1. Who will win the battle from behind the 3 point line? Lately, Montana has been shooting the lights out. Huard, Morris-Nelson, and Gfeller have been consistent all seasons, but when Tsineke, Fatkin, and Stiles start to make 3’s each game that makes the Lady Griz dangerous.
How will the Cats defend the 3 point line? MSU’s defense has shown improvement since the Idaho State game and it will need to do a great job of taking away the Lady Griz 3 if they want a shot of winning this game. Will the Cats switching defense help them stay more attached to shooters? Will they try and run players off the line and make them attackers? Being a dribble attack player is not what Huard, Morris-Nelson, and Gfeller do best. They are spot-up shooters that benefit from defensive players helping and receiving kick-outs. So containing the dribble attack from players like Tsineke, Fatkin and Stiles initially will help prevent some attempts.
The Cats will also need their share of 3 point shots to drop? Beattie and Limardo usually take the bulk of the 3 point shots. Others have chipped in to help, but seasons numbers from 3 are not positive. The return of Jackson has given a slight boost to the shooting and energy on the defensive end of the floor.
2. The battle between White and Stiles will be one of the contrasting point guards. White needs the ball in her hands, and the Cats keep it there most of the time. How will the Lady Griz guard DHO and P&R actions that White will throw at them? We believe most of the Cats are poor shooting in those actions and the Lady Griz will go under a lot of DHO’s and P&R’s thrown at them and have their bigs play drop coverage when White is attacking out of those actions.
Stiles would rather get her team involved and impacts a game without the ball in her hand more so than White. Stiles is a great offensive rebounding guard that will find ways to score and help her team. How will the Cats guard Stiles in P&R actions as well? We like the switching that MSU has been doing lately. Switching should take that midrange pull-up that she loves so much away in the P&R game. The Cats better have a 2nd coverage ready to go to switching hurts them.
3. EXECUTION! What team is going to execute their offensive and defensive game plans the best. If MSU stays with their switching will they execute great communication on the defensive end of the floor? Who’s DHO and P&R coverages will be the best? Who will defend the post the best? What staff will make an adjustment and what players will execute those adjustments?