Monday, March 16, 2009

Top 12 Frontcourts


Although the common belief is that guards win in March, teams with just guards do not usually make it to the Final Four. Rebounding and post presence are also keys to success. The following teams have the best frontcourts heading into March:

1. Pittsburgh: The Panthers have two of the best players in the country at their respective positions in Sam Young and DeJuan Blair, while Tyrell Biggs is the perfect complement to the two stars.
2. Wake Forest: Arguably the most talented frontcourt in the country, the Demon Deacons are loaded up front. Al-Farouq Aminu and James Johnson are match-up nightmares, and Chas McFarland is solid.
3. North Carolina: The Tar Heels are also supremely talented up front. Tyler Hansbrough is an All-American, while Danny Green is a do-it-all player. Deon Thompson would be a star on most teams.
4. Connecticut: The Huskies might have the most intimidating frontcourt in basketball. Hasheem Thabeet is an enforcer at 7-3, while Jeff Adrien is an automatic double-double. Stanley Robinson is the X-factor.
5. Louisville: The Cardinals are led by their balanced and talented frontcourt. Terrence Williams has blossomed this season, Earl Clark is a match-up problem, and Samardo Samuels has been a solid freshman.
6. Duke: The Blue Devils have two of the better players in the ACC in Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler, who both have stepped their game up lately, while Lance Thomas has been decent down low.
7. Oklahoma: The Sooners could put two scrubs next to Blake Griffin and make this list. However, Blake’s brother, Taylor, is a very good player in his own right, and Juan Patilla has been effective late in the season.
8. Butler: The Bulldogs were carried by their backcourt last season, but this year it is Matt Howard and Gordon Hayward leading the way for Butler. Throw in Willie Veasley, and this group is very solid.
9. Clemson: The Tigers are known as a pressing, up-and-down team, but they have plenty of frontcourt talent. K.C. Rivers can shoot the three, while Trevor Booker is a beast down low. Raymond Sykes is active.
10. Gonzaga: The Bulldogs, when playing to their potential, have as much talent as anyone. Josh Heytvelt is a go-to-guy down low, while Austin Daye needs to shed his “soft” label. Micah Downs is tough to match-up with.
11. Arizona: The Wildcats just made the NCAA Tournament, but they will be a tough out thanks to their frontcourt duo of Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill. Both are two of the best in the country at their positions.
12. Missouri: The Tigers have a very talented and balanced frontcourt that features match-up problems across the board. DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons are versatile, while Matt Lawrence can really shoot it.

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