Final Four: Key to MSU’s 10-foot game


Hasheem Thabeet, hear him roar.

UCONN won’t try to hide its game plan. It’s going to force you to go inside against its skyscraper of a center, then dare you to score on him. In all likelihood, you’ll be getting a face full of orange leather when you try.

Granted, Thabeet might have a bit of trouble scoring against top of the line defenders, but that’s not the key to his 10-foot game. He’s going to block the ball and rebound, and he’s going to do it a lot. A.J. Price and Jeff Adrien will handle the offense; Thabeet just has to do what he does best: be tall.

UCONN’s big man really is the lynchpin of the team. Goran Suton isn’t going to score on him; Thabeet is averaging six less blocks a game than Suton is points.

Don’t even get me started on Tyler Hansbrough, either. The guy has a ton of heart, and he plays the game the right way, but hustle can’t make up for five inches of height. Villanova’s nonexistent inside game is really the only threat to UCONN, mostly because they’ll probably just give up on the idea of going inside right away.

Detroit, prepare to feel the wrath of Thabeet.