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Radford 2009 NCAA Tournament Preview

 

Radford Highlanders (21-11, 15-3) - Big South Conference

Seed: #16 - South Region

RPI: 131

Big Wins: 1/24 at Liberty (94-82), 2/14 at UNC Asheville (66-65), 2/21 at VMI (97-90)

Bad Losses: 11/25 at William & Mary (53-73), 11/29 at Navy (71-73), 12/4 Gardner-Webb (71-91)

Last NCAA Appearance: 1998, First Round loss to Duke

Coach: Brad Greenberg (First NCAA appearance)



Probable Radford Starters:

  • Amir Johnson, Junior, Guard, 9.6 ppg, 5.3 apg, 4.7 rpg

  • Kenny Thomas, Senior, Guard, 14.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg

  • Phillip Martin, Junior, Forward, 4.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg

  • Joey Lynch-Flohr, Junior, Forward, 13.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg

  • Artsiom Parakhouski, Junior, Center, 16.3 ppg, 11.2 rpg

 

Key Radford Roleplayers:

  • Eric Hall, Senior, Forward, 4.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg

  • Chris McEachin, Sophomore, Guard, 8.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg

 

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Why The Highlanders Can Surprise:
The numbers might be a little misleading since Radford plays in the Big South, but this is still a great rebounding team that ranks 20 th in the nation with a 6.3 rebounding margin.This is a group that outrebounded Wake Forest and Duquesne this season and hung right in there with George Mason and Virginia. Artsiom Parakhouski is the biggest reason for the Highlanders domination on the glass. The 6-11 junior is averaging 16.3 points and 11.2 rebounds on the year,and those lofty numbers are in spite of a slow start to the season by Parakhouski.

The other big presence in the post is Joey Lynch-Flohr. At 6-8 and 221 pounds, Lynch-Flohr provides Radford with another large presence in the paint. He is not the shot blocking threat or as effective of a rebounder as Parakhouski, but Lynch-Flohr has developed into a very consistent and efficient scorer in the paint.

 

Why The Highlanders Can Disappoint:
The frontcourt makes the overall shooting percentage pretty good, but there are not a lot of long range shooters on this team. However, the turnovers are a bigger problem. Amir Johnson is a good scorer and a quick point guard who will find his teammates, but he turns the ball over 3.3 times per game.The frontcourt does not help the overall number either and the Highlanders commit a total of 15.9 turnovers per gameand few teams in the postseason will have a higher number than that.

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Who To Watch:
Kenny Thomas is the star of the backcourt. He is most consistent outside shooter on the team and he will knock down nearly 2.5 three-pointers per game. However, if his shot is not falling, the perimeter will have trouble scoring. Johnson can pick up some of the slack, but he will do most of his scoring by using his quickness to get to the basket, not from outside. The team as a whole only hits 5.0 three-pointers per gameand for a team that has so many scoring options in the paint, the guards will get plenty of open looks. The other possible scorer on the perimeter is Chris McEachin. The 6-5 sophomore has had some impressive scoring outputs during conference play and will use his size to help out on the glass. He is not much of a shooter and at some point Radford will have to make some three-pointers to keep pace with more talented teams in the tournament.

 

Radford By the Numbers:

  • Scoring Offense: 76.0 (49th in nation, 2nd in conference)
  • Scoring Defense: 71.0 (251, 5)
  • Field-Goal Percentage: 46.9 (42, 1)
  • Field-Goal Defense: 39.7 (29, 1)
  • Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.9 (277, 8)
  • Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: na
  • Free-Throw Percentage: 67.9 (201, 5)
  • Rebound Margin: 6.9 (13, 1)
  • Assists Per Game: 14.3 (87, 6)
  • Turnovers Per Game: 16.3 (303, 8)

 

Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to North Carolina

 

By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Senior Basketball Writer

 

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