By Daniel Johnson, Sports Editor
The ACU men’s basketball team has a new found confidence heading into its fourth conference game-confidence stemming from solid team defense.
The Wildcats’ grabbed 20 steals and held the Lone Star Conference’s second leading scorer, Marcus Hubbard, to only eight points in their 92-76 win over Angelo State on Tuesday.
“We really shut him down because of a team effort,” guard, Philip Brooks, said. “We came at him real quick.”
If ACU wants to grab its second consecutive divisional win on Saturday, it must carry over its quick defense to limit last season’s LSC South Most Valuable Player: Texas A&M Kingsville guard, Yusuf Remi.
“I don’t know if you can really shut him down,” head coach, Jason Copeland said. “You just have to limit him and make it as hard as you can on him.”
Remi averages 18.8 points-per-game and has a .519 field goal percentage and .813 free throw percentage.
Brooks’ will be the Wildcat defending Remi and has complete confidence in his team’s ability to slow down the MVP.
“We’re gonna come at him aggressive,” Brooks said. “We just need to play good team defense.”
Brooks is confident that a good offense will accompany good defense.
“If we play good defense, the outside shots will come,” Brooks said.
Brooks leads ACU in scoring averaging 15.3 points-per-game with a .494 field goal percentage and a .832 free throw percentage.
Despite the impending face off between the two leading scorers, Brooks isn’t concerned with a shoot-out between the two, just playing good team basketball.
“I don’t look at it like that,” Brooks said. “I’ll just step up to the challenge and try to play good as a team.”
ACU stepped up to the challenge Tuesday, after downing Angelo for its first win in divisional play. The win was ACU’s ninth at home-something Copeland and his players don’t take lightly.
“It’s a big advantage,” Copeland said. “You’ve got to take care of your home court.”
Kingsville is 3-2 on the road, 0-1 in conference and 13-3 overall before its game against Angelo State Thursday.
In addition to protecting their home court, Copeland said he is most concerned with two things being high Saturday: his team’s focus and confidence.
“We got to get our minds right,” Copeland said.
For Brooks, Kingsville is the Wildcats’ chance to start a winning streak.
“I believe we will go on a little roll,” Brooks said.
ACU and Kingsville will tip off Saturday at 4 p.m. in Moody Coliseum.