GEICO Nationals: Breaking down the eight-team field

Photo: AP/Gregory Payan

GEICO Nationals: Breaking down the eight-team field

Boys Basketball

GEICO Nationals: Breaking down the eight-team field

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Nfaly Dante, of Sunrise Christian Academy, takes the shot during the championship game against McEachern at the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions at JQH Arena on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (Photo: Andrew Jansen/News-Leader)

Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)
GEICO Seeding: 6
Super 25 Rank: 13

Key players: N’Faly Dante, Grant Sherfield, Jordan Turner, Austin Crowley, Noel Coleman

Why they’ll win: The Buffaloes have the ultimate shot eraser in Dante, who averaged four blocks a game to go along with 17 points and 10 rebounds; that allows them to clamp down on the perimeter, applying stifling defensive pressure, which they use to produce offense. Jayln Turner provides a defensive spark for the Buffaloes off the bench and helps them keep teams under 50 points a game, which could lead to them pulling out wins when they have off-nights offensively.

Why they may slip-up: The Buffaloes have a strong starting five, but, at times this season, they haven’t consistently gotten contributions from their bench. They’ll need a more collaborative effort all weekend to advance.

The bottom line: That Buffaloes are as talented as any team at GEICO Nationals, but IMG Academy will send swarms of talent onto the floor with every substitution horn. The Buffaloes will need a collaborative effort against arguably the deepest team in the country.

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