NACOGDOCHES, TX (KLTV) -
Many national experts may be picking SFA to upset VCU tomorrow night, but the Jacks know they are in for a fight. Since making the final 4 in 2011, VCU has become known by one word, 'havoc.' If the Jacks are going to make history, havoc can not lead to panic.
"They call it havoc for a reason," head coach Brad Underwood said. "Their style of defense helps them lead the country in turnovers and steals. We cant simulate that in practice.
Oh, but the Jacks have tried, and we will soon see if it pays off. Blaring music and playing five on seven is SFA's way of simulating havoc. "It was just loud, and they made us do a lot of things with a certain amount players on the floor that wont be on the court when we play them," senior Deshaunt Walker said. Thomas Walkup added," Coach cranked up the music so we don't make one turnover and lose our mind."
That's the key, one turnover can't lead to frustration and a meltdown."They will turn us over a couple times, its going to happen, I understand that," Underwood said. "We just cant let our turnovers lead to their baskets."
The Jacks have done a good job all year of taking care of the ball, and now they will try to counter VCU's pressure. "We have five people that can handle the ball, and we think that's a big advantage for us," Walkup said. "We can turn their aggressive press into points, you know easy lay ups and threes on our end." Walker added, "It starts with a mental focus at first, you just know they are coming and trying to make you turn the ball over. Basically you just have to be a basketball player at the end of the day."
That means playing Lumberjack basketball, which has led to 28 straight wins.
"They are going to try and get us out of our game plan, but you cant let anybody get you out of your game, we have to stick to our game plan," Desmond Haymon said. Nikola Gajic added,"We need to keep doing what we have been and play unselfish, because we have so many guys that can score."
Handle the pressure, and the 12 seed might just pull the upset.