College Basketball Experience Tournament Preview
Florida (2-0) versus Syracuse (3-0) will be a nice early-season tussle. Both teams believe 2009 will mark a return to the NCAA Tournament. For different reasons these recent NCAA Champions missed the Big Dance last year.
For ‘Cuse, the two-year hiatus stings even worse.
Two of the nation’s finest point guards provide the source of renewed faith. Florida runs out Nick Calathes, while Jonny Flynn bounces the orange for Syracuse.
Two starters, Calathes and Chandler Parsons played together in the Florida State Final Four every single year of high school. These super sophomores need only improve their D. Last year the defense played by the C + C Music Factory was a “Thing That Makes You Go Hmmm.”
A weak body (Parsons) and slow feet (Calathes) allowed SEC opponents to shoot a steamy 45% from the floor.
Syracuse center Arinze Onuaku, the “Nigerian Hulk” will test the improved physical strength of Parsons.
Flynn certainly plans on attacking Calathes off the dribble. Look for Florida to hide NC on Eric Devendorf. If Devo re-discovers the bravado Boeheim remembers, then this matchup will define the game.
Kansas (2-0) ball handler Sherron Collins has recognized the gravity of the moment. The proud Jayhawks’ family needs him to take charge and he is doing just that.
The Chicago product crammed 18 points into his first half against Florida Gulf Coast. He has poured in 60% of his shots early in the season and is finally allowed to dominate the ball in this his junior year.
Washington (2-1) is a one trick pony this year. Jon Brockman is being touted as a National Player of the Year Candidate. Though unrealistic, the expectation reveals his importance to the Huskies. He leads them in points, rebounds, and effort.
For any human to dump in one-third of the team’s scoring and yank down one-fourth of his team’s rebounds defies comprehension.
Washington will lose but only because Brockman can’t make his fellow Huskies mush.