Archive for Thursday, March 20, 2008

Oddly, Longhorns have look of championship team

March 20, 2008


We all know what a champion looks like because we all have TV. A champion looks like Emeka Okafor swatting down shots like houseflies. A champion looks like Sean May toying with overmatched post defenders. A champion looks like Jay Williams slicing through a defense as though he's armed with a Ginsu knife. A champion looks like Al Horford flexing his biceps with every rebound he collects.

Few teams win the NCAA championship without possessing most of these qualities: physical power, low-post offensive skill, one or more scorers who can break down defenders and the capacity to guard the lane.

Sometimes, it seems D.J. Augustin can handle all of this himself for Texas.

"We felt the best way to get shots around the rim would be to keep the lane open and let D.J. get it to the rim," says UT coach Rick Barnes.

Texas is one of four teams that have been dominant despite lacking some of the traditional components of an NCAA title contender.

As teams adjust to player losses - such as the departure of 2007 player of the year Kevin Durant - coaches must be more creative about how to win big while camouflaging obvious weaknesses.


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