shamoy McIntosh (14.9) and Shavar Fields (13.2) lead the Cardinals in scoring. John Perez is tops in rebounds (9.0), while Chris Manning is first in assists (4.7) and steals (3.1).
During Plattsburgh’s recent success, different players have been stepping up offensively, and Curle likes what he sees.
“I’m pleased with the way we’re sharing the ball,” he said. “Last game, we were passing up good shots to get great shots.”
Curle has also been pleased with Plattsburgh’s defensive effort.
“What’s helped in our success lately is that we’re rebounding the ball well as a team,” he said. “We’ve been playing pretty good defense and, if we continue to rebound like we have, we can continue to be successful.”