Thursday Night Links
- Final Four: The Ultimate Viewers’ Guide
Mr. Gasaway says to watch out for Kemba Walker.
- The Walton method
Travis Walton is watching tape right now.
- Learning process: Thabeet tries to keep blocks in bounds
Thabeet says he and Stanley Robinson will rotate on Suton.
- Herzog doing his best Thabeet impression
Nice to have a seven-footer on the scout team.
- MSU’s Morgan must get his head in the game
Who woulda thunk we could get to the Final Four with Raymar Morgan scoring 7 points in 3 games?
- Izzo Gets a Compliment From Ann Arbor
Lloyd Carr is rooting for us.
- Cheering Fans, Thrilling NCAA Tournament Disgust BCS Officials
What to do with Mr. Ibok
For a fifth-year scholarship player, Idong Ibok has logged very few minutes this year. 158 minutes, to be exact. But he’s played an effective role in those minutes, serving as a designated defender against opponents with true centers of the seven-foot (or near-seven-foot) variety. His last seven outings of 5 minutes or more have come against this group of four players: Cole Aldrich (twice), Ralph Sampson (thrice), Mike Tisdale, and JuJuan Johnson.
Upon casual analysis, then, one might expect Mr. Ibok to log 10-15 minutes or so against the 7’3″ Hasmeen Thabeet on Saturday. I wonder, though, whether that would be playing right into UConn’s hands. Consider:
- Thabeet is, by most accounts, not a terribly polished post player. The most important thing, then, is to keep him away from the basket so he’s not in position for easy baskets off passes or rebounds. Goran Suton, Delvon Roe, or even Draymond Green might be better suited to that task. Ibok tends to be most effective against players who are going to post up and try to shoot over their defenders.
- On the other end of the court, Thabeet would be able to rotate off Ibok to block the shots of MSU players driving the lane with little danger of Ibok scoring off a pass. If Thabeet is forced to guard Suton, that clearly creates an advantage for MSU (but may require going with a small lineup). And, while neiter Delvon Roe and Draymond Green have shown great outside shooting ability to date, they are both quite capable of converting shots 5-8 feet from the basket and/or making good passes when the defense is scrambling to rotate.
What do you guys think? Do we throw our seven-footer at theirs? Or concede the height differential and focus on creating a mismatch of our own?