White on Walker?
Greetings from Anaheim, home of Angels, Ducks and Disneyland. This is the second time I’ve been out here covering a sporting event. The first time was the 2004 AL Division Series between the Angels and Red Sox. That wound up working out pretty well for the team I was covering.
The Los Angeles Huskies of Anaheim got here last night, but I just got to the media hotel a short time ago after spending about seven hours planes – six hours to Las Vegas, an hour to Orange County. A little tired, but we’ll be back in the groove tomorrow when the Huskies and San Diego State have their open practices and press conferences (starting at noon local time and ending around 3 p.m. – or 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST). I’ll be doing a live chat from the Honda Center at 7 p.m. EST, about an hour after San Diego State’s practice is over.
One thing that will be interesting to see is how the Aztecs choose to guard Kemba Walker, and if it compares to how they guarded the player most synonymous with Walker.
San Diego State faced BYU and Jimmer Fredette three times this season (losing the first two before gaining revenge in the Mountain West Conference title game). In the first game, point guard D.J. Gay started off on Fredette and The Jimmer went for 43 points.
However, in the second half of that game, 6-foot-8 senior forward Billy White guarded Fredette for a long stretch and held him to five points. Granted, they were five big points, but White did his job.
In their second meeting, White drew the task of guarding Fredette most of the game and “held” him to 25 points. But he made Fredette’s day difficult – the BYU star shot just 8-for-23 from the floor.
And in MWC title game on March 12, White held (again, the term is relative) Fredette to 30 points – on just 10-for-25 shooting.
Fredette is a different type of player than Walker, but obviously, both are prolific scorers who are the lynchpins of their respective teams. Will SDSU coach Steve Fisher put the 6-8 White on the 6-1 (yeah, right) Walker? Here’s betting you see that for at least part of the game, with White getting plenty of help from his teammates as well.
*** I'd go off on a tangent on how embarassing the Big East's performance has been this tournament, but Bill Reynolds pretty much nails it here ... while pointing out that the city of Richmond (with VCU and Richmond) has as many teams in the Sweet 16 as the Big East.
(P.S.: Reynolds' ProJo is also reporting that Ed Cooley is PC's next coach. Good for Ed.)
Actually, a couple of weeks before Reynolds and everybody else, Mike DeCourcy had already nailed it, predicting the Big East would fare poorly in the Big Dance due to its lack of standout players. Kemba Walker excepted, of course.
DeCourcy predicted the Big East would not send a team to the Final Four. Only UConn and/or Marquette remain to prove him wrong.