LAFAYETTE — Considering the Ragin’ Cajuns have a maximum of two games left in their season, they have hit the home stretch when some things are scaled back.
The Louisiana-Lafayette women’s basketball team mainly went through some passing and rebounding drills Monday to stay sharp in advance of their Women’s Basketball Invitational semifinal game against Youngstown State on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Film study and a focus on individual tendencies from the Penguins will be a part of Tuesday’s to-do list.
“We just did basic stuff we would normally do no matter who we were playing,” Cajuns coach Garry Brodhead said. “(Tuesday) we will be a little more in depth with how we are going to guard each individual and who we can help (defensively) off of. We kind of back off at the end of the season because it has been long. Things that we had at a middle of the season practice, we are not doing now.
“(Cajuns baseball coach) Tony Robichaux helped me out so much this year by making the comment, ‘Coach, if they don’t know it by now, they are never going to know it.’ ”
It is a late-season specific option that is a change from Brodhead’s tendency during past years. “We are trying to save energy for our games,” Brodhead said. “Before I was always pushing, pushing, pushing. So I backed off a little bit. It seems like it’s working.”
The danger zone
Youngstown State will bring offensive sets to the Cajundome that feature a fair amount of four out and one in scenarios. In those situations, four guards or wing players are spaced outside the lane while one post player functions as a scoring threat and primary offensive rebounder. That perimeter-oriented offense accounted for 44 attempted 3-pointers by Youngstown State in their WBI quarterfinal win over UMBC on Saturday.
“For some reason a lot of people play zone against them and ... man, they can shoot,” Brodhead said. “They made 15 3s in their last game. They pass the ball well, they are patient and they make you guard them for the whole 30 seconds. I feel good about the matchup because I think our pressure and the way we defend — they might not be used to seeing that in their league.”
Guard Keke Veal, who suffered an ankle sprain and foot soreness following a drive to the bucket in Saturday’s win over Stetson, was able to return to that game after sitting for part of the fourth quarter. X-rays on her foot proved to be negative.
“(Trainers) were worried about it because her foot was hurting her later and not just her ankle,” Brodhead said. “They wanted to make sure there wasn’t anything broken before they made any kind of decision. We rested her (Monday), we will try and do a little bit more with her Tuesday and hopefully by Wednesday she will be ready to go.”