Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Final Four Preview, Part One

For a complete preview of the Final Four, click here.

Best Backcourt
1. Memphis: Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts might be the best perimeter duo in college basketball. Throw in Antonio Anderson and plenty of depth, and this group is loaded.

2. North Carolina: With Ty Lawson back and fully healthy, the Tar Heels have a dynamite backcourt with him and Wayne Ellington, a terrific shooter. Quentin Thomas is solid.
3. Kansas: The Jayhawks might have the deepest and most talented perimeter, with Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, Russell Robinson and Sherron Collins all capable of being stars.
4. UCLA: The Bruins might be ranked last, but this is an outstanding backcourt. Darren Collison is a great point guard, while Russell Westbrook is a playmaker and Josh Shipp can shoot.

Best Frontcourt
1. North Carolina: Since UNC has Tyler Hansbrough on its side, this frontcourt is very good. Deon Thompson is solid, Marcus Ginyard is a lockdown defender and Danny Green does it all.

2. Kansas: The perimeter group gets most of the press for the Jayhawks, but both Darrell Arthur and Darnell Jackson are capable of big nights. Sasha Kaun has starting experience as well.
3. UCLA: Led by Kevin Love, this group provides balance inside. Love is one of the best big men around, while Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is versatile. James Keefe has played well of late.
4. Memphis: If the Tigers’ bigs stay out of foul trouble, they are very talented. Joey Dorsey blocks shots and rebounds, while Robert Dozier and Shawn Taggart are match-up problems.

Best Bench
1. Memphis: The Tigers have some of the best depth in America. Willie Kemp and Andre Allen are combo guards; Doneal Mack can shoot the three; and Shawn Taggart is solid inside.
2. North Carolina: Danny Green is one of the best sixth men in the nation, while Quentin Thomas filled in nicely while Ty Lawson was injured. Alex Stepheson comes off the bench down low.
3. Kansas: Led by Sherron Collins, the Jayhawks have plenty of talent on the bench. Sasha Kaun started all last season for Bill Self, while Cole Aldrich has proven capable of banging inside.
4. UCLA: This might be the one weakness for the Bruins. They lack perimeter depth in a big way, but James Keefe has stepped up in the frontcourt. Lorenzo Mata-Real and Alfred Aboya are solid.

Best Inside-Outside Combo
1. UCLA: This was a very tight race for the top spot. Darren Collison is one of the best point guards in the country, while Kevin Love has been dominant for most of the season inside.
2. North Carolina: Similarly to UCLA, Ty Lawson is capable of controlling a game from the point guard position, while Tyler Hansbrough is one of the favorites for National Player of the Year.
3. Kansas: The Jayhawks have a plethora of perimeter players, but the best is Brandon Rush, a talented shooter and scorer. Darrell Arthur has a load of potential inside due to his skill set.

4. Memphis: Take your pick on the perimeter between Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts, while Robert Dozier – when he is focused – is a very difficult player to deal with up front.

Best Trio
1. North Carolina: The Tar Heels have three of the best at their position in the country. Ty Lawson is a dynamic point guard; Wayne Ellington can really shoot the ball; and Tyler Hansbrough is nearly unstoppable down low.
2. UCLA: The Bruins start with their point guard, Darren Collison, who controls play at both ends of the floor. Kevin Love is one of the most dominant players in college basketball, while Russell Westbrook has really developed.
3. Memphis: Whenever you start with the combo of Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts on the perimeter, you’re in good shape. Both have the ability to dominate on the offensive end. Robert Dozier is a tough match-up.
4. Kansas: The Jayhawks have plenty of options for scoring, but no go-to-guy. However, Brandon Rush can get hot from the perimeter, while Mario Chalmers is tough to stop on the perimeter and off the dribble. Darrell Arthur is solid.

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