New tournament, same format. What follows below are the three facets of the game where UC must have success to survive and advance to Sunday.
Close Out Possessions
By which I mean rebound. The issue with UC in losses hasn't been first shot defense. In fact first shot defense has been a relative strength of this team all season long. Where the issue lies is with closing out possessions by getting defensive rebounds. The biggest reason for that is the four guard lineup. Its just harder to rebound with lineup, even if JaQuon Parker continues to do super human things.
Texas is a team that offensive rebounds very well, and they have all season long. UC has to shut that off. The trade off is that the guards will all have to crash the boards instead of leaking out for the break. That will slow the pace down and most likely eliminate a few opportunities for easy buckets. But the alternative of Texas routinely turning offensive rebounds into uncontested three point attempts isn't acceptable.
Attack The Basket
It isn't in the nature of this team to do that, but its a must. With Alexis Wangmene out with an injury the Longhorns are short handed in the post. Clint Chapman, Jaylen Bond and Jonathan Holmes are the only posts available to play. It should be the goal to get all of them in foul trouble. I could care less about getting free throw attempts. We all know it won't mean much. But getting those bigs in trouble will help. And it wouldn't exactly hurt to get Dion Dixon and Sean Kilpatrick, both of whom are really struggling with their shots right now extra chances to see the ball go through the net.
Judicious Use Of The Zone
Mick Cronin has become a big fan of the zone in recent weeks. He should proceed with caution using it against the Longhorns. playing the zone will make defensive rebounding, which is the key to the game for my money that much harder against a Texas team that crashes the offensive glass as hard as anyone UC has faced. For that reason I think a man to man approach is best. But I would sprinkle in some zone. This is a young Texas team. It never hurts to give young players more to think about.
What is your key to the game DTDers