Monday 18 December 2017

Basketball: Demons need 'near perfect' defence to halt Marian - Kelleher

Neil Ahern

DESPITE a comfortable win over Ulster Elks in the opening weekend of the Men's Superleague, UCC Demons head coach Paul Kelleher is demanding his side raise their standards this time out as they travel to Dublin to take on UCD Marian.

The 2009 champions endured a disappointing campaign last season, failing to reach the final in the defence their title while also suffering heartbreak in the National Cup final with a hapless 94-69 defeat to Killester.

Kelleher wants his boys to come out firing on all cylinders this season and, having beaten Elks last Sunday on a 93-84 scoreline, he wants his charges to raise their performance levels tomorrow at Belfield.

"We will have to up our level from last week if we are to have any chance of getting the result we are looking for," said Kelleher.

"Marian are very good in the open floor and our transition defence will need to be near-perfect to stop them doing what they do best.


"Offensively we will need to be accurate from the perimeter and make smart decisions with the ball.

"This will be a big test for us but I know we will work hard to try and be on the right side of the result come Saturday evening."

UCD Marian's James Crowder, however, marked his debut last weekend with 22 points and he has plans on stifling the Cork giants.

"This weekend's plan for me is to be more aggressive and get more rebounds," said the 6ft7in American.

"It's a lot more physical than what I am accustomed to, being straight out of college, but it's nothing that I can't adopt to quickly.

"I'm pleased that we have another home game so soon after last week's defeat and hopefully we can mark it with a win."

Elsewhere, Neptune are set for a busy weekend with two games scheduled against Moycullen (tonight) and Ulster Elks on Sunday afternoon.

Killester will be looking to build on a winning start to their title defence with a win over Dublin northside rivals DCU Saints tomorrow night.

Irish Independent

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