Hoping for One More Scout

Wisconsin assistant coach Lamont Paris has put together thorough, detailed scouting reporters over the Badgers' deep postseason run. Too bad none of the players have seen them.

ARLINGTON, Texas - If you are a betting man (and who isn't this time of year?), it might not be the smartest wager to pick Connecticut over Florida to advance to the national finals Monday night here at AT&T Stadium.

Considering the postseason track record of assistant coach Lamont Paris, the Huskies appear to be toast.

Since this year's postseason began, Paris has had the scouting report for Penn State, BYU and San Diego State, all painstakingly detailed work that is now useless knowledge with each of those opponents failing to earn a victory to draw a matchup with Wisconsin.

"It's a funny situation to be in because you are ultimately looking for who would be a better matchup for us, but sometimes that conflicts since you want to use your scouting report," said Paris, laughing. "As you're scouting with the other assistant and you don't know who is going to win that game, you are calling out the play and what's going to happen so (the other assistants) know I did my job."

This week Paris has studied Connecticut at length, a team the Badgers haven't faced since November 2008. The Huskies (30-8) have advanced to the Final Four under the direction of second-year head coach in Kevin Ollie and the play of All-American guard Shabazz Napier, who tops the team in scoring (18.1), rebounding (5.9), assists (4.9) and steals (1.7).

A win over Florida (30-2) would put Connecticut to win its second NCAA title in four years.

Paris has been sifting through the film all week, which includes the Huskies' 60-54 win over Michigan State to advance to the Final Four and their 65-64 win over Florida December 2, but still has to familiarize himself with Kentucky and the scouting report compiled by associate head coach Greg Gard.

"You're trying to juggle," said Paris. "You have to pay attention to the team you play now, but at the same time learn about a potential foe in a potential next round game. I find myself wishing there was more hours in the day three or four times."

But like the rest of the program, Paris has been able to sit back and enjoy the experience.

"The Final Four itself is so widely recognized that when you advance from the Sweet 16 to the Elite Eight, you'll have a close circle of people who will acknowledge that and congratulate that; a very manageable-sized circle," said Paris. "When you go from the Elite Eight to the Final Four, that circle increased tenfold. Sometimes it's overwhelming to try to contact all those people back."

Paris shared a story of a text message exchange with an unnamed NBA coach who advanced to back-to-back Final Fours as proof.

"He said you don't want to text them back because that opens the gate for a text conversation, and you don't have time for that," said Paris. "It's a whirlwind. It's busy. It's crazy, but it beats the alternative."


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