23-Leyton Hammonds, 6-8, 215, Sr., North Richland Hills, Texas
5 -D.J. Wilson, 6-10, 240, Jr., Sacramento (Capitol Christian School), Calf.
Hammonds has been hot and cold this season and the Cowboys are, obviously, better when he plays well. He is averaging 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds a game, but there are extremes as he has 11 games where he has had double figures in scoring, a high of 21 in a huge win at TCU, 19 at Iowa State in a loss, and 18 in a very important win at Kansas State. He has also had eight games where he scored three points or less. He has had two double-doubles and they both came against First Four teams that played in Dayton (New Orleans and Kansas State). Hammonds needs to be on in Indy.
Wilson is taller and has the edge with a scoring average of 10.6 points and a rebounding average of 5.4. He has 19 double-digit scoring games including 28 at Iowa and 26 in the Big 10 Tournament win over Purdue. He has two double-doubles, but is much less consistent and dependable on the glass.
41-Mitchell Solomon, 6-9, 245, Jr., Bixby, Okla.
13-Moritz “Moe” Wagner, 6-11, 240, So., Berlin (Alba Berlin), Germany
The Cowboys best defender of the rim and the inside, Solomon is capable of taking his defense outside to guard a shooter and Wagner has fired 104 three-pointers this season. Solomon is averaging 5.4 points and 5.1 rebounds a game. Mark my words though, he is needed more for his defense and a less explosive inside player he has to match up with and a team that does not depend of even go to scoring inside as a main part of their offense should help Solomon. His free throw shooting is legendary for a big man as he shoots 78.4 percent.
Wagner is a “Euro” style big player with a 12.0 scoring average and 4.2 rebounds a game. He had 21 points in a regular season game with Wisconsin and 24 points in a regular season game with Purdue. His best game in the Big 10 Tournament was 17 points vs. Minnesota. He is a scorer, so-so on rebounding and defending.
30-Jeffrey Carroll, 6-6, 215, Jr., Rowlett, Texas
21-Zak Irvin, 6-6, 215, Sr., Fishers (Hamilton Southeastern), Ind.
Carroll is one of the best players in the Big 12 and in the country as he is averaging 17.3 points and 6.6 rebounds a game. He is now shooting just under 54 percent from the field and just under 44 percent from beyond the arch. He has scored over 20 points in 14 games this season and he has three double-doubles. He is consistent with just four games where he hasn’t reached double digits in scoring. He fits well with this team and the guard play of Evans and Forte.
This is the player that is dangerous as if Wilson is not on, Irvin can take over the game as either a scorer or assister. He is also a strong on the ball defender, at least by Michigan standards. He averages 12.8 points a game and is really consistent, rarely below 10 points and higher than 16 points only six times. He is the player that does what has to be done offensively, if there is something lacking.
13-Phil Forte III, 5-11, 195, Sr., Flower Mound (Marcus), Texas
12-Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman, 6-4, 190, Jr. Allentown (Catholic Central), Pa.
You will know in the first five minutes of the game how this match-up is going to go. The concern is the 6-4 size of Rahkman as that length and his athleticism could shut down Forte’s opportunities for shots. If it does, it will put pressure on the Cowboys offense to make up for the 13.4 points that Forte averages with so much of that coming from beyond the arch. He can stretch the defense if he is getting shots. If not, it can be a struggle. He will still play very hard and will defend, actually defends players taller than he is pretty well.
Offensively, Rahkman is averaging 9.1 points per game and averages about a steal a game. He is a 47 percent shooter from the field and a 39 percent here-point shooter.
Edge: Check it the first 5 minutes
1 – Jawun Evans, 6-1, 195, Dallas (Kimball), Texas
10-Derrick Walton Jr., 6-1, 190, Sr., Detroit (Chandler Park Academy), Mich.
Worth the price of admission as Evans is awesome with an 18.7 scoring average, 6.3 assists a game, and almost two steals a game. He is the catalyst for the Cowboys. When he is on just about anything is possible. He has only scored in single digits in four games and when he has the Cowboys are 3-1, but two of those wins were Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He is capable of taking the game over and winning it.
Walton can do the same for the Wolverines and did in the Big 10 Championship Game with Wisconsin. He averages 15.2 points a game and 4.7 rebounds. He also averages 4.6 assists a game. He averaged 20.5 points a game in the Big 10 Tournament. He is also the best defensive guard on the Michigan team and it will be interesting if both coaches choose to have their point guards covering each other.
24 Davon Dillard, 6-5, 215, So., Gary (Our Savior New American School), Ind.
22-Duncan Robinson, 6-8, 215, Sr., New Castle (Phillips Exeter Academy), N.H.
Two different style of bench players as Dillard gives the Cowboys some explosion and toughness. He is averaging 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds a game, but also one explosive momentum play a game. It can be a dunk or a massive block or a dive on the floor turnover. Robinson averages 7.9 points but only 1.9 rebounds.