Panthers face Anteaters in CIT
Playing in unfamiliar surroundings, the High Point University men’s basketball team very likely will see a familiar sight when it opens play in the Collegeinsider.com Tournament tonight (10:30 p.m.).
To participate, the Panthers agreed to go to UC-Irvine for the second time ever (the other was a loss in the 1999-2000 season). After reviewing video, HPU coach Scott Cherry expects the Anteaters to employ an offense similar to a couple of teams in the Big South.
“They like to play four guards and run off ball screens,” Cherry said. “They play similar to Western Michigan, who we played this year, and they are a little like Gardner-Webb or Radford in our conference. They put guys on the perimeter and drive and kick it out.”
Irvine finished fourth in the Big West Conference and lost in the conference tournament final to Pacific but were tough at home this season, going 12-1 with the only loss to LSU.
“We’ve had our troubles on the road in the past,” Cherry said, “But we had the best record in our conference this year at 5-3. We’ve made a lot of strides in learning what we have to do to win on the road.”
The Panthers arrived in California on Tuesday afternoon and practiced later in the day.
“Sometimes these games come down to who is more eager to play,” Cherry said. “A team might be disappointed that it didn’t get in the NCAA or the NIT and not be excited to be playing in this tournament. Sometimes it comes down to who comes out playing with the most energy.”