This week in the Prep Force Challenge it’s the Big East and the Big 10 champs squaring off with UConn facing Ohio State. In a little of a surprise to me the fans voted the all around solid starting 5 over the much deeper Kansas Jayhawks. Lets see if that carries over again to this matchup. I will break it down by position and you will vote at the end who you think would win.
Point Guard – Mike Conley vs Kemba Walker
Mike conley is having another solid year as a starting point guard for the Memphis Grizzles. He is putting up 13 and 7 with a solid 2.8 AST/TO ratio. His shooting from the field is down slightly but he is making up for it by shooting 89% from the free throw line. Kemba has been in and out of the starting lineup for Charlotte and has proven to be more of a spark plug than a true point guard. He is scoring 13 PPG but only averages 3.8 assists and 2.1 ASt/TO ratio. At this point Conley is the better point guard but as Kemba gets more experience that may change.
Edge – Conley
Shooting Guard – Michael Redd vs Ray Allen
This is a matchup of two of the best shooting guards in the league during the mid 2000’s. Unfortunately both are older now and even though Allen is 4 years older he is still the better player. He is shooting 3’s at the highest % of his career at a remarkable 48.6% which is third in the NBA. Redd has raised his scoring from last year up to alomst 8 a game but he is no match for Allen.
Edge – Allen
Small Forward – Evan Turner vs Rudy Gay
Evan Turner has still not quite lived up to expectations in his second year in the NBA. He has upped his averages slightly to 8 PPG and 5.5 RPG but he has is still behind Jodie Meeks for the Philadelphia 76ers. Rudy Gay on the other hand is having another great year for Memphis averaging 19 PPG and 6.5 RPG showing why he is one of the better small forwards in the game. Rudy Gay would have little trouble in this matchup.
Edge – Gay
Power Forward – Kosta Koufos vs Charlie Villanueva
Kosta Koufos is averaging career highs of 5 PPG and % RPG as he gets more playing time in Denver. he got some spot starts and shot the ball well at 58.5%. Charile Villanueva has been hobbled by injury this year but he should be back soon and there is no reason to beleive he is still not at 11 PPG player.
Edge – Villanueva
Center – Byron Mullens vs Emeka Okafor
Byron Mullens started out the season hot as a starter. he has since been moved to the bench and has cooled off a bit but he has shown he is getting better and will be in the league for a while. Okafor averages are slighly down this year but he is still a solid NBA starting center.
Edge – Okafor
Bench – Ohio State – Dequan Cook, Greg Oden
Connecticut – AJ Price, Ben Gordon, Richard Hamilton, Caron Butler, Hilton Armstrong, Haseem Thabeet
Its getting harder and harder to inlcude Oden in this challenge as the injuries pile up. That leaves Ohio State with only Dequan Cook coming off the bench. While he is a solid wing palyer he can play down low. U Conn on the other hand has good backups at every position outside of center. There is no comparison here.
Edge – UConn
Conclusion – I am not sure how Ohio State could pull it off outside of slowing it down and Mike Conley creating enough easy shots against the UCon point guards. Rudy Gay is far and away the best player on the floor and should lead the Huskies to victory.
Who would win