The 6th Man: Watford Looks to Stay on a Roll
By: Will Chukerman
Aside from his heroics against Kentucky, Christian Watford has had an up and down season.
Just a few weeks ago, Watford was struggling on both ends of the floor, leaving Hoosier fans scratching their heads.
Scoring three points combined against Iowa and North Carolina Central, fans were left wondering what was the problem.
How could someone so talented struggle like he was struggling?
In the last three games, however, Watford rounded back into form, averaging 14 points and 9. The Hoosiers have won all three including a win over their third top-5 team of the season, Michigan State.
Watford has also picked up his defensive play end—often times guarding the other teams point guard.
Indiana will need this play to continue as the team enters the Big Ten Tournament.
The overall athleticism Watford brings to the table is something few teams have; Watford is a game changer when he’s playing his best basketball.
It’s tough to find other players in the conference who combine a 6-foot-9 frame with a lethal three-point shot and ability to drive to the hoop the way Watford does.
In the Hoosiers’ first game, they face Penn State and first team All Big Ten selection, Tim Frazier. Leading the team in points, rebounds, and assists, Frazier does it all.
Watford will likely see himself matched up on Frazier from the start, and will look to make things difficult for him to run the Nittany Lion offense.
In the two games Frazier has played against Indiana this season, he scored 21 points in both.
Limiting his touches and scoring will take away Penn State’s best option on offense.
On the offensive aside, Watford will also need to continue to his current play. When playing his best he can be a force.
If Indiana wants to have a strong showing in the Big Ten Tournament, they’ll need Watford to be on his game. In Big Ten play when he scored less then 10 points, the Hoosiers went 1-4.
At this point in the season, you can’t afford to have one of your star players not show up because it’s now or never.
An early exit in either of the next two tournaments will again leave Hoosiers fans scratching their heads.
Many believe this can be a team that can make a real run and anything less than a couple victories would sure to be a disappointment.
If Watford can continue his play, watch for this Hoosier team to make a long run in the Big Ten Tournament.
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