TEXAS: With a brilliant point guard in TJ Ford and an inside presence in James Thomas, Syracuse will have its hands will as it attempts to advance to the championship game.

Texas, like Oklahoma, plays tough, hard-nosed defense and doesn't shy away from physical contact. Thomas is more than capable of eating up Syracuse's big men while Ford can get to the lane at will and create for teammates. TJ Ford
Position: Guard
Class: Sophomore
Vitals: 5-foot-10, 165 pounds

Stats: 15 ppg, 4 rebs, 7.5 asts

Strengths: Incredibly gifted athlete. … Quick and imaginative passer. Extremely talented ballhandler. … A true leader with the ball. … Above average slasher and effective at the free-throw line.

Weakness: Turnover prone… Averaged 3.3 turnovers. Not a gifted shooter… Hovered around 40 percent for most of the season from the field… Only a 23 percent shooter from 3-point land.

James Thomas
Position: Center
Class: Junior
Vitals: 6-foot-8, 235 pounds
Stats: 11.3 ppg, 11.2 rebs, 0.7 blk
Strengths: Strong and bulky player and uses size. … Establishes good position under basket and starts moves early. … Solid low-post game and can hit turnaround jumper effectively. … When double-teamed, can find open player.
Weaknesses: Not a great shotblocker. … Contributes at times on the weakside but not enough. … Foul prone with 2.5 a game. … Can be too aggressive around the hoop.

Brandon Mouton
Position: Guard
Class: Junior
Vitals: 6-foot-4, 2-5 pounds
Stats: 14.4 ppg, 4.3 rebs, 1.3 ast
Strengths: Good form on shot, above average shooter … Versatile. Can back opponents in or overpower smaller defenders with drive. Can also catch and shoot and is effective off screens.
Weaknesses: Not terribly explosive and lacks ability to get to lane at will. … Defense can be suspect at times. … Not blessed with great court vision. … Gives up size to bigger swingmen.

Royal Ivey
Position: Guard
Class: Junior
Vitals: 6-foot-4, 205 pounds
Stats: 8.0 ppg, 3.0 rebs, 1.6 ast
Strengths: Great defender with excellent basketball instincts. … Excellent slasher who can finish in traffic. … Pull-up jumper from midrange is effective.
Weaknesses: Erratic shooter. … Can only hit from deep if wide-open. … Foul prone averaging nearly three fouls a game. … Power forward trapped in a guard's body.

Brian Boddicker
Position: Forward
Class: Junior
Vitals: 6-foot-8, 228 pounds
Stats: 8.0 ppg, 4.3 rebs, 0.5 ast
Strengths: Good shooter with a quick release. … Solid rebounder with good fundamentals. … Can post with an effective jumper.
Weaknesses: Not a manuerable player. … Rebounding limited to defensive end rebounding. … Can't fight through screens or create own shot.

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