Hofstra heads into the NIT carting its own set of significant disappointments, but then again, doesn’t everybody involved in this tournament? The Pride were CAA regular-season champions with a 15-3 league mark, but they lost in the CAA tournament final to Northeastern.
That regular-season crown guaranteed Hofstra a spot in the NIT and so here they are. On Tuesday night, Hofstra and NC State come to mourn together their basketball-related shortcomings, and perhaps also play some basketball. If there’s time.
This is Hofstra:
The Pride have done quite a few things well at the offensive end this season, thanks primarily to senior guard Justin Wright-Foreman, who is averaging 27 points per game. Wright-Foreman assumes a huge chunk of Hofstra’s offense, taking 35% of the shots while he is on the floor, which is almost all the time.
Despite the enormous workload, Wright-Foreman shot 42.9% from three, 56.6% inside the arc, and 85.6% at the free throw line. You gotta be a damn talented player to shoot so effectively across the board while assuming so much of the offense.
He’s gonna get his points, so you may as well come to terms with it now. He hit double figures in every game this season and fell short of 20 points only seven times.
Wright-Foreman gobbles up so many offensive possessions that he renders basically everyone else in the rotation a role player, at least in terms of how frequently they attempt shots. But wing Eli Pemberton has had plenty of solid performances, at times pacing the offense, and he’ll be the secondary option to watch. Like Wright-Foreman, Pemberton is a solid shooter everywhere on the floor.
The Pride have four players who’ve attempted 100+ three pointers this season, including the two I just mentioned, and three of them are hitting better than 40%. This team doesn’t boast much size but counters with an excellent perimeter offense. It was just about good enough to carry Hofstra to the NCAAs.
The defense, on the other hand, registers just slightly below NCAA-tournament-caliber. Hofstra, one might say, is a land of contrasts. And this is where the lack of bigs hurt the Pride this season.
As you can see in the above statistics, Hofstra’s interior defense was a significant liability and it had a lot of trouble on the defense glass, compounding matters. They never found a way to compensate for those weaknesses.
Which is also why this game could end up being lots of fun—well, if you like points, that is. Hofstra can score in bunches and give ‘em up just the same. If the Pride and the Pack postpone wallowing in their respective disappointments and come to play, I suspect the game will be worth the price of admission.