It's the next big thing vs. current big thing as Griner faces UConn
You can see size on film but you can't feel it, and as much as Georgetown coach
Griner is a 6-foot-8 freshman with a 7-4 wingspan and infinite possibilities. She played just 27 minutes against Georgetown because of foul trouble but it was enough. Griner set a single-game NCAA tournament record with 14 blocked shots and reconstructed several more in a 49-33 win. "Brittney Griner alters your thinking and sometimes makes you completely change your style of play," said Baylor coach
"Obviously there's no one like her in the game today," said UConn coach
The person who immediately has to deal with Griner is
Can Griner alone beat UConn? No. But she has the opportunity to be the first player in some time to impact what they do because of her length and shot-blocking abilities. Though Georgetown shot miserably in its loss, Williams-Flournoy thought that there was still a bit of intimidation even when Griner was on the bench. Baylor is a callow team (they have five freshman and one senior) that has played seasoned basketball in the tournament. "Up until this point our freshman have not played like freshman," said Baylor assistant coach
Baylor's chance for an upset -- and it is a remote chance -- is to control tempo, keep Griner away from foul trouble, and try to figure out a way to win an ugly, low-scoring game. Baylor is holding opponents to 32.1 percent shooting during the tournament and ranks first nationally in blocks per game (7.6) and trails only UConn in field goal percentage defense (32.9).
Mulkey knows Baylor cannot compete with UConn offensively. The Huskies have won 76 consecutive games, including its first four games of the tournament by an average of 47 points. Junior forward
Ohio State All-America junior center
Griner and her teammates say that's not the case anymore. "I think that it [the punch] helped all of us grow, especially Brittney," said Baylor junior guard
Barmore called Griner "one of the most lovable kids I've been around" and Mulkey said she has a sweetness about her. "She's a hugger," said Mulkey, who at 5-4 is 16 inches shorter than her star center. "As athletes, sometimes we do the high fives and we do handshakes and we do the chest-bumping, but when you greet her and she knows you, Brittney just has a smile on her face and she wraps these long arms all around you."
Griner is the second tallest player in women's Final Four history behind
She can speak loudly tonight with a big performance against UConn in her first Final Four, a destination you get the feeling Baylor will be visiting more than once during her tenure.