Kansas State’s two-headed monster comes from their guards, Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente, who average 19.2 and 16.3 points per game, respectively. These guys are dangerous shooters, each hitting more than 75 percent of his free throws and over 40 percent of his field goals. They combine for more than half of the team’s 14.7 assists per game with 7.7, and both do reasonably well staying out of foul trouble, averaging 2.3 and 2.2 fouls per game.
Xavier is led by forward-center Jason Love and guard Jordan Crawford. Love is dangerous enough on his own, averaging 11.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, as well as hitting 56 percent of his field goals and 71.1 percent of his free throws. A big man that can shoot that well and still pull down close to double-digit rebounds per game is reason enough to worry.
But then there’s Jordan Crawford.
You might remember the video from last summer of LeBron James getting dunked on by a kid at his own skills academy. Nike immediately tried to confiscate all footage as not to make King James look bad.
Well, that kid that made LeBron look foolish was none other than Xavier’s Jordan Crawford.
In his first season at Xavier after transferring from Indiana, Crawford has been dominant. He averages 20.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, as well as shooting for high percentages from the field (46.3), the charity stripe (77.3), and from downtown (40 even). He’s only been held to single-digit points once this season: 9 against Marquette.
Crawford is absolutely destroying opponents in this year’s NCAA tournament. He dropped 28 points on Minnesota, and to prove it was no accident, scored 27 against Pittsburgh. He also pulled down six rebounds in each game and stays out of foul trouble, only committing 1.6 per game this season.
Crawford is the ultimate X-factor in this year’s tournament, somehow still flying under the radar. While Omar Samhan has been getting more media attention for his performance with St Mary’s, Crawford is a ticking time bomb, and it’s only a matter of time before he explodes for 40 points and embarrasses his opponent.