Come March, successful teams are built around four key ingredients.
1. Senior leadership
The rise of Henry Sims has been remarkable, and coupled with fellow senior and leader of the team Jason Clark, the Hoyas have a strong veteran presence and two experienced captains that an otherwise youthful team can turn to down the stretch.
2. Dangerous shooters from deep
One of the best pure shooting forwards in the country, Hollis Thompson leads a Hoyas attack that is more than capable of filling it up from deep. Plus, as is evidenced by his late-game heroics against Memphis, Alabama and Marquette, the Hoyas have a clutch scorer to turn to when the game is on the line.
3. A presence down low when those shooters go cold
Coming into this season, one of the biggest question marks for the Hoyas was whether or not they'd get production from Sims down low. After consecutive 20-plus-point and 13-plus-rebound averages, Sims has more than answered any lingering doubts.
4. A close-knit team with heart who believes in each other
Looking back on it, the brawl in China was a blessing in disguise, as it brought the Hoyas together and instilled in the team the importance of having each other's back.
Coach Thompson has praised the players, particularly the freshman class, all year for sacrificing for the good of the team, playing unselfish basketball and pushing each other to get better. Sounds like a winning formula.
So...check, check, check and check.