Obviously, the big boy is really good. Think we knew that. NC State is not particularly good, probably not an NCAA tournament team, but isn’t completely hopeless and has some athletic players. Hopefully we can slow down the portly gentleman from Port Arthur.
It’s about 11 minutes, so just the right length to get a feeling of what they can do and what NC State did well against them.
This will be a very good test for Bediako and Braun down low. Both need to make sure they steer clear of fouling too much. Lofton Jr. is so skilled in the paint, I really enjoy watching his game. He is really good at drawing contact and converting on the and-one. I’m excited to watch on Saturday!
Precisely my take. This is Bediako’s game to shine, not only on defense, but in drawing out Lofton in the screen game and then diving to the rim, where NC State got several dunks on him. He doesn’t want to leave the lane but sometimes still gets drawn too far out – so he can be played off of in both ways. I think they will probably want Lofton on Bediako, so he’ll probably be the one involved in that action most.
I think the really tough thing about playing him – besides his talent – is that he doesn’t shoot outside, but if you play off him, rather than taking the shot, he’ll just take the space you’re giving him and use it as a head start to get to the rim.
If you’re going to use fouls, IMO it’s best to use them trying to get and keep position, or being brave trying to get a charge, as he does sometimes try to simply bully his way to the basket. Fouling him near the basket is just pointless, you’d have to give a flagrant 1 to keep him from getting a shot.
Obviously, keeping him moving and busy on defense is beneficial for several reasons.
A strong referee that will limit the contact in the back on box outs would also help.