We've already had a snapshot of the Utes and a candid Q&A with Stephen from BlockU. Let's focus our attention on our own team and put out some keys to victory for today's match up
- David vs. Goliath Seriously, that may be a little much. Jordan Hill as David? Only in terms of heigth. Luke Nevill is 7'2" and Jordan is 6'10". This will be an incredible matchup for both teams. Nevill has the ability to shoot over Jordan and Hill has the ability to move up and under Nevill with his ball handling skills. If either big men gets into foul trouble, their team is going to suffer immensely. As we broke down in the Q&A, Nevill and Hill play almost the same anchor role on their respective teams. If Jordan gets into trouble, Alex Jacobson is our next likely sub, coming in at 6'11".
- Fourth Man The charade is over. We squeaked into the tournament and now it's time for someone to step up and be our fourth guy. Earlier in the year, I thought that was going to be Zane. He showed signs of consistency, only to become a non-factor almost immediately. Kyle Fogg averaged close to 15 points a game for three consecutive games, only to shoot less than 4 attempts the next few games. I think that Pennel's adjustment to make Jamelle Horne the fifth guy on the floor over Zane Johnson has been an excellent move. He has the ability to shoot a three, use his long arms to play incredible defense and grab boards, and also throw down monstrous dunks that have sparked the Cats on more than one occasion. My wish for someone to step up has me hoping that it will be Kyle Fogg. He seems to have a natural ability to also create opportunities for others while he is scoring himself, while Jamelle is more of a scorer's mentality. At this point, I don't care who does it. Just do it.
- Jekyll or Hyde? Calling Chase Budinger. Are you there? Wait, which one am I speaking to. Am I speaking to the Chase Budinger who averages 17.9 ppg and shoots 41% from beyond the arc or am I speaking to the Chase Budinger who laid an egg against Arizona State in the Pac-10 Tournament. In all seriousness, he needs to come to play. He is an NBA player who needs to show that he can have a bad game and not let it affect him going forward. His disastrous performance in the Pac-10 Tourney hopefully lit a small fire under him and he should be ready to play today. His presence on the floor for defense, pushing the point, driving to the hoop and creating is immeasurable and I expect him to have a huge game against the Utes. Shaun Green for the Utes is 6'8" and will probably match up with Chase today and vice versa.
To Press or Not to Press Arizona has used the press this year, to my dismay, in almost every game of the season. I am not sure why Pennel keeps insisting on tiring out his guys when his bench is so thin. How many turnovers have we had from it? Does it really take any other team out of rhythym? Arizona State sure didn't have a problem with it, beating our press consistently with Glasser running around like a chicken with its head cut off and creating opportunities on the offensive side of their end. The press allowed opposing teams to get a 2-1 or a 3-2 many times this year, leading to either a bucket or an offensive rebound on their part because our guys weren't able to get back in time. I vote NO on the press. Always have, always will (This year). With a bench like ours, every minute counts.
- WESTERN KENTUCKY Did y'all see that game last night? Foreshadowing.....