Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Player Breakdown of UConn versus St. John's
Justin Burrell versus Jeff Adrien: They both match-up body wise. Both are 6-8 and 240 pounds and play a similar style of ball, though Burrell has shown that he can hit from deep. Adrien is going to have to concentrate on putting a body on Burrell on every possession. Adrien plays at the elbow, dribbling down the lane or spotting up for a quick jumper. He also can play with his back to the basket and is an aggressive rebounder.
Sean Evans and Dele Coker versus Hasheem Thabeet: Sean needs to crowd Thabeet and not give him any position where he can make one move to the basket. On offense Sean will pull the shot blocker out of the paint while in man-to-man. UConn has had problems with teams that do not have a conventional center. UConn will need to show that they can handle this type of attack.
D.J. Kennedy versus Stanley Robinson: Kennedy will need to keep Robinson in front of him and make him a jump shooter, which he has struggled since returning to the team in mid-season. Stanley has freakish athletic ability to get second chance points on put-backs. He is focused on rebounding the ball and defense and his outside shot is a last resort.
Malik Boothe versus A.J. Price: Boothe will need to stay with Price, especially when he doesn’t have the ball. He is UConn’s best three point shooter. Price is getting his burst back from his knee injury but getting into the lane isn’t his greatest asset now. He is beginning to come back to form in passing the ball where his man can score.
Paris Horne versus Jerome Dyson and Craig Austrie: Dyson is in a shooting slump, having three games in a row of clanking shots. He still has a fantastic burst to the basket and will look for contact on the way to the rim. He is also UConn’s best perimeter defender and takes pride in locking down the opponents best player. These two are their teams best at getting steals. Paris is going to need to stay in front of Dyson, who can beat anyone with his first step. Austrie is a deep threat but doesn’t have the first step of Dyson. He is reliable and doesn’t turn the ball over.
Quincy Roberts versus Kemba Walker: Kemba has a sixth gear and can dribble up the court as fast as someone passing it. He has begun to take over the point during stretches of the ballgame. Quincy will need to stay in front of him and get back on defense to negate his greatest weapon, the open court.
Rob Thomas versus Gavin Edwards: Gavin fills in for both the power forward position and the center position. He roams the paint and concentrates on all the little things, boxing out, staying in front of his man, and loose balls. This will be the battle of who has the most hustle.