Saturday, April 9, 2011
Which "X" Will Be a Factor?
As game day draws near against George Mason, much has been said about potential X-factors deciding the outcome of tomorrow night's contest. Like the Irish, George Mason doesn't have a real deep bench to draw points from. Despite the lack of depth, both squads have personnel that will cause matchup problems.
The Patriots believe that 6-4 Guard/Forward Folarin Campbell is their guy; and who could blame them? Campbell is George Mason's leading scorer at 15.9 points a game, while dishing out three assists a game. His large frame (205 lbs.) and quickness will have an effect on the Irish guards. But can the Patriots combat with what Notre Dame will throw at them?
Since being inserted into the starting lineup, junior wingman Zach Hillesland has provided the spark that ignited the Irish to a second place finish in the Big East and a second consecutive bye in the conference tournament. What Hillesland lacks in statistical categories, he makes up with his all around athleticism, 6.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists season average. He's also the go to guy when the Irish are being pressed and can handle the ball up court and find the open man. Whatever the role may be, Hillesland provides the fuel for the Irish engine.
Another surprise X-Factor for the Irish will be the two headed monster of Luke Zeller and Jonathan Peoples. Both can hit the outside shot with ease and can provide valuable minutes for the Irish. Watch for Zeller to make some key shots tomorrow night, while Peoples will add much needed depth in the backcourt.