North AZ vs Weber State Men’s Preview

North AZ vs Weber State Men’s Preview

by Zachary Knecht

Featured Image: Photo by Weber State Athletics

After an impressive all-around showing in their last game, the Weber State Wildcats aim to take down the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks and improve to 2-0 in conference play. The ‘Cats have been on fire, winning four of their last five games, and come in as 7.5-point favorites over their 4-10 opponent. A win on Saturday would help get Weber State off to the start they need to stay in contention to win the Big Sky conference.

Another Poor Defense

The ‘Cats had the benefit of playing the bad Bears defense in their win Thursday night, where they produced a solid 81 points, and they have the same assistance Saturday of playing a team with poor defensive play.

The Lumberjacks allow 75.9 points per game with their opponents shooting an efficient 45.6% from the field ad 34% from three. Weber State has numerous solid producers who can benefit from playing defense like this. Dillon Jones posted a career-high in points (26) in the victory Thursday, while Junior Ballard and Steven Verplancken Jr. are due for solid performances. Alex Tew and KJ Cunningham also have the tools to put up big numbers.

Slow Cone 

While the Lumberjacks have a solid rotation of scorers that have aided them in their 73.0 PPG season, Jalen Cone is the main producer on this team with 17.3 PPG. This offense runs through Cone as he’s seen the most playing time from anyone in Northern AZ. He hits 42% of his shots from the field and 36.5% from beyond the arch. Cone also has seen the most time at the free-throw line this season hitting 45 of his 56 attempts.

For the Wildcats to take care of business, they need to slow down Cone.

Take Care of the Ball

As it has been for much of this season, one of Weber State’s keys to victory will be taking care of the ball. They have done an excellent job of it as of late and will need to continue that trend to stay hot. The Lumberjacks have outrebounded the ‘Cats in the year 36.1 to 30.6. They’ve also had a better time taking care of the ball, turning the ball over 12 times to the 13.5 of the Wildcats.

Take care of the ball and take advantage of opportunities. That should be the mantra for Weber State as they continue to right the ship.

The Wildcats will tip off against the Lumberjacks at 2:00 p.m. MST at the Dee Events Center as they look to stay undefeated in conference play.

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