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Something in reserve

March 30, 2007

Times assistant sports editor Mike Hiserman looks at the substitutes who could make an impact at the Final Four:

UCLA's Alfred Aboya | Forward-Center, 6-8, 235, Sophomore

* The Bruins have by far the smallest frontline in the Final Four, and if either Lorenzo Mata or Luc Richard Mbah a Moute gets in foul trouble, Aboya will get plenty of playing time. He's averaging 4.1 points and 4.2 rebounds in about 17 minutes a game.

Also watch: Michael Roll, a 6-5 sophomore swingman who averages only 4.9 points but is a streak shooter who for stretches can jump-start the UCLA offense.

Ohio State's Daequan Cook

Guard, 6-5, 210, freshman

* Plays half the game on average and is fourth on the team in scoring (10.2) and third in rebounding (4.5). His 54 three-point baskets is a Buckeyes freshman record and his 42.2% shooting from beyond the arc is fourth-best in the history of the program. Has two double-doubles -- 17 points and 11 rebounds against Youngstown State and 12 points and 10 rebounds against Purdue.

Also watch: Othello Hunter, a 6-9 junior who has provided strong defense

and rebounding when center Greg Oden has been sidelined by injury or foul trouble.

Florida's Chris Richard

Forward-center, 6-9, 255, senior

* As if Florida needs help in its frontcourt with NBA prospects Joakim Noah and Al Horford, the Gators have strong and athletic Richard coming off the bench. Injury plagued during his first two seasons in Gainesville, the former Florida Mr. Basketball is averaging 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in about 18 minutes a game.

Also watch: Walter Hodge, a 6-0 sophomore guard who averages 5.8 points and is shooting 50.7% (34 of 67) from three-point range.

Georgetown's Patrick Ewing

Forward, 6-8, 238, junior

* Averaging 4.2 points and 2.1 rebounds overall and 5.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in the NCAA tournament. His father stayed in the post; he doesn't. He does play tough defense, though, and is capable of sparking the Hoyas offense. Ewing has made 16 of 35 three-point shots (45.7%) and reached double figures in scoring four times, including 15 points on seven-of-11 shooting in 28 minutes against Notre Dame in a Big East tournament semifinal.

Also watch: Jeremiah Rivers, a 6-4 freshman guard who had seven assists in Georgetown's tournament opener against Belmont.

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