Andrew Harrison Vs Bronson Koenig
In last year’s Final Four game against Wisconsin, Andrew didn’t exactly have his best game of the tournament. He shot just 4-14 from the floor, played just 14 minutes of the first half due to foul trouble, and his biggest contribution may have been telling his brother to “go-go” as time was winding down. Tomorrow I think his impact is going to be much more significant.
First of all he’s bucked that tendency to drive the lane hoping for a foul and throw up a prayer. Instead of 14 shots per game he’s cut back to an average of 4.5 during the NCAA tournament. He’s taking care of the ball extremely well. His defense is lightyears better than what we saw last season. He’s a totally different player. In last year’s game Koenig came off the bench to score 11 points. If he hits that mark against Andrew 2.0 I will be shocked.
Sam Dekker Vs Willie Cauley-Stein
The nation’s premier 7’0 defender against the one of nation’s most versatile 6’9 scorers.While Dekker doesn’t do much with his back to the basket, he is a solid spot up shooter and excellent slashing to the rack for a lob. Both things Willie should be able to control pretty effectively. WCS may not finish the game with a ton of signature blocks but who ever his is guarding should see a drop in the shot output. Dekker is responsible for 20% of the Badger’s scoring this year and an even higher percentage in the tournament. Shut him down and it’s hard to see Wisconsin finding a way to win this game.
Karl Towns/Dakari Johnson Vs. Nigel Hayes/Frank Kaminsky
One factor for both teams keeping the game in control early will be keeping Karl-Anthony Towns and Frank Kaminsky out of foul trouble. For that reason I don’t think we’ll see the Kaminsky/Towns battle get going until the second half. So if Towns isn’t guarding Frank the Tank who do you put him on? Well, it’d have to be 3rd leading scorer Nigel Hayes which is a matchup that favors Kentucky. Hayes won’t be scoring over Towns or Dakari and if he’s taking shots out around the perimeter that’s better than Dekker or Koenig taking them.
While Dakari is in the game he should be able to go head to head with Kaminsky without worrying about foul trouble. He did pretty well last season as a freshman and he’s only improved since that match-up. How Cal rolls out the defense for the first half should be one of the more interesting games within the game tomorrow night.
Who you got?