Coventry University basketball head coach Brian Porth says he will be using this Sunday’s Varsity match against Warwick to prepare for the side’s BUCS (British University & College Sports) Championship cup tie versus Premier League outfit Oxford later this month.
Coventry head into the game full of confidence after a magnificent league campaign in BUCS Midlands Division 1A saw them finish second with eight wins and two losses.
Last year’s Division 1A champions Warwick will have a point to prove this Sunday, as they finished one place behind Coventry in third and will also want to go into their National Trophy cup game with University of Manchester on a high next Wednesday.
Both sides have one win apiece against each other in the league this season and Porth knows exactly what to expect from them.
“Playing teams three times is always different because you start to get used to each other, and dislike each other a little bit more” said the 25-year-old American. Writes Adam Manning…
“From us I expect the same things regardless of who we’re playing. Warwick is a team that work hard to try and get good shots.”
“So it takes a lot of focus on our end defensively to pay attention to know where everyone on the court is all of the time. To know who you’re guarding, know that if you’re guarding one of the guys that are able to shoot really well not to let them catch with space. Always close out well, so if you’re at the game you’ll hear me call ‘close out’ quite a bit.”
Both sides are reeling from the consequences of this year’s game being moved to the weekend, as top scorers from Coventry and Warwick are both unavailable for the game. Coventry’s top scorer Franco Kouagnia and ex-Crusaders Stephen Danso are both playing for their National League teams, whilst Warwick talisman Tadas Jonusaukas has family commitments.
The game is being played at the weekend as part of the tournament’s format change which has transformed from a single day tournament to over six weeks in length, and will conclude with a football final on Wednesday 16 March.
Despite the timing of this fixture, Porth sees it as the perfect opportunity to prepare other members of the squad for their important championship cup game at Premier League outfit Oxford on Wednesday 23 February.
“It’s going to be good for us to get some of the other guys some work which will prepare us for a really important game coming up. So while we want to win this, we’re going to be doing a lot of things to set us up for a really important game coming up.”
Tip-off at the Coventry University Sports Centre this Sunday is at 1:30pm, and tickets are available for Coventry University and Warwick University students only, which for Coventry students can be purchased at the Students’ Union or online at http://www.cusu.org/events/index.php?page=event&event_id=569693
Coventry University vs Warwick University
Where: Coventry University Sports Centre
When: Sunday 13 February 2011