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March 31, 2013

Louisville coach has an idea to stop Baylor: play six

OKLAHOMA CITY — Louisville coach Jeff Walz, whose team has already played and lost to Connecticut and Notre Dame in the rugged Big East, must now face Baylor, a team that’s beaten both Connecticut and Notre Dame (even in Storrs and South Bend). At least he has a good attitude about it.

“We’ll come out there (tonight). If we can get away with putting six on the floor, we will,” he said. “If not, we won’t. We’ll try at least once.”

After that he repeated some of what everybody says about facing the No. 1 team in the nation and the defending NCAA champion.

The Cardinals will try to push Baylor center Brittney Griner away from the basket as far as they can. They’ll try to limit her touches and not let her rebound her own misses. They’ll try to get her shooting jumpers rather than layups. And still, when he finally came clean, he admitted he doesn’t want to get too wrapped up in how to stop Baylor, because that’s not his primary focus when the two teams tip off a little while after Oklahoma and Tennessee finish their game at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“The whole key to anybody who has had any success against them (is) they’ve been able to score … Instead of getting all concerned about how we’re going to stop Brittney Griner from scoring 30, forget it, she’s going to,” he said. “Figure out a way we’re going to score 70. If we can figure that out, then you might have a chance to get to the last 5 minutes of the ballgame where the shots start to matter. With the success they’ve had, it’s been a while since a shot’s mattered in the last 4 or 5 minutes of (their) game.”

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