Anyway, I have combined the forwards/centers into just post players, although I understand the small forwards, or the “3” position, isn’t really a post player. While the Cats have an advantage over the Cards in the backcourt (although I am now going to change from Jerry Smith to Preston Knowles as the best guard for UK), UL has an advantage in the front court.
Small Forward: Terrence Williams v. Ramon Harris/Darius Miller. Advantage: UL. Williams, who I refuse to call T-Will, is an all around solid player. In fact, he is what I think DeAndre Liggins could grow into for the Cats. However, he has one BIG weakness. He can’t shoot, but he think he can. This is a deadly combo and leads to a 3 point% in the high 20s. Despite this weakness, he can handle the ball, distribute the ball, drive to the hole, and play solid D. Harris is a great defensive player and I hope he is able to play against the Cards, but he is limited offensively. Miller has talent but is going through a giant funk right now. If there is one position that UL has a big advantage, this is it.
Power Forward: Patrick Patterson v. Earl Clark. Advantage: UK. Clark can handle the ball better and shoot from the perimeter better. NBA scouts love him and he would have been a lottery pick last year. But, he doesn’t always come to play. Sometimes, like UK’s Perry Stevenson, he takes himself out of the game by not playing aggressively or seeming disinterested. Patterson comes to play every day, giving full effort each time. Although the UL game was one of the few poor ones for Patterson last year, he was still trying to do well. When Clark is being aggressive, such as Ole Miss, he is almost unguardable with his ability to score from anywhere on the court. Unfortunately for UL, this cannot be counted on every game.
Center: Samardo Samuels v. Stevenson/Josh Harrelson. Advantage: Push. Samuels came into the season with a lot of hype as a one and done type player. Although ESPN still has him as a first round pick, he is not having the dominating type of year expected of a one and done guy. For an example of a freshman having a great year in the post, see Greg Monroe of Georgetown play. He was awesome against UConn earlier this week, but I digress. Samuels has trouble against guys his size or bigger. Stevenson is extremely inconsistent, often disappearing for long stretches of time on offense, but always bringing the D with his shot block ability. Harrelson’s inconsistency can partly be blamed on playing time, which has been all over the place. I had a long debate with a friend of mine about whether Stevenson or Patterson would guard Samuels. I think he has trouble either way, but the only way for UK to get the advantage is for Stevenson to play aggressive on offense. And, like UL’s Clark, this consistency is not always present.
But tonight, or rather this late afternoon, the football Cats play the ECU Pirates at 5:00EST in the Liberty Bowl. The Cats are underdogs, but remember WE BELIEVE. I will be at Winchell’s watching the game and enjoying the food. And, if I can figure out how to do it on my iPhone, giving some updates.