Jeff Borzello of cbssports.com took the 16 teams that are left in the NCAA Tournament and ranked the starters from 80 to 1. Borzello says that “It’s not based on potential, NBA prospects, or purely college numbers. It basically comes down to, if I need a player for the next two games or four games, which guy am I taking?” Let’s take a look at how he ranks the starters for both Louisville and Kentucky.
75. Stephen Van Treese, Louisville: Without Chane Behanan, Van Treese has had to play a bigger role down low. He’s averaging 9.3 rebounds in his last six games.
48. Chris Jones, Louisville: Jones came to Louisville with plenty of hype, but he’s been inconsistent at times this season. He needs to pressure the Kentucky guards.
34. Luke Hancock, Louisville: Hancock is Mr. March for the Cardinals. He was the Most Outstanding Player at last year’s Final Four and is averaging 18.5 ppg in the 2014 tourney.
14. Montrezl Harrell, Louisville: Harrell’s emergence down the stretch took the Cardinals to a different level. He has racked up six double-doubles in his last 10 games.
2. Russ Smith, Louisville: Smith has been a little too out of control in the tournament, with 13 turnovers — but Louisville needs him to a menace at both ends of the floor.
78. Dakari Johnson, Kentucky: Johnson took over the starting center spot from Willie Cauley-Stein, and the 7-footer has shown occasional flashes of his potential.
33. James Young, Kentucky: The most unheralded of the three perimeter frosh on Kentucky, Young’s ability to knock down shots from the perimeter gives the ‘Cats an added dimension.
30. Andrew Harrison, Kentucky: If he plays like he did in the Round of 32 against Wichita State, the ‘Cats are in good shape. Went for 20 points and three assists.
20. Aaron Harrison, Kentucky: The most dangerous of Kentucky’s perimeter scorers, Harrison is averaging 18.5 points in the NCAA Tournament. Shot maker.
7. Julius Randle, Kentucky: Randle has to be a dominant inside force for the Wildcats — and he certainly has the ability. Showed off his all-around talent against Wichita State.
So if we look at these rankings in order, not separated by teams, here is how they come out…
78. Dakari Johnson
75. Stephan Van Treese
48. Chris Jones
34. Luke Hancock
33. James Young
30. Andrew Harrison
20. Aaron Harrison
14. Montrezl Harrell
7. Julius Randle
2. Russ Smith
For what it’s worth, the average ranking for Louisville starters is 34.6.
The average ranking for the Kentucky starters is 33.6