UAA home weekend brings tough matchups

Despite coming off a tough loss against Wash U (10–2, 1–0 UAA), Chicago men’s basketball (7–5, 0–1) is fired up for its games against NYU and Brandeis this weekend.

By Jenna Harris

Bright. Loud. Strong. Neon. These are the Chicago Maroons.

Friday marks the squad’s first UAA game at home. It will be celebrated with Neon Night, a Maroon tradition that allows the community to cheer loudly and proudly as their team continues the gauntlet through conference play.

Despite coming off a tough loss against Wash U (10–2, 1–0 UAA), Chicago (7–5, 0–1) is fired up for its next crop of UAA games. The Maroons had higher three-point and free throw percentages than the Bears, and they know that they have the talent and the drive to be victorious in conference, as long as they play intelligently.

With this attitude, the Maroons face two more conference games against NYU (11–1, 1–0) and Brandeis (8–4, 0–1) on Friday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at noon, respectively.

Chicago knows every possession will count a little more than usual on Friday.

“Executing our half court offense will be especially important on Friday against NYU because they like to play at a slower pace. Thus, there will be fewer possessions, making each one more important to the outcome of the game,”  said fourth-year forward Sam Gage.

Given NYU’s height advantage, the Maroons expect to be playing two very different games this weekend.

“They’ll be looking to run time off of the shot clock and then give it to one of their big guys,” Gage said.

Whatever the South Siders might lack in height against the Violets, they’ll make up for in quickness and agility.

The Judges, on the other hand, are very similar to the Maroons in team makeup.

“[Brandeis is] athletic on the perimeter, and four of their five starters can shoot it from three,” Gage said. “I expect Sunday’s game to be much faster paced with a much higher final score. When preparing for teams that play at different tempos, there definitely is a difference in mindset. Friday’s game will require a ‘grind-it-out’ mentality, while Sunday may turn into more of a track meet.”

Chicago is looking at an action-packed weekend, with the potential for two early victories in the UAA if it keeps up the hot shooting and tightens up defensively.

Tip-off for Friday’s Neon Night game against NYU is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Ratner. There will be giveaways, including free candy, pizza, and prizes for the best dressed as part of the celebration.

Sunday’s home game against Brandeis is scheduled for noon.