Advertisement

COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT

Scouting Report

KENTUCKY (34-4) VS. MINNESOTA (31-3), Today, 35 minutes after first game RCA Dome, Indianapolis

March 29, 1997|JASON REID

About Minnesota: The Gophers rely on Bobby Jackson and Sam Jacobson for scoring, leadership and consistency, and they've done what's expected of them all season. Jackson has been especially steady during the Gophers' tournament run. He isn't the flashiest guard around, but Coach Clem Haskins says he wouldn't trade him for anyone. The Gophers average 78.6 points, but they aren't very dynamic offensively. Balance is what they count on, which becomes a problem if Jackson and Jacobson aren't shooting well. John Thomas, Courtney James and Trevor Winter are big, capable post players. The Gophers are solid defensively and Haskins likes to mix his defensive schemes to give opponents something to think about. Minnesota will decide at game time whether to play injured point guard Eric Harris.

MINNESOTA: Starters

No. 33: Eric Harris

No. 24: Bobby Jackson

No. 5: Sam Jacobson

No. 12: John Thomas

No. 4: Courtney James

MINNESOTA *--*

No. Player Pts. FG% FT% Reb. Ast. 24 Jackson 15.0 .441 .784 6.1 3.9 5 Jacobson 13.8 .461 .641 4.6 1.7 33 Harris 11.2 .468 .792 2.2 3.8 12 J. Thomas 9.0 .569 .574 6.3 1.1 4 James 8.4 .600 .500 7.2 1.9 20 Lewis 8.2 .493 .643 2.6 1.4 34 C. Thomas 7.1 .471 .804 1.2 0.5 50 Winter 3.3 .494 .767 3.4 0.4 42 Tarver 1.7 .407 .526 2.7 0.5 3 Archambault 1.4 .324 .600 0.6 0.7 22 Loge 0.0 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 51 Sanden 0.0 .000 .000 0.0 0.0

*--*

About Kentucky: The defending national champions are relaxed and eager to get going. This is the 12th Final Four appearance for the Wildcats, who rely on their pressure defense, fastbreak, three-point shooting and Ron Mercer. The All-American sophomore forward is leaving for the NBA, but Kentucky still has him for now. Mercer, who made his first collegiate splash at last season's Final Four, plays his best as the games get bigger. Scott Padgett has quietly put together some solid tournament performances. Coach Rick Pitino had to use an eight-man rotation in the West Regional at San Jose because of season-ending injuries to star swingman Derek Anderson and forward Allen Edwards, but you couldn't tell the Wildcats were short-handed. Edwards may play in this game. Wayne Turner has started only eight games this season, but runs the team effectively.

Keys to the game: Minnesota's players would love to prove they can beat Kentucky at its own up-tempo game, but Haskins has been around too long to get suckered into that trap. Haskins is determined not to let this turn into a track meet. However, other coaches have been equally focused against Kentucky--and quickly learned they were helpless to stop the Wildcats. Minnesota has more size inside, so Haskins probably will try to exploit that at the start. If Harris' injury hasn't improved significantly by game time, the Gophers won't know what hit them.

KENTUCKY: Starters

No. 5: Wayne Turner

No. 25: Anthony Epps

No. 33: Ron Mercer

No. 42: Jamal Magloire

No. 34: Scott Padgett

KENTUCKY

*--*

No. Player Pts. FG% FT% Reb. Ast. 33 Mercer 18.2 .497 .778 5.2 2.3 34 Padgett 9.4 .418 .750 5.2 1.8 25 Epps 8.7 .401 .833 3.1 1.5 5 Turner 6.5 .471 .525 2.6 2.8 42 Magloire 5.1 .497 .550 4.5 0.3 32 Prickett 8.0 .552 .617 5.9 2.1 13 Mohammed 7.9 .506 .564 5.7 0.3 21 Mills 5.6 .539 .688 1.1 0.7

*--*

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|