INDIANAPOLIS — Can the Peacocks do it?
A mere day faraway from engineering the signature upset of the NCAA Event in dispatching No. 2-seeded Kentucky, can the Saint Peter’s gamers flip the web page rapidly sufficient to writer a second shocker in three days after they play Murray State Saturday night time in East Area motion on the Gainbridge Fieldhouse with a Candy 16 berth on the road?
That is the largest problem for the Peacocks (20-11) as they face the seventh-seeded Racers, who’ve the most effective report within the nation at 31-2, are driving a 21-game successful streak and haven’t misplaced since December.
“Off the excessive from [Thursday] we now have to place it behind us,’’ Saint Peter’s guard Doug Edert mentioned Friday. “Regardless that it was a great accomplishment for us, we now have to place it behind us. It’s a fast turnaround, and we now have to be ready and carry on rolling. Now we have to type of neglect the previous and simply deal with the duty at hand, which is making ready for Murray State and attempting to get the win over them.’’
Saint Peter’s guard Daryl Banks III, who scored a career-high 27 factors within the win over Kentucky, known as the upset “an incredible second’’ and added that the workforce “type of let it sink in’’ in a single day.
“However after [Thursday], that’s previously,’’ Banks mentioned. “Now we have a recreation to play [Saturday], so got here in [Friday] with a deal with our recreation plan and walk-through for Murray State. They’re a extremely good workforce. It’s a must to keep locked in.’’
Banks known as Murray State “bodily and large,’’ including, “We all know it’s going to be a hard-nosed, [hard-]fought battle, so we will’t dwell on the previous an excessive amount of as a result of this can be a recreation we now have to be locked in for.’’
Saint Peter’s coach Shaheen Holloway emphasised that there’s no strain on his workforce.
“I don’t take a look at this as strain in any respect,’’ he mentioned. “Strain is when you could have a child and you may’t feed your child, that’s strain. That is one thing that these youngsters like to do. They work all year-round for it, me I’m simply ready to assist them to information them by means of it. It’s the sport of basketball. That’s how I performed once I was a participant. I didn’t play with any strain in any respect. In case you can’t get juiced off of this, enjoying within the NCAA Event towards Kentucky, one thing is incorrect.”
That mentioned, Holloway is aware of what his workforce is going through in Murray State, which absolutely took discover of the Peacocks’ upset of Kentucky.
“They’re an excellent workforce, very properly coached, nice custom, nice historical past, acquired good gamers,’’ Holloway mentioned. “Whenever you watch them, the factor I’m impressed probably the most about is their physicality, they get after you. They strain you man to man, they get down low, they’re athletic, they’ve a number of folks that may rating so you possibly can’t lock in on one particular person.
“It’s going to be likelihood for our guys. Now we have to go on the market and do what Saint Peter’s College do.’’
What Saint Peter’s did to Kentucky was eye-opening. It actually acquired the eye of Murray State, which can be positioned in Kentucky.
“I want I might simply level to 1 factor,’’ Racers coach Matt McMahon mentioned of Saint Peter’s strengths. “We’ll must play very properly at each ends of the ground. They’re so good defensively. They flip you over. They power you to take powerful, troublesome photographs, after which on the offensive finish they’re enjoying actually good basketball.
“They shoot the ball properly from behind the 3-point line. They don’t shoot a ton of them, however they’re very environment friendly after they do. I feel it’ll take an entire efficiency at each ends of the ground for us to return out victorious.’’