Scouts' Takes

SI asked assistant coaches who had faced an '09 Final Four team to share their insights about its offense, defense and difference-maker
April 05, 2009

HOW TO BEAT NO.CAROLINA
vs.
HOW TO BEAT VILLANOVA

[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

WHEN THE TAR HEELS HAVE THE BALL
"You have to defend them one on one. They put five talented guys out therewho can score, so you can't cheat off anyone. The key is slowing down TyLawson. You have to get back in transition and keep him in front of you. He'sdangerous because he can get to the rim, he can pull up and shoot, and he candump it to the wings. Deny him the ball at every opportunity."
WHEN THE WILDCATS HAVE THE BALL
"You have to defend on the perimeter because they have quick, terrificguards and they thrive on penetration. They get into the lane and create[shots]. You need to match their quickness on the perimeter [because] one wayor another, they're trying to get in the paint, off the dribble or with ballscreens."
ATTACKING THE HEELS' DEFENSE
"You have to cut hard against them (because they're so quick) and setaggressive screens [to] out-physical them. Get possession down deep. They liketo double-team when you do, but if you go strong to the basket, you'll get themin foul trouble."
ATTACKING THE 'NOVA DEFENSE
"The most important thing to do is take care of the ball. Some say theyplay zone, but it's really man-to-man. They will switch, and there will bemismatches, and they'll be vulnerable inside because they're not a really bigteam. I would get the ball inside, but in order to do that you'll need to makesure your guards aren't overpowered."
X FACTOR
"Danny Green (above). When he shoots well from the perimeter, it opensthings up inside. But if you get out too tight on Green, he can drive pastyou."
X FACTOR
"Corey Stokes is easy to forget about because they have Corey Fisher andScottie Reynolds, but Stokes is an unbelievable shooter."

WINNER: NORTHCAROLINA

HOW TO BEATMICHIGAN ST.
vs.
HOW TO BEAT UCONN

[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

WHEN THE SPARTANS HAVE THE BALL

"You have to disrupt their patterns and make them play five-on-five. Thatmeans containing Kalin Lucas in transition. You can't allow them to go to theirfirst or second option. You have to force them to look at their third or fourthoption."
WHEN THE HUSKIES HAVE THE BALL
"Jeff Adrien is a little shaky throwing the ball in. You can press theHuskies, but then you have to mix man and zone in the half-court. HasheemThabeet is great going to his left [in close], but if you can keep him fromdoing that, he can't score."
ATTACKING THE SPARTANS
"You must be aggressive. They are very physical, and they don't give youanything easy. You have to get player movement and ball movement and make theextra pass to get open looks. They do a great job of scouting your tendenciesand taking away where you want to go, so you have to make plays."
ATTACKING THE HUSKIES
"Because they're so big, you [tend to] just pass the ball around theperimeter and shoot threes. But you've got to drive on them. They have a lot oftalented guards but not much depth inside. Even though Thabeet blocks a lot ofshots, you have to take the ball right at his chest and be aggressive. He'sfoul-prone if you go at him."
X FACTOR
"It's how well they shoot the three. When they're hitting them consistently[as they did against Louisville, shooting 50.0% from beyond the arc], they'rereally tough to beat."
X FACTOR
"A.J. Price (left). He's quick and crafty, and defenders need to know thathe has both crossovers—he goes right-to-left and left-to-right, and they'reboth deadly. He's the one who always takes the big shots."

WINNER:CONNECTICUT

winner UCONN

PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (PRICE) PHOTOBOB ROSATO (GREEN)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)