Busting Brackets

Alabama Basketball: 3 keys for Final Four NCAA Tournament game against UConn

Clemson v Alabama
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Rattle Donovan Clingan

Last year, people knew of Donovan Clingan, but his impact was limited by the presence of Adama Sanogo. When Clingan decided to spurn the NBA and return for his sophomore season, the people of Storrs may have felt like they won a second title in one year, aware of what was to come.

Some of the sophomore's numbers don't seem particularly threatening: 12.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game seems to suggest Clingan is a very good big man, but maybe not the upper echelon of the elite. His 2.5 blocks per game is more intimidating.

His impact goes beyond the numbers, of course. His 7-foot-2, 280-pound is extremely intimidating. He can block shots inside, but his presence also prevents some from even driving to the lane, knowing what awaits them. That allows UConn to pay more attention to its perieter defense, knowing it has a rim protector on the inside.

If Oats is going to rely on Grant Nelson to bang around with Clingan on either end of the court, it's going to be an issue. Nelson is a battler, but he's also 50 pounds and three inches smaller than the Huskies center. It's a mismatch Dan Hurley will likely exploit.

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The Huskies have so many different options on the offensive end, from Tristen Newton to Alex Karaban to Cam Spencer and beyond - that's why it's so hard to contain them. Trying to slow them down, however, starts with Clingan, whether that's pestering him or trying to drive at him to get him into foul trouble early.