Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Final Four Preview, Part One

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

Best Backcourt
1. North Carolina: Ty Lawson has been one of the best point guards in the country, and Wayne Ellington can really shoot the three. Larry Drew and Bobby Frasor provide depth.
2. Villanova: The Wildcats are loaded on the perimeter, led by Scottie Reynolds. Corey Fisher is a phenomenal sixth man and Corey Stokes can shoot. Reggie Redding provides a little of everything.
3. Connecticut: This group could be back to being outstanding if Jerome Dyson can play. A.J. Price is an excellent player, Kemba Walker is extraordinarily quick and Craig Austrie is solid.
4. Michigan State: The Spartans have an assortment of options, namely Kalin Lucas. Travis Walton is a good defender, and Chris Allen and Durrell Summers are shooters.

Best Frontcourt
1. Connecticut: The Huskies have the most imposing frontline in basketball. Hasheem Thabeet is a menace down low, Jeff Adrien is a double-double machine and Stanley Robinson is the X-factor.
2. North Carolina: The Tar Heels have plenty of talent up front, including Tyler Hansbrough and Danny Green. Deon Thompson and Ed Davis have NBA potential despite playing a limited role.
3. Michigan State: The Spartans are versatile in the frontcourt, with Raymar Morgan and Delvon Roe interchangeable forwards and Goran Suton a very solid center. Draymond Green is a factor off the bench.
4. Villanova: The Wildcats are undersized but tough to defend up front. Dante Cunningham is one of the most improved players in the nation, and Shane Clark and Dwayne Anderson are difficult match-ups.

Best Bench
1. Michigan State: The Spartans have a ton of options off the bench, led by Chris Allen and Durrell Summers. Draymond Green has been solid, and Korie Lucious and Marquise Gray are also factors.
2. Villanova: The Wildcats' bench is led by Big East Sixth Man of the Year, Corey Fisher. Corey Stokes is a dynamite shooter, and Antonio Pena is solid down low.
3. North Carolina: The Tar Heels aren't as deep as expected, but Ed Davis is a stud and Bobby Frasor provides experience. Larry Drew is solid at the point and Tyler Zeller is talented.
4. Connecticut: The Huskies' depth has been a problem all season, especially without Jerome Dyson. However, Kemba Walker and Gavin Edwards could start on most teams across the country.

Best Inside-Outside Combo
1. North Carolina: Ty Lawson and Tyler Hansbrough are among the best in the country at their respective positions. Both can carry the team if necessary.
2. Connecticut: A.J. Price has been one of the better guards in the nation down the stretch, and Hasheem Thabeet is an absolute force defensively.
3. Villanova: The Wildcats are a balanced group, but Scottie Reynolds is their go-to-guy and Dante Cunningham is a very difficult player to defend.
4. Michigan State: Kalin Lucas was the Big Ten Player of the Year, and Raymar Morgan is an inside-outside threat who can carry the team at times.

Best Trio
1. North Carolina: The Tar Heels have more talent than anyone in the country, and it starts with Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington in the backcourt. Tyler Hansbrough has had a phenomenal career.
2. Connecticut: The Huskies got most of their production frmo their frontcourt duo of Jeff Adrien and Hasheem Thabeet, but A.J. Price is capable of carrying this team to a win with his offensive ability.
3. Michigan State: The Spartans need to get production from three players in order to win: point guard Kalin Lucas, forward Raymar Morgan and center Goran suton. Suton has stepped it up lately.
4. Villanova: The Wildcats have a tough backcourt duo in Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher, two players who aren't afraid of attacking the absket. Dante Cunningham has become a legit inside-outside option.

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