Final Four: Wichita State vs. Louisville

Wichita State guard Fred VanVleet during Friday’s practice.

  • I expect Louisville to try to get the ball out of Malcolm Armstead’s hands and make other Shockers beat their pressure. Players such as Tekele Cotton and Ron Baker are going to need to make good decisions and not play too fast against the pressure. Carl Hall and Cleanthony Early are probably going to serve as pressure-release outlets. Ohio State tried to fluster Fred VanVleet, with no success. The Cardinals will likely target the freshman, as well.
  • The Shockers will need to make Louisville jump shooters, much as they did with Ohio State guard Aaron Craft in the Elite Eight. I expect the Shockers to go under screens and live with a few made three-pointers. If that keeps Louisville guards out of the lane, they will live with that.
  • WSU coach Gregg Marshall has cut down his rotation in the tournament. Will he give Jake White, Nick Wiggins or Chadrack Lufile an early look and how will they respond to the pace and the stage? The Shockers could use a bonus boost from the bench.  I thought WSU tired a  bit near the end of the Ohio State game and Louisville’s press could do the same thing.
  • WSU has started each game with stretches of light’s out basketball. That would be important again tonight. The Shockers need to reach the 5- and 10-minute marks in good shape with some momentum working for them.
  • WSU had three sessions to get used to the Dome.
  • Cotton’s defense, rebounding symbolizes Wichita State’s march to Atlanta.
  • Louisville walk-on may play larger role.
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  • Louisville coverage from The Louisville Courier-Journal