Scouting report: Breaking down the Final Four

Posted Friday, Apr. 04, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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TCU coach Trent Johnson breaks down the teams and explains how to beat them.


Why they’re good: Napier has put them on his back much like Kemba Walker did [en route to the 2011 title]. [Coach] Kevin Ollie has probably done as good a job in his second year as anybody could ever imagine. He doesn’t get enough credit for the job he’s done. He’s following one of the best coaches [Jim Calhoun] ever and he’s had to deal with the academic issues they had ... and he has that team in the Final Four?

How you beat them: How goes their guard play that’s how their team goes. If you want to have a chance to beat them you better try to contain [Shabazz] Napier. He’s got great courage, a great skill set and he makes great plays whether it’s shooting, passing, whatever. He’s as good a guard as there is in the country.


Why they’re good: I think all of Calipari’s teams, and I’m very familiar with them because I played against them for four years [while coaching at LSU], they’re going to attack the rim, they’re dribble-drive orientated. Whether it’s from the perimeter, whether it’s from the post, they attack the rim and they rebound it. And they’re going to guard you. They play extremely hard. I don’t think coach Calipari gets enough credit for getting a bunch of talented guys on the same page and playing extremely hard. They can rebound it and they’re very physical. They’re a team that’s always been when those guys are right and they’ve bought into him, they can play fast, they can play slow and he does as good a job as anybody of getting a bunch of talent to come together and play hard and that’s hard to do in a short period of time.

How you beat them: I don’t know. You might want to ask someone who has beaten them. You better play really well, you better rebound really well, you better shoot it really well and you better not turn it over. What people can’t understand is the weakness they had earlier in the year is they’re all so young. That’s not a weakness anymore. That’s why they’re playing well. That’s why they’re in the Final Four. They’re not young anymore. They don’t have a whole lot of weakness to me.


Why they’re good: Very experienced. Tough. Seniors. I mean there’s a reason why they’ve only lost two games. You talk about a bunch of guys who’ve been through it. Billy [Donovan] is one of the best. Excellent perimeter play. Their ability to handle the pass and catch it is exceptional. They’re the most experienced team in the Final Four.

How you beat them: You better make a lot of shots and handle their pressure. And you better rebound the ball and you better take care of the ball.


Why they’re good: They’re very balanced. From a perimeter standpoint, they might be the most-skilled team. The way they share it, pass it and catch it. Bo [Ryan] is a heck of a coach, obviously. [Sam] Dekker and [Frank] Kaminsky are both pro prospects. To have a 7-footer (Kaminsky) who can pass it and shoot it like he does. [Traevon] Jackson is really an underrated point guard. They’ve got two or three guys there that will go pro.

How you beat them: You’re going to have to defend them throughout the shot clock and really be disciplined defensively. They’re going to pass and make you guard them. The other thing is, they don’t get credit for the way they guard.

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