Posted January 31st, 2013
The Polytechnic Institute of New York University is a roughly 1,800-undergraduate engineering school in downtown Brooklyn.
It is not—by any stretch of the imagination—a basketball school.
And yet, NYU-Poly's men's basketball squad faces a most unusual problem for a team of its modest talents: how to defend a 7-foot-1 pro prospect.
"You have to stay in front of him, hopefully," said 6-foot-7 Stefan Stovanovich, NYU-Poly's tallest player, who gets to guard Farmingdale State's A.J. Matthews. "And hope for the best."
On Thursday, in the sort of mismatch typically found at the high-school level, NYU-Poly plays host to Matthews and Farmingdale State. The occasion raises the question: How does a team on the lower rungs of college basketball prepare to face a player of this size and caliber?
NYU-Poly plays on the NCAA's Division III level, a world away from Division I, where the powers of the sport reside. D-III schools don't offer athletic scholarships, and thus have much less talent on their rosters and fans in their stands. And even on this level, NYU-Poly is on the lower end, with a 4-13 record, 1-10 in the Skyline Conference.