Will Wade didn’t mince words when asked how his team might handle a matchup with Hunter Dickinson.
“Not well,” the LSU coach said. “He’s massive.”
It’s easy to forget in a Big Ten schedule where 7-footers are a weekly occurrence, but there are power conference teams with next to no experience against someone like Dickinson. Michigan’s second-round opponent happens to be one.
Jeremiah Tillmon, Missouri’s 6-foot-10 center, was the closest facsimile Wade could come up with. Darius Days, LSU’s 6-foot-7 big, named Tillmon, then Arkansas, a team that features a 7-footer, but one who plays just 40.5 percent of minutes.
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The Tigers, and their SEC brethren, like to play small. Their bigs are more athletic, more perimeter-oriented. They’re making a bet that when they see guys like Dickinson, the mismatch will work in their favor. The outcome of the bet could help end a team’s season on Monday night.
And to hear Wade tell it, that mismatch will be an uphill climb for LSU.
“We’ve gotta somehow keep the ball out of the post,” Wade said. “Because when they get it in the post, not only do they have high-quality scoring opportunities, they’re gonna get the offensive rebounds. And it’s just a matter of whether they make it or we foul them.”