- Simental and Harden: These two are the straws that stir the drink. They will need to continue playing well. Simental is a dangerous shooter and a much-improved ball handler sliding over to the point position not too long ago. Harden one of the most physically imposing players in the league(Natabou & Torbert are up there too) will need to be efficient from the floor and make shots when taking them in the paint. Steady improvement from Harden in this area has allowed her to become more of a serious threat in the league at the block
- Pace: UNC does not want a fast game. They will need to manage the clock by taking smart shots in their motion offense, limiting turnovers, and hoping their zone defense will keep people off balance. The zone defense must be good! Rebounding out of the zone vs a team like Idaho who spreads you out could cause issues in a potential future matchup.
- Momentum: The Bears need to continue to ride the momentum they captured beating both Montana schools the week before the BSC tourney. Those two wins boosted the confidence of the team, and confidence and momentum are huge going into conference tourney time.
- Rasheed and WHO?: Rasheed is a proven scorer and rebounder. Who else will step up and help Rasheed? Will it be by committee with several players scoring baskets and rebounding or will it be one or two other specific players that help? With NAU it could be either or depending on the night. 2 players that can help spread the floor for NAU and if they get hot are Rodabough and Radford. 2 of the league-best 3 point shooters. If the Lumberjacks get hot watch out.
- Shooting/Scoring: We just spoke about this. Who is going to step up and knock down shots? Rodabaugh? Radford? Orndoff? Moran Twins? Maio? There are lots of weapons to choose from…who or will any of them step up and help the Lumberjacks advance in the tourney
- Pace: NAU loves to play fast. and Schenck is one of the best in the league at pushing the pace of the game. UNC does not want to play at that pace and if it becomes up and down that favors NAU considerably. Montana State can as well as Idaho. If the Lumberjacks are going to advance a move forward they will need to dictate the pace of this semi-final game and then it could be a track meet for the finals.
- Darian/Kola: these two have been very consistent all year long. We believe Darian may hold up two trophies Saturday(BSC Championship & MVP). If she shoots a high percentage it will help the Cats. Bad Bear coming off an impressive performance last night will need to continue providing the toughness factor for the Cats no other player provides their team.
- Shooting: This has been a question of ours all year long. Who will space the floor and knock down shots from deep to open up lanes for White and the posts? Beattie? Limardo? Janssen? Mochi? It seems to have been by committee all year for that question. Some nights it's one or the other, but rarely more than 1 or 2 hot shooters from deep. The fact is the Cats will need to hit some shots from deep. This could be a potential question mark for a game vs. UNC in the finals should that happen. Why? The 2-3 Zone
- Depth: Other than the NAU Lumberjacks the Cats are the deepest team in the league and both happen to still be playing. The Cats depth will need to continue playing solid defense and providing the energy they have all year. Janssen, Dedan, Jackson, Ranson, and Van Sickle will need to continue providing those solid minutes to cut down the nets.
- Bea/Forsyth: Great one, two punch for the Vandals. Both will need to continue playing out of their minds for the remainder of the week if the Vandals want to advance and move on. We believe that both of these two will prove to be consistent with what they have been doing, but who else is going to step up and help the Vandals score? Gandy? Johnson? Kirby?
- Defense: Vandals don’t strike us as a team that wants to win with stops but more with outscoring its opponents. Will the Vandal defense get enough stops to advance? This is our biggest question. Whoever is guarding White in this semi-final game will have their hands full because they will have to guard all night long and will that become a problem for that player on the offensive end of the floor? Kirby gets the nod we believe in this matchup.
3. Shooting: To advance any team will need to shoot from deep. Gandy, Johnson, Forsyth, and Bea. Who will bring the knock-down shooting for the Vandals tonight and possibly move forward? Another point we want to make will be shot selection. Newlee loves to get shots up with his teams. Often many shots in our opinion come at bad times. Poor shot selection could be a problem for the Vandals. At this point in the year, you have to roll with what got you to this point.