For our Florida-BYU preview, we turn to Mountain West Connection's Jeremy Mauss.
1. Without Brandon Davies, how does BYU match Florida's front court depth?
It will be difficult because BYU is paper thin at that position without Davies. BYU has a few big guys like Noah Hartsock, Charles Abouo and James Anderson; none are great defenders and will be an issue especially if any get into foul trouble. The BYU big men did do a solid job against New Mexico who have a strong front court, but Florida's is more superior to them. Defensively, BYU will try to play them straight up for as long as they can, but if there is an issue they may switch to a zone defense. BYU rarely plays zone and if they do it will be out of a necessity to slow down the Gator front court.
2. Without Davies, does Fredette suffer in not having an inside outlet?
No, because Fredette typically creates his own shot or gets the ball from passes along the perimeter. Even with Davies he was not always posting up and getting the ball given to him down low. Fredette will shoot when he is open which can be as as 30 feet from the basket or he will drive to the basket in an effort for a layup or draw a foul.
3. Is Jimmer Fredette's defense a liability, or is it just something people say to knock him down a peg?
His defense is not good, he is slow laterally and it is a mystery to me that teams do not try to attack him and force him to foul whoever he is guarding. Teams also rarely post up on Fredette, he is just over six feet. [Ed. note: The NYT has a good write up on the contrasting opinions of Fredette. -mlm]
4. After Fredette, who is the next best offensive option for BYU?
It really depends who is on that night. Typically it is guard Jackson Emery who has been streaky with his scoring of late. Emery gets a few cheap points off of his defense since he averages nearly three steals per game. Outside of Emery stealing the ball and going in for an uncontested layup he scores from outside and is a catch and shoot player. The other two players who would be the next option are Charles Abouo and Noah Hartsock. It seems that neither are able to have big games at the same time so the odds of that happening are low. Both Abouo and Hartsock also rely on the three-point shot to get there points. Hartsock occasionally can score down low, but typically he gets his points from the outside. If Florida can defend the three-point shot well then they will have an easier time beating BYU.