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Scouting Friday's Sweet 16 (cont.)

Posted: Wednesday March 23, 2005 12:54PM; Updated: Wednesday March 23, 2005 12:54PM
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AUSTIN REGIONAL: No. 1 Duke vs. No. 5 Michigan State

Duke Starting Five
Pos. Player Yr. Ppg Rpg Apg
G J.J. Redick Jr. 22.1 3.3 2.6
G Sean Dockery So. 6.2 2.8 2.2
G Daniel Ewing Sr. 15.2 3.1 4.1
F Shelden Williams Jr. 15.4 11.3 0.9
F Shavlik Randolph So. 4.5 4.4 1.0
Off the Bench
F Lee Melchionni Jr. 7.6 3.3 0.9
G DeMarcus Nelson Fr. 6.2 4.6 0.8

INSIDE DUKE: Don't tell your kids to use pump fakes against Shelden Williams, because he doesn't go for them. Most post players, if you show them the ball, will go for it 9-of-10 times, but Williams can tell when it's a fake, and he really has a knack for blocking shots. ... You have to jump through him on your way to the basket and make it obvious enough for the ref to blow his whistle. If you're trying to out-man him straight up, you aren't going to win. ... If you can get Williams in foul trouble -- and that's what you want to do -- then, Duke becomes a jump-shooting team. He's their only inside threat.

You can try to control J.J. Redick by picking him up off every screen, switching every time it's necessary an face-guard him so he doesn't get the ball at all. ... Redick is either coming off single or staggered picks, starting from the baseline so he has the maximum amount of court to work with. ... Most of their offensive sets revolve around J.J. -- the staggers and the flex cuts by Williams -- although they might mix in a 1-4 set or a high screen-and-roll for Daniel Ewing. ... Ewing is the guy you need to fear for dribble penetration; Lee Melchionni and Sean Dockery only seem to score if they're wide open.

Power moves are Williams' strong point -- don't let him catch it deep in the post. He's one of the few guys in college basketball who uses his elbows as a weapon to create space for his shot. He doesn't do it to hit you -- it's part of his move. ... Not every team has the manpower to push him off the block, but if you can, do it. ... The Blue Devils have a thin bench, but the foul calls in the tournament are more likely to go their way. It's Duke.

Michigan State Starting Five
Pos. Player Yr. Ppg Rpg Apg
G Drew Neitzel Fr. 3.5 0.7 2.9
G Shannon Brown So. 10.4 3.2 1.8
F Alan Anderson Sr. 13.6 5.4 1.8
F Maurice Ager Jr. 13.5 3.7 2.0
C Paul Davis Jr. 11.8 7.6 1.7
Off the Bench
F Kelvin Torbert Sr. 9.7 2.9 1.4
G Chris Hill Sr. 9.3 1.9 4.3
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INSIDE MICHIGAN STATE: Alan Anderson is the guy who seems to make this team go -- he gets the tough rebounds and plays tough defense. The Spartans try to isolate him one-on-one on offense sometimes, because he's a small, athletic four-man and his defender is generally bigger and slower. ... They've committed to Drew Neitzel, the freshman, at the point, with Chris Hill, the senior (and former starter), coming off the bench. It really seems like they've done a head-game on Hill this season. ... Free-throw shooting has been a problem -- Anderson missed those shots at the end against Iowa in the Big Ten tourney, and Hill missed some big ones in the last few minutes in game at Wisconsin.

They like to push the ball hard up the sideline on a break -- Neitzel will fire it up to Maurice Ager or Shannon Brown, and from there, they'll take a quick 3 if it's open, or attack the hoop. Paul Davis does a great job of filling lanes in transition and they'll get him the ball. ... If they don't score on the break, their halfcourt offense consists of a lot of box-set plays. They'll isolate Davis on ball-screens and slippage. He'll take one dribble and dunk the ball. He also has a good knack for hitting shots when he's not squared up to the basket.

MSU is a tough team, but if you can rile them a little bit, coach Tom Izzo has a tendency to over-coach; he'll call a lot of timeouts and run sideline out-of-bounds plays. If that fails, he can shut down and start to get nasty. ... The biggest thing is, they've been pumping these kids up for a while -- Hill, Anderson, Kelvin Torbert, Davis, etc. -- and they haven't accomplished a lot as far as Big Ten titles or tournament runs. The Spartans are good, but they're a fragile team, in my opinion.