JOE D’S NOTEBOOK April 7th, 2014
ARLINGTON, TX 4/7/14: Hours away from the last game of the college basketball season and for the fourth time, it will involve the UConn Huskies. Tonight at AT&T Stadium,it’s UConn and Kentucky for the National Championship in a scenario that seemed totally unlikely for either team four weeks ago.
The Wildcats present a huge challenge for the Huskies, literally and figuratively. They are the biggest team that UConn will face this season. And it’s just not their size, it’s the fact that they know how to use it. Starting with the Dallas native, 6’8 Julius Randle who is averaging a double double on the season. He is relentless and UConn has to account for him at all times. The wingman, 6’6 James Young has been shooting lights out lately and can stretch the floor. The big men are all active inside and can get to the class. Sometimes for Kentucky, their best offensive play is a missed shot. They rank 5th nationally in offensive rebounds per game and had 23 second chance points against Wisconsin on Saturday It is imperative that UConn makes a commitment to the defensive glass.
The Harrison twins patrol the back court. Andrew is the true point guard and Aaron is the big shot maker, having hit game winners against Michigan and Wisconsin.He is hitting 56% of his three point attempts in the NCAA’s and UConn can’t let him get comfortable outside the arc.
And while Kentucky sounds intimidating, they do have their weaknesses. They don’t shoot the three well, or often, ranking 288th in 3 point field goals made per game. They are average from the foul line and turn the ball over too often.But they have masked those concerns to get to tonight.
Both these teams have shown an ability to come back during the post season so if one team takes a 10 point lead, don’t expect the other to shake in its boots. Tonight comes down to which team executes. which teams best player steps up and which team doesn’t let the big game stage get to them.
The pre game begins at 8:30 and I hope you can join us for the final, and most important, game of the season.