After touching both ends of the spectrum last weekend with a thrilling win against Carnegie Mellon and a disappointing loss to Case Western, the Maroons take to the road once again to face Emory and Rochester.
Today at 8 p.m., the South Siders (10–6, 3–2) are bringing the frost to Atlanta. The snowstorm of two inches that hit the Southern school last week is nothing compared to what the Maroons are bringing to the Eagles (12–4, 4–1).
Emory is known as a tough competitor in all sports, especially on the basketball court. Chicago needs to watch out for fourth-year forward Jake Davis and fourth-year guard McPherson Moore because the Eagle offense can get out of hand very quickly if the Maroon defense doesn’t get a handle on it from the beginning.
“A lot of people say we are a three-pointer team,” said fourth-year forward Charlie Hughes. “But I think our strengths lie in our defense.”
This was proven last Friday in Chicago’s buzzer-beater win against Carnegie Mellon (9–7, 2–3).
Ironically, Emory’s one UAA loss was to CMU. Two weeks ago the Eagles lost to Carnegie Mellon because they could not keep up with the Tartans’ second-half aggressiveness. The Maroons saw this same tactic a week ago and overcame it. They were able to stay with CMU when Emory couldn’t.
Emory may be tough, but a win is completely plausible and within the South Siders’ grasp.
Sunday sees the Maroons in Rochester, NY to play the University of Rochester Yellow Jackets (7–9, 1–4). The Yellowjackets, in terms of stats, are the antithesis of Emory.
This is somewhat of a strange situation for Chicago. In the UAA, one might put Rochester toward the bottom of the conference, but looking at its record, one can see that the one conference team it did have a victory over is one of the opponents that the Maroons failed to beat: Case Western (10–6, 2–3).
Rochester’s key to that victory was its underclassmen on the bench. Its rookies have seen some good and some bad games but when they are in the zone, their shooting game can really make a difference.
The future of the UAA Championship is anyone’s game right now. Teams expected to do well have done so, but not without their mishaps, and the same goes for the underdog teams. The Maroons are up there with their victories against CMU and NYU.
This week saw a hard few days of practice and now another long weekend of travel, but if there is one quality that we know a Maroon student-athlete has, it is perseverance and a drive to succeed despite any sort of adversity.
Fourth-year guard Derrick Davis and third-year guard Royce Muskeyvalley agreed after last weekend’s games that they need to start each game with “intensity” and “to continue to push the tempo throughout the entire game.” This is the mindset of the Maroons as they leave Chicago.
Tip-off against the Eagles is set for 8 p.m. in Atlanta on Friday, January 31 and against the Yellowjackets on Sunday at noon.