To get a better idea of what each team should be expecting tonight- and trust me considering the way these two teams have played this season, both camps don't quite know what to expect - One Foot Down exchanged questions with VooDooFive (follow Ken DeCelles @SBNVooDooFive) to talk about tonight's game. You can check out my answers at www.voodoofive.com later this afternoon.
Questions and answers after the jump.
Having competent point guard play has been a big plus compared to last year. While
I'd throw Ron Anderson Jr. in there as well. Ron is by far our best post defender and will be a good challenge for Cooley down low when he comes in.
Gilchrist and especially Fitzpatrick are both bigs who can spread out defenses with their ability to shoot from anywhere on the court. Fitzpatrick in particular has really emerged as a consistent scorer from anywhere on the floor. He has excellent court vision and can send a crisp pass when defensed collapse on him. Gus has the ability do this as well, but sometimes he will become a black hole and shoot the
ball no matter what ND throws at him.
3. USF seems to have had just as many ups and downs as ND has so far this season, getting blown out by Kansas, almost upsetting UConn, then blowing out Villanova on the road, which team will show up in South Bend? Is the team that played the last 3 games the team we will see hit the floor?
I sure hope so. We've been hit hard with the injury bug this year with Anthony Collins (6 games), Poland (11 games), Gilchrist (3 games), and Fitzpatrick (1 game) all missing time for one reason or another. This is the first time we've actually had everyone healthy at once. They're playing with a confidence that we haven't seen in almost two years, and its been fun seeing this team improve as the year goes on.
He's definitely rounding into form. We've missed a consistent perimeter scorer since Dominique Jones left and Poland is starting emerge as that guy we can lean on when we need a basket. He's extremely athletic and can jump out of the gym when given the chance, but he's really improved on his outside shot over the offseason to make him a complete scorer.
Just don't be surprised if you hear the announcer screams JAWANZA! at some point during the game.
5. Mike Brey usually likes to start out the game with man to man defense then switches to the 2-3 zone for long stretches. How will Stan Heath likely attack ND's zone?
We will rotate the ball around the perimeter before getting the ball in the high post (normally Anderson Jr.) and either make the diagonal pass to Poland and Shaun Noriega, or find the other post down low. Either that or aimlessly pass the ball without reason and shoot contested 18 footers. Always one or the other.
First to 55 wins? Both teams play at a much slower pace than most teams, and it'll come down to who hits their shots at the end. I think the Bulls continue their strong play and pull off a 66-61 win.
Big thanks to Ken for these answers- I trust we'll see a good game tonight. Tip off is scheduled for 7:00pm in Purcell Pavilion.