One position the Cards may find success, however, is against Michigan State small forward Brandan Kearney. For those of you that watched the Saint Louis game, he was the one that was yanked from the game and threw a mini-hissy on the sidelines after drawing a foul when the game was nip and tuck.
It's not entirely the freshman's fault. Kearney has been thrown into a more prominent role late this season after Branden Dawson, their athletic wing, tore his ACL in the final game of the regular season. Kearney hasn't produced strongly, though to be fair, it has not been his primary task, instead putting his focus on the defensive end of the floor.
He averages only 1.2 points and .9 rebounds a game.
Not a blue-chipper out of high school (a tween 3/4 star recuruit), the wire-thin Kearney has struggled to shake the label of being a "soft" player. He came to Michigan State with a reputation of a slasher, but hasn't really lived up to that billing. The most shot-attempts he had in a game this season was four against Iowa in the Big 10 tourney.
For me though, none of the stats matter as much as his theatrics on the bench during the Saint Louis game. He was phantom-punching the air, shouting into his jersey, almost in tears, having to be calmed by Coach and teammate alike.
It looked like the consummate "freshman not mentally ready for The Moment moment". I can't imagine a bigger contrast or better matchup for Kyle Kuric on the perimeter, the wily veteran with natural Xanax coursing through his veins.
They are few and far between, so the Cards need to exploit the mismatches available to them. Brandan Kearney appears to be one, both mentally and physically. I hope Kyle Kuric is aware.