“I don’t think anyone can beat Gonzaga,” veteran Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said this week, a quote that made its way into a second-half graphic. “I’ve never seen a team (so far ahead) since UCLA when John Wooden was there.”
Obviously Jim Boeheim knows a lot more about basketball than I ever will, but if Syracuse was about to take the court against Gonzaga, I don’t think he’d say what he says above to his team in the locker room before the game.
From what I’ve seen of Gonzaga, it’s possible to get the ball inside against their defense, but you have to have players with the ability to score inside. I think Jay Huff could do it, but if you’re also going to be a shot-blocker you run the risk of getting called for fouls, no matter how great a shot-blocker you are.
I don’t know the status of Kadin Shedrick. Or Kody Stattmann. Maybe we won’t see either of them again this season. It’s not up to Tony Bennett to tell future opponents what the health status of each of our players are, of course. Shedrick lost 20 pounds in one month during this school year, and he was already a little thin.
Sam Hauser is not a center, but he’s a great outside shooter. Clark would have to create for him. Clark can be almost impossible to stop one-on-one, as far as creating open shots for teammates. Gonzaga’s point guard is a great NBA prospect, but he’s still just a freshman.
Caffaro is still working on his balance when he gets the ball around the hoop.
So, Clark would have to take the ball to the basket, and then get it to an open outside shooter. I think that would be our best bet. He’s been a much-improved player since the Gonzaga game. If we could make it to the Final Eight, we could wind up playing Gonzaga again.
We can beat Gonzaga! But it’s going to depend on Clark creating with the ball, getting the ball inside to Jay Huff, and our shooters getting free and hitting outside shots.
So, UVa would have to get Jay Huff the ball around the basket, over and over. A lot can happen between now and the NCAA tournament. Players can come down with COVID-19, for one thing. In the NCAA tournament, I don’t think you can ask to have a game postponed until your team is healthy.