Sunday, March 28, 2010
Udoh, Lomers ready for bruising matchup
By Jeff Caplan
HOUSTON -- Baylor's big men, 6-foot-10 Ekpe Udoh and 7-footer Josh Lomers better pack on the body armor for today's South Region final against Duke's low-scoring, but bruising front line.
Duke's 7-footer Brian Zoubek showed off an array of body of body art Saturday. Not tattooes, but black-and-blue battle wounds and scars from doing the dirty work in the paint. Along with 6-10 brothers Miles Plumlee and Mason Plumlee, Duke is an exceptional rebounding team.
Zoubek said he has a plan for thwarting Baylor's exceptional zone defense, finding a way to elude Udoh and crashing the offensive boards. It starts with pump fakes to a get a shot off and then concentrating on cleaning the glass.
"He'll come over and try to block shots on our guards when they drive," Zoubek said of Udoh. "Then the lane will be wide open for offensive rebounding and he won't be blocking out when he tries to block shots."
Zoubek, who averages 7.6 rebounds a game, rotates with the Plumlee brothers, who provide more athleticism and shot blocking.
The Bears have been solid inside and, like Duke, are accustomed to controlling the boards. Lomers is playing his best basketball of the season with 16 rebounds, 12 coming on the offensive glass, in the past two games after averaging fewer than four a game in the regular season.
"We're just going to do the same thing we've done throughout the season, stick with what got us here," Lomers said. "They're good players and we're just going to do our thing."
Udoh said Baylor's 11-5 run through the Big 12 Conference, rated No. 1 in the nation in RPI, has them plenty prepared for swapping elbow blows in the paint.
"The Big 12 has gotten us ready for this stage," Udoh said. "I mean, Kansas State, Kansas, Texas. Everybody in the Big 12 had tough big men. So I think we're ready for this challenge."