Terry Rozier had a complete performance for Louisville as the Cardinals advanced to their fourth consecutive Sweet 16. He’s been named NetScouts Basketball’s NCAA Tournament Player of the Day for games on March 22nd.
“I’m surrounded by a lot of great guys and it was just opportunities that I was provided with,” said Rozier. “I got to step up to the challenge.”
The 6-foot-1 sophomore point guard finished with 25 points, seven assists, and five rebounds in the win with just two turnovers in 39 minutes. Rozier shot 8-of-13 from the field, 1-of-3 from deep, and 8-of-9 from the free throw line in the win. He had no issues getting where he wanted and finished with an array of mid-range jumpers and floaters. He was also able to find his teammates in transition, which showed in multiple lobs to Montrezl Harrell.
Rozier is an athletic lead guard with length and a strong build. He’s been a tough defender this season that’s averaging 2.0 steals per game. He sealed the win against UC Irvine with a steal in the closing seconds for Louisville’s first win of the tournament. Rozier has had spotty offensive showings, however, shooting 41.3% from the field and 30.9% from three, but was in total control against Northern Iowa. If his offensive game continues to improve, he’ll be a major contributor in the NBA.
“I’ve said this about Terry since he’s come in, he just acts like a professional every single day,” said Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. “He takes coaching and he takes criticism.”
Louisville will face N.C. State in the Sweet 16 on Friday. If Rozier continues to spark Louisville offensively, he could become a late first round selection.
Other Sunday Notes:
-Senior Travis Trice was exceptional in Michigan State’s win over Virginia. The 6-foot guard scored 23 points while shooting 7-of-15 from the floor and 4-of-8 from three-point range that including the game-clinching three-pointer in the final minutes. He lacks NBA physical tools, but could be a star overseas if he doesn’t find his way onto an NBA roster.
–Jahlil Okafor scored a team-high 26 points on 12-of-16 shooting in a Duke win over San Diego State. The 6-foot-11 freshman center was a terror in the low post and showed some ability to face up and attack off the bounce. He also added six rebounds and three blocks. Okafor remains the frontrunner for the number one pick.
-Wichita State had an all-around solid performance to beat Kansas. Fred VanVleet had another good showing with 17 points, six assists, six rebounds, and four steals while all five starters reached double-figures. Defensive stopper Tekele Cotton led the Shockers with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
-Sophomore Frank Booker has had a breakout tournament for Oklahoma. The 6-foot-4 sophomore had 12 points against Dayton while shooting 4-of-6 from three-point range. Booker has now scored 20 points in two games while shooting 6-of-12 from deep. He’s added another elite outside shooting presence for the Sooners.
–Kyle Wiltjer was virtually unstoppable for Gonzaga, scoring 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting and a 4-of-6 display from distance. In two games, Wiltjer has 47 points and 15 rebounds while shooting 18-of-24 from the field and 6-of-9 from three-point range. The 6-foot-10 forward is a mismatch offensively that is improving on the defensive end of the floor.
-Although Oregon’s season came to an end, Joseph Young has done about all he can to earn a chance at the NBA level. The 6-foot-2 guard scored 30 points in his finale while shooting 12-of-25 from the field and 2-of-6 from three. He added four assists and three rebounds along with various passes that should have been converted for finishes. Young doesn’t have elite physical tools, but carried the Oregon offense this season. He showed the ability to play the point guard spot and if he doesn’t sneak into the second round, he’ll have a big opportunity in the NBA Summer League.
-West Virginia’s pressure defense forced 23 turnovers against Maryland, helped by a head injury to Terrapin point guard Melo Trimble who was forced out of the game. The Mountaineers pulled off a 69-59 win despite shooting just 40% from the floor. Bob Huggins’ squad will be an interesting matchup for Kentucky, a roster that features plenty of size, but could have issues against the press. Kentucky will remain the favorite, but this will be an intriguing matchup to see if Kentucky’s guards can handle the pressure and prevent turnovers.
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