Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Final Four Preview, Section One

Best Backcourt
1. UCLA- Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo are one of the best backcourts in the country; Darren Collison contributes at both ends of the floor.
2. Florida- Taurean Green is capable of big games, while Lee Humphrey is an outstanding three-point shooter. Walter Hodge provides depth.
3. LSU- Darrell Mitchell does not get much press, but he was the best guard in the SEC. Garrett Temple is very athletic and can really defend on the perimeter.
4. George Mason- Lamar Butler was very impressive against UConn, while Tony Skinn is quick with the ball and a good all-around player.

Best Frontcourt
1. LSU- Ridiculous mix of athleticism and force for the Tigers. Tyrus Thomas might be the #1 pick in the Draft; Glen Davis is an All-American; and Tasmin Mitchell is a star in the making.
2. Florida- Much-improved trio from last season. Joakim Noah is rising quickly, Al Horford is a very good rebounder, and Corey Brewer is one of the better all-around forwards around.
3. George Mason- If the two best frontcourts in the country were not present, this would be #1. Will Thomas and Jai Lewis have dominated most of the post players they have faced.
4. UCLA- Underrated group. Ryan Hollins has stepped up in the Big Dance, while Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was a very good freshman. Cedric Bozeman is very versatile at the forward spot.

Best Bench
1. UCLA- Lots of depth on the interior led by Alfred Aboya. Additionally, Michael Roll is a very good shooter and Darren Collison could be a star whenever he gets the minutes needed.
2. Florida- Walter Hodge is a good shooter who has started some games. Chris Richard is a beast on the interior, while David Huertas is a versatile player on the wing.
3. LSU- Darnell Lazare started for the first half of the season. He and Magnum Rolle are both athletic match-up problems up front. Ben Voogd gives good backcourt minutes.
4. George Mason- Only wing Gabe Norwood really contributes. Good all-around player that sees twenty-plus minutes per game.

Best Inside-Outside Combo
1. LSU (Darrell Mitchell/Glen Davis): Mitchell does everything for the Tigers on the perimeter, while Davis is unstoppable down in the low block.
2. George Mason (Lamar Butler/Jai Lewis): Butler has had a huge NCAA Tournament in the scoring department, and Lewis is very difficult to defend down low.
3. Florida (Taurean Green/Joakim Noah): Green, while inconsistent, is a very good point guard. Noah has been one of the best players in the Big Dance.
4. UCLA (Arron Afflalo/Luc Richard Mbah a Moute): Afflalo is one of the best two-way players in the country. Mbah a Moute is an active rebounder.

Best Trio
1. LSU (Darrell Mitchell/Tyrus Thomas/Glen Davis): All the ingredients wanted in a dominant trio. Mitchell can shoot and handle the backcourt duties. Thomas is too athletic for anyone to defend, while Davis is a nearly impossible match-up.
2. Florida (Taurean Green/Corey Brewer/Joakim Noah): A very young but talented troika of performers. Green can play the point as well as anyone at times. Brewer is as good an all-around player as there is, and Noah might be the toughest match-up left.
3. George Mason (Lamar Butler/Will Thomas/Jai Lewis): Butler was the main catalyst in their Elite Eight game against UConn. Thomas and Lewis are one of the most underrated duos in the country. Tough with their backs to the basket.
4. UCLA (Jordan Farmar/Arron Afflalo/Luc Richard Mbah a Moute): The Bruins are made on their backcourt. Farmar and Afflalo were a dominant backcourt all season and carry the team. Mbah a Moute is an underappreciated freshman forward.

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