Monday, February 6, 2012

It's DOOK week

Well, it's dook week, but so much has already happened this the ACC season.  UNC lost by 33 to FSU and lost Dexter Strickland for the season, and dook lost at home to both FSU and Miami.  Both teams are still finding themselves somewhat, but these are still two excellent teams in the grand scheme of things.

Let's look at a little pre-matchup position breakdown for both teams.  This won't be your typical player matchup comparison based on starting lineups, because dook in particular will rotate players at all sorts of positions.  This will be more of a comparison between the frontcourts and backcourts of each team.

I definitely think UNC has the advantage down low.  Zeller and Henson are better than the Plumlees and Ryan Kelly, so I give UNC the edge there.  I'm sure we'll see some matchups with both Plumlees against Zeller and Henson, and that's a lineup that favors UNC athletically but might favor dook physically.  The Plumlees will try to out-physical Zeller and Henson, so they need to be tough and play through contact.  Other lineups will have one Plumlee and Ryan Kelly at the 4, and that's dangerous for UNC because of Kelly's ability to shoot from the outside.  He'll undoubtedly try to float outside and shoot as many threes as he can, so it's imperative that UNC's defense is on the lookout for this and has someone in his face to contest his shots at all times.  However, Kelly should be a liability on defense no matter where he plays - either against Henson at the 4 or Barnes at the 3.  He can't keep up with either of those guys if they're on their game.

The backcourt might favor dook a little more, but it's hard to tell because so much relies on dook's shooting.  Rivers can score, but he doesn't worry me as long as UNC's defense doesn't collapse on him when he drives.  Dawkins and Curry do worry me - they will be the key to dook's offense.  If they're hitting from the outside, they can keep dook in this game.  If they're forced to shoot contested shots, they probably won't hit enough of them to decide the game.

Marshall and Bullock need to have great defensive games for UNC.  I trust that they'll do fine offensively, so I'm not worried there.

To my untrained eye, the matchups appear to favor UNC, but that's why they play the game.  If shots are falling for dook and not for UNC, then anything could happen....

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