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jazzdelmar
03-24-2015, 07:33 AM
Myth No. 8: Gonzaga can't defend

It's true the Bulldogs are no Kentucky or Arizona on D, but the "no defense" label seems a bit extreme for a group that just held Iowa (which, by the way, looked like Golden State on offense against Davidson) to a point per trip.

Gonzaga is holding opponents to 42 percent shooting on 2s. Yes, some of that can be attributed to a lackluster West Coast Conference, but you can make a mental correction accordingly and still have a number that attests to solid interior D.

In fact, one thing the Zags have done quite well in 2014-15 is forcing opponents to launch shots inside the arc but away from the rim; 37.5 percent of opponents' shot attempts have been 2-point jumpers, and when he's in the game, Domantas Sabonis has been outstanding at rebounding all of those misses.

Featuring one of the tallest rotations in the country, Gonzaga funnels opposing offenses into the least productive areas of the floor and then rebounds the miss. Basically that'll do, especially when paired with an offense powered by Kyle Wiltjer's incredibly accurate shooting from the field.

gonzagafan62
03-24-2015, 07:35 AM
Thanks for Sharing Jazz. All my friends keep saying GU can't defend. I think they finally got done talking crap about our defense after the Iowa game (although they didn't watch a whole lot of GU games. Such a fake perception)

adoptedzag
03-24-2015, 07:39 AM
Myth No. 8: Gonzaga can't defend

It's true the Bulldogs are no Kentucky or Arizona on D, but the "no defense" label seems a bit extreme for a group that just held Iowa (which, by the way, looked like Golden State on offense against Davidson) to a point per trip.

Gonzaga is holding opponents to 42 percent shooting on 2s. Yes, some of that can be attributed to a lackluster West Coast Conference, but you can make a mental correction accordingly and still have a number that attests to solid interior D.

In fact, one thing the Zags have done quite well in 2014-15 is forcing opponents to launch shots inside the arc but away from the rim; 37.5 percent of opponents' shot attempts have been 2-point jumpers, and when he's in the game, Domantas Sabonis has been outstanding at rebounding all of those misses.

Featuring one of the tallest rotations in the country, Gonzaga funnels opposing offenses into the least productive areas of the floor and then rebounds the miss. Basically that'll do, especially when paired with an offense powered by Kyle Wiltjer's incredibly accurate shooting from the field.

Link? I'd like to read the others.

kitzbuel
03-24-2015, 07:40 AM
Forcing contested shots from just inside the 3 pt line when you are shooting 60+% will win a lot of games.

U Zig, I Zag
03-24-2015, 07:41 AM
We looked very aggressive on Sunday. We even had some full-on run outs with guys getting dunks (not exactly our forte). You could tell the players were giving it everything they had.

jazzdelmar
03-24-2015, 07:46 AM
The dominance of Kentucky's offense is often overlooked.

A few weeks ago I tried to correct what I saw as some of the biggest myths pertaining to the sport of college basketball. Well, now that the Sweet 16 is set, I want to bring that same myth-busting spirit to the regional semifinals.

Taking a cue from all of this "Kentucky or the field" talk, I've decided to devote half the space to coach John Calipari's team alone. After all, I hear a lot of things said about Kentucky, you hear a lot of things said about Kentucky, we all hear a lot of things said about Kentucky. And as I've listened, these are the claims that have stood out in my mind as the ones most in need of some helpful clarification or possibly even correction.

Myth No. 1: Kentucky wins primarily, or maybe even exclusively, with defense


The credit for the Wildcats' unprecedented 36-0 record needs to be distributed a little more equally than what I've seen thus far. It's true that on paper, this defense is superior to the offense, but in past seasons we've seen other teams that also had the nation's best defense and they didn't look anything like what we now have on our hands with Kentucky. This is because great defensive teams like Arizona last season or Wisconsin in 2012-13 didn't have offenses that came anywhere close to UK's in 2014-15.

Kentucky's offense doesn't get the credit it deserves because it scores a goodly number of its points in two rather sneaky and patently unglamorous ways.

First, the Wildcats don't commit very many turnovers. (Bad news for West Virginia.) This season, they have given the ball away on 16 percent of their possessions. That's a very good number, but even that may be selling short Kentucky's prowess. In SEC play, that rate dropped to 15 percent, something we saw from just eight teams in Division I this season (and three of those are still playing: Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Wichita State).

He doesn't sustain the same reputation in this category as Bo Ryan, certainly, but in his career, Calipari often has had teams that do a good job taking care of the ball. (Granted, each of the previous two seasons constituted an exception to that rule.) This season the coach has one of his best teams in that department.

Second, the Wildcats get a healthy share of their points from the free throw line -- though again, the optics are a little confusing. We know from watching games that Kentucky doesn't shoot as many free throws as teams that "live at the line," but it's the combination of attempts and accuracy that gets the job done. Kentucky is shooting 72 percent at the line, and in SEC play that figure was 74 percent. Two of the team's most frequent free throw shooters, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Harrison, have combined to hit 80 percent of their attempts.

Myth No. 2: Jahlil Okafor is getting enough looks as it is


The Blue Devils should feed Okafor the ball as often as possible.

Everyone concedes that the Duke offense is already fantastic, but I still can't help feeling it's high time for coach Mike Krzyzewski to abandon all pretense of restraint and just feed Okafor again and again and again. His possession usage (27.9 percent, per kenpom.com) isn't nearly as high as what we saw in Durham last season from Jabari Parker (31.8). And we are talking about potentially the most effective post scorer the game has seen in the past decade.

Granted, the other Blue Devils are hardly chopped liver, and indeed Quinn Cook in particular is having an outstanding (if relatively overlooked) season. But there are plenty of possessions to go around when we're talking about a post scorer and multiple 3-point shooters.

Okafor is shooting 78 percent on his 2s in the NCAA tournament. Sure, some of that was against Robert Morris, but the freshman also hung a 9-for-12 outing on no less a defense than San Diego State. So I repeat: 78 percent.

You know how coach Bo Ryan benches any Wisconsin player who commits a turnover? That's more or less what Krzyzewski should consider with any Duke player, besides Okafor, who shoots anything inside the arc that's not a wide-open layup. Make Bill Walton in the 1973 national title game your model, Coach K. Let Jah be Jah.

Myth No. 3: There is one silver-bullet strategy or one optimal set of matchups that can beat UK

The way to beat Kentucky is to be better at basketball than the Wildcats for one game. Obviously there's no way Ole Miss is or was truly the superior team, but the Rebels were almost better than UK in its first SEC game because Andy Kennedy's guys made nine 3s. Certainly there's no chance Texas A&M is or was stronger than the Wildcats, but the Aggies were almost better than Kentucky in its second conference game because Billy Kennedy's guys limited Calipari's team to 0.91 points per possession. (Apparently the way to beat Kentucky, or at least come really close, is to have a Kennedy for a coach.)

Take, for example, the common refrain that you have to make your 3s to beat Kentucky. Well, making your 3s is an excellent method for prevailing against any opponent, right? Conversely, A&M came very close to winning its game against the Wildcats even though the Aggies shot just 2-of-15 from beyond the arc.

Quite plainly, you don't want to try to score at the rim against this half-court defense until and unless you've done some prior work shifting guys like Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein out of position. But that's true, to lesser but still significant extent, about other defenses as well. It's true about NC State and BeeJay Anya. (Statistically speaking, the Wolfpack sophomore is the best shot-blocker in the Sweet 16.) And until this past weekend, it was true about Virginia and Darion Atkins.

Look at West Virginia. The Mountaineers are about to try to beat Kentucky by forcing turnovers, and on paper that doesn't look like a particularly promising strategy (see above). But really, what's the alternative for coach Bob Huggins? And if by chance West Virginia does pull off the upset, it will be said that the Mountaineers were "a bad matchup" for the Wildcats. Just remember no one ever said a losing team was a bad match up for the winners.

jazzdelmar
03-24-2015, 07:46 AM
Myth No. 4: This is just another Wisconsin offense

Every year Wisconsin plays at a slow pace and commits hardly any turnovers. Both statements are true again this season, but that is where any and all similarities between now and the past in Madison cease to exist.


Frank Kaminsky headlines a number of potential first-round picks out of Wisconsin.

Start with the fact that Frank Kaminsky will be a first-round pick in the NBA draft this summer. It's possible that Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes can be, too, if they elect to leave school early. (See my colleague Chad Ford's discussion of all three Badgers and just about every other NBA prospect in the NCAA tournament.)

In other words, Wisconsin has three potential first-round picks in its starting lineup. This is what people said for years that Bo Ryan needed to do -- and now he has done exactly that.

Furthermore, this marriage of "system" and "talent" has been pretty amazing to behold. This could be the advanced stats era's preeminent offense, one that lit up the Big Ten this season to the tune of 1.21 points per possession. That means this unit bears comparison to any previous Badgers offense; Michigan and Indiana in 2013; Missouri in 2012; North Carolina in 2009; and Wake Forest and Illinois in 2005.

I wouldn't put it past Ryan to somehow manage to top this kind of scoring next season, but for now, this is far from just another Wisconsin offense. This is in fact the best offense Ryan has ever had.

Myth No. 5: Kentucky gets better as the game goes on

Even when an opponent does hang around with Kentucky for a while, the thinking is that Calipari's superior depth will wear on the underdog and that the Wildcats always show their true colors after halftime by "reeling in" the other team. Naturally it's true that on the few occasions they have trailed in the second half, the Wildcats obviously overcame that deficit. This is an undefeated team, after all, and we know how every score turned out in the end.

But if we look at their games since the beginning of conference play -- from the overtime win against Ole Miss in January to this weekend's victory over Cincinnati -- there's no particular trend toward late-game domination as opposed to early-game success. Statistically speaking, and not counting the nonconference games in November and December that Calipari chose to schedule, Kentucky's strongest half by far is the first half, and its best 10 minutes are the last 10 minutes of the first half.

We tend to remember the few close contests the Wildcats have played, but in truth there have been just as many cases where Kentucky has buried an opponent at the beginning of a game. Ask Auburn sometime about trailing the Wildcats 23-2.

Of course when they have the game well in hand by the last 10 minutes, we would expect that Calipari would take his foot off the gas. This surely contributes to the stats showing that they are strongest in the early stages of games. Nevertheless, there's nothing in the numbers that points to any late-game factor that favors them besides the most obvious dynamic: Kentucky is just better than its opponents, at any point in the game.

Myth No. 6: Arizona can't score

T.J. McConnell started the season as a very good pass-first point guard. As of this moment, he's in the conversation for best two-way point guard in the country. I suppose if McConnell plays any more games he may become Bob Cousy II.

As my colleague Kevin Pelton aptly said, in Arizona's round-of-32 win over Ohio State, McConnell "filled the stat sheet like few NCAA players ever have before." He recorded 19 points on 13 shots, along with 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 5 steals and just one turnover.

In Pac-12 play, McConnell excelled at driving the ball to the basket, and his wise shot selection has enabled the 6-foot-1 senior to post a field goal percentage at the rim (67.5) equal to that recorded by taller teammates like Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski.

Throw in Stanley Johnson's 81 percent shooting at the line in conference play, the offensive rebounding provided by Ashley and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and the perimeter shooting of Gabe York and Elliott Pitts (again, ask the Buckeyes), and you're looking at an elite offense to go along with an even more elite defense. These guys have shown they're fully capable of scoring more points than they allow.

Myth No. 7: There's any point to counting Kentucky players' fouls

With every other Kentucky myth, I'm suggesting that we ease up just a little on talking about them as a special case, but here I want us to start talking about them as a very special case: Just stop wondering how many fouls Towns or Cauley-Stein or anyone else has.

Calipari has constructed this rotation like a spacecraft. In Lexington there are redundant systems in back of redundant systems ad nauseam. If you can recruit such a rotation successfully and keep everyone happy once they arrive, this is little short of genius -- and part of that genius is simply getting all these guys on your side. Now Kentucky doesn't have to play against a Towns or a Cauley-Stein or a Devin Booker in the postseason.

We are just not used to seeing a rotation like this, so we keep right on dutifully fretting about fouls as if there's some significant drop-off between the player on the floor and the one who will be brought in to replace him. But whether they're on the court for the opening tip or not, almost any combination of five of these players is sufficient for the task at hand. Within reason, fouls are not -- and will not be -- an issue.

gu03alum
03-24-2015, 07:47 AM
Link? I'd like to read the others.

It's insider

ESPN Insider (http://insider.espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/tournament/2015/story/_/id/12549652/kentucky-underrated-defense-10-debunked-sweet-16-myths-2015-ncaa-tournament)

Reborn
03-24-2015, 08:15 AM
Thanks Jazz. Great idea to discuss. Is Gonzaga tougher this year? And do they play better defense? Not long ago someone posted the defensive rank of teams and Gonzaga was at 20. Could someone post a link to that post because I've been looking for it and can't find it. Anyway, I remember thinking about how we were going to defend Iowa the night before the game. Iowa was so tall, and their these players could really shoot. I figured that Wesley was going to have a huge defensive role to play against them, and as usual he answered the call. I don't think a lot of people know how good he is defensively when he needs to be. He also did a great job against Powell (UCLA small forward and leading scorer for the Bruins). I remember finishing my analysis on just admitting that I would really look forward to seeing the game plan defensively, but I just didn't know. As it turned out, Tommy, one more time, came up with a great game plan. And honestly, what would you call the kind of defense that they played. Was it man to man or zone. Few calls it flying around on defense. What that means to me is you never know who is going to guard who because it just depends who's in your vicinity. We had bigs guarding guards and guards guarding bigs. And yes we got slam dunked on a few times, but I know overall that the defense was really frustrating Iowa. I remember several times Bell was guarding Woodbury (their 7' 1" center) and Iowa could not get him the ball, and I could tell by the look on Woodbury's face that he was frustrated. I also remembering Bell guarding Uthoff and completely frustrating him. And yes, I really wondered who would guard Jok because he is a 6'6 two guard. And Tommy's plan was so masterful as he decided to put Wiltjer on him because he felt that because Jok didn't drive much that Kyle would be the best one to guard him. Well, it ended up that Kyle did get into foul trouble, but Jok did not have a good game vs GU.

So, in the game vs Iowa I believe Gonzaga showed that they are tough, and can defend AS A TEAM pretty well. I have never understood team defense played the way GU does, because it's so darn hard to really say what it is. Yet, when watching it, it looks beautiful, and I seldom have had that to say about defenses. Defense has always been about toughness like it is played by Virginia. And I don't see that as something beautiful to watch. But Gonzaga's defense is all about movement, and flexibility. When we use the word cohesive in basketball, we are usually thinking about offense, and moving together in a beautiful way, to move with flexibility and yet with purpose. And now I have to use that word when I talk about Gonzaga's defense. As difficult as it is for me to name the type of defense that Gonzaga plays, I know it is tough. You need really tough guards, like Gary Bell and Kyle Dranginis, and tough wings like Wesley and Dranginis, who can guard bigger and taller guys. And then you have a guy like Kevin Pangos, who is toughness all rolled up into a basketball-hockey kind of player. We rarely talk about Kevins defense and toughness, and it's a shame. I love watching him on the defensive end of they gym. And he's the one going after loose balls and getting in front of huge players attacking the basket off the dribble in order to pick up a charging foul on the offensive player. I have said a lot, and I have left out the great Wall of China, PK Karnowski, and the rebounding of Sabonis. Without these two the defense doesn't work.

Zagceo
03-24-2015, 08:30 AM
FG % defense ?

http://i914.photobucket.com/albums/ac342/ceo_500/Screen%20Shot%202015-03-24%20at%209.21.41%20AM_zpsle6iwmqn.png

Zaga
03-24-2015, 08:41 AM
Jazz, you must quit making BB sense it really seems to make "seasontixholder" twerk his keyboard.

ZenZag
03-24-2015, 09:42 AM
Re: defense. I have been thinking, while watching a number of different teams in the tourney....why can't ANY team be excellent defensively? Defense, it seems to me, is not so much about being "athletic" as it is about being disciplined, mentally focused, and tenacious. In other words, it seems it could be taught, learned, perfected, emphasized...by any team. It is not so much tied to "natural ability" as to "teachability". Sure....natural ability still comes into play, but not nearly to the extent that it does on the offensive end of the floor. Thoughts?

sittingon50
03-24-2015, 09:49 AM
Jazz, you must quit making BB sense it really seems to make "seasontixholder" twerk his keyboard.

:roll:

(& thanks for the graph, ceo! Lotta' good stuff there)

seacatfan
03-24-2015, 11:27 AM
Re: defense. I have been thinking, while watching a number of different teams in the tourney....why can't ANY team be excellent defensively? Defense, it seems to me, is not so much about being "athletic" as it is about being disciplined, mentally focused, and tenacious. In other words, it seems it could be taught, learned, perfected, emphasized...by any team. It is not so much tied to "natural ability" as to "teachability". Sure....natural ability still comes into play, but not nearly to the extent that it does on the offensive end of the floor. Thoughts?

Agree completely. Butler under Stevens played tenacious, stifling defense. They weren't loaded with elite athletes or great length. They fully bought in to the defensive system taught by an excellent coach.

Marcus
03-24-2015, 11:40 AM
One thing that really surprised me was reading the Iowa board when talking about the Zags D. They were complaining about how hands on and physical the Zags were playing D. There were some posters who stated that Iowa did not play well when physical hands on play was allowed by the refs and in all their conference losses that this was the case. It was something that Gonzaga doesn't ever get talked about for. It reminded me of when the Zags beat Zona in the battle in Seattle years ago and Coach Miller said at halftime that the Zags never get enough credit for how physical they are. He sounded both surprised and impressed.

hooter73
03-24-2015, 11:50 AM
Yet more wonderful press for the WCC...

bballbeachbum
03-24-2015, 11:56 AM
Re: defense. I have been thinking, while watching a number of different teams in the tourney....why can't ANY team be excellent defensively? Defense, it seems to me, is not so much about being "athletic" as it is about being disciplined, mentally focused, and tenacious. In other words, it seems it could be taught, learned, perfected, emphasized...by any team. It is not so much tied to "natural ability" as to "teachability". Sure....natural ability still comes into play, but not nearly to the extent that it does on the offensive end of the floor. Thoughts?

speaking very generally between the Tuesday meetings I'm attending at the office all day, I think it's the opposite of what you said regarding D and O, though it's a combo of innate talent and taught skills for any of it, D or O or transition, and then playing in a system that emphasizes your strengths and minimizes your weaknesses. The question to me is who can combine those things (innate ability and taught/learned skills) with a work ethic that leads to self-belief and thus a superior ball player and team in the right system. still can't teach quickness or length or size tho, and good defenders are usually all of those things or a combo of most of them...along with tenacious, disciplined and focused (and also intelligent).

Grant Gibbs is a good example imo; struggled to play M2M well because of athletic limitations but he's a good zone player so his limitations were mitigated once he transferred to a zone team (a team that lacked athleticism), but his O was always good. Manny Arop is another example, whose athleticism and natural abilities were apparent when defending and rebounding BUT on O his athleticism could not make up for other deficiencies in his game (non-athletic deficiencies). Or better yet, look at the international game. The US has a big advantage still in athleticism and because of it they defend at an ultra elite level that no other team in the word compares to, BUT on O many teams out there can go toe to toe--Spain, Argentina, Greece have all shown that ability over the last years for example

anyway, athleticism helps everywhere on the floor, on O and on D and in transition, no doubts there, and learned skills help everywhere on the floor too, no doubts there either, and the right system is also key. who can combine it all optimally is the question seems to me. hope to hear others' takes on this

bballbeachbum
03-24-2015, 12:02 PM
and it's bugged me for as long as I can remember the narrative that basketball in the west means no D and being soft. sets up the minds of folks across the country who never even watch basketball out west to judge us. whatever, I'm too old now to get a scrunched up about it, but it still sucks

seacatfan
03-24-2015, 12:10 PM
One thing that really surprised me was reading the Iowa board when talking about the Zags D. They were complaining about how hands on and physical the Zags were playing D. There were some posters who stated that Iowa did not play well when physical hands on play was allowed by the refs and in all their conference losses that this was the case. It was something that Gonzaga doesn't ever get talked about for. It reminded me of when the Zags beat Zona in the battle in Seattle years ago and Coach Miller said at halftime that the Zags never get enough credit for how physical they are. He sounded both surprised and impressed.

That's comedy gold. A team from the rugged Big 10 complaining about the Zags being too physical? Love it.

seacatfan
03-24-2015, 12:14 PM
and it's bugged me for as long as I can remember the narrative that basketball in the west means no D and being soft. sets up the minds of folks across the country who never even watch basketball out west to judge us. whatever, I'm too old now to get a scrunched up about it, but it still sucks

I know that stereotype persisted for years. Is it still floating around? When Howland had UCLA going to Final 4's they might have been the best defensive team in the country. When UW was good they had some tough, physical defenses. Arizona has consistently played good D since Miller has been there. San Diego St. is usually really good defensively. Utah is pretty stingy. If people are still repeating that narrative out of habit, that is just purely lazy and misinformed.

bballbeachbum
03-24-2015, 01:01 PM
I know that stereotype persisted for years. Is it still floating around? When Howland had UCLA going to Final 4's they might have been the best defensive team in the country. When UW was good they had some tough, physical defenses. Arizona has consistently played good D since Miller has been there. San Diego St. is usually really good defensively. Utah is pretty stingy. If people are still repeating that narrative out of habit, that is just purely lazy and misinformed.

not disagreeing at all with the reality of tough D played by all those teams, just the perception and stereotypes of west coast basketball...and having to overcome them. it is what it is

check out this article form 2013 about AZ and the quote from Gordon below http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/story/2013-12-14/arizona-vs-michigan-toughness-west-coast-soft-aaron-gordon-sean-miller-ashley


In fact, when he mentioned “the stereotype,” it felt better to ascertain what precisely was the stereotype he had in mind. “Ah, you know, West Coast is soft. You don’t have to ask me that. I think you know,” Gordon said. “You’ve heard the stereotypes. But they’re completely false, like a lot of stereotypes are.”

the article goes on to claim AZ was anything but soft, yay! but yet, see the above quote. so is Gordon just an ultra sensitive west coast baller, or is he looking the BS in the eye and spitting on it?

Tark's teams were excellent defensive teams, playing the Amoeba, and there's always the 'exceptions' to the stereotype, but are you familiar with the term West Coast Soft? check it out http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=West%20Coast%20Soft

anyway, is it still floating around? to me, yes. is it based in reality? to me, no. I'm with Gordon.

seacatfan
03-24-2015, 01:23 PM
Yeah I guess I've heard that derision about players from the West Coast being soft. It seems like even though they say "West Coast" they're really referring mostly to California. You know, because to the people that believe in these stereotypes there's hardly anything at all out West other than LA. Funny though, there's a huge number of NFL players from California, I doubt many of them are "soft." Maybe it's just the basketball players then.

You're right about UNLV in their heyday, I don't think anyone questioned their toughness.

I think the biggest obstacle for western teams is that there just aren't nearly enough schools out here compared to the midwest, south, east coast, etc. With many fewer participants in the NCAA Tourney, it doesn't take many losses for all of them to be eliminated, and then the haters can crow about hoops sucking out west. For the other half of the country, every time teams like Villanova or Kansas bow out early, some other team from out there is in their place. Oh well. Just have to hope Arizona comes out of their region and one of the 3 western teams left alive in the South Region comes out of there. 2 of 4 in the Final 4 would look really good.

ZenZag
03-24-2015, 01:37 PM
anyway, athleticism helps everywhere on the floor, on O and on D and in transition, no doubts there, and learned skills help everywhere on the floor too, no doubts there either, and the right system is also key. who can combine it all optimally is the question seems to me. hope to hear others' takes on this

Thanks bbbb....I agree, athleticism helps everywhere on the floor. When you say "who can combine it all optimally", are you referring to coaches or players? Or both? It still seems to me that D is more "teachable" than O....individually and as a team.

And....I see offense as something that can ebb and flow over the course of a season, and from game to game. But, ideally, defense could just continue to improve and become more solid as the season progressed. That is something I would love to see every year from our Zags.

bartruff1
03-24-2015, 03:42 PM
West Virginia is my sleeper....

Zagceo
03-24-2015, 03:50 PM
West Virginia might have some added pressure with the Huggins daughter tweeting mess to answer to all week. LINK (http://www.sportsworldnews.com/articles/33851/20150323/bob-huggins-daughter-calls-maryland-player-a-rapist-on-twitter-photo.htm)

23zagmd
03-24-2015, 04:56 PM
I love how GBJ and KP are playing defense! They are closing out and making buys beat them off the dribble.....and not letting it happen very often.

jazzdelmar
03-24-2015, 05:03 PM
On replay it was more clear that Mac was spectacular on D and ball handling. And, to be fair, that KD played quite poorly for him.

DixieZag
03-24-2015, 05:18 PM
Just a question for people that know. Remember years ago (probably 10-12) when we were having trouble, we were continually out rebounded at the elite level, I read that one or two of the coaches left at mid-week, I think, to go watch Michigan State's pratices to pick up some ideas on teaching rebounding? I think we all can guess who set that up. But, no one is accusing us of being a bad rebounding team for a while. I wonder, that since our defense has improved, whether someone set up something similar, very quietly, and it has helped the coaches teach and implement it a little better?

Oh, and less anyone think I am saying that as some sort of knock on our coaches - "we can't do it, we have to learn from others" - I am thinking it is the opposite, it shows elite commitment to not be afraid to reach out to others and look for new ideas.

bballbeachbum
03-24-2015, 06:18 PM
Thanks bbbb....I agree, athleticism helps everywhere on the floor. When you say "who can combine it all optimally", are you referring to coaches or players? Or both? It still seems to me that D is more "teachable" than O....individually and as a team.

And....I see offense as something that can ebb and flow over the course of a season, and from game to game. But, ideally, defense could just continue to improve and become more solid as the season progressed. That is something I would love to see every year from our Zags.

hey zen, I mean all of those...players, teams, coaches; innate ability matched with the right teachings and a strong work ethic make the optimal recipe, on O and on D.

and maybe you're right, D is more teachable. I don't believe so and certainly defense is teachable, but seems to me their are more limitations on one's ceiling defensively if one is not so athletic than one's ceiling on O. I think the Grant Gibbs and Manny Arop examples are pretty good at demonstrating the point, and seems clear to me that one aspect of the game is more reliant on innate athleticism to dominate than the other regardless of the ebbs and flows of the season (good point you make).

as for getting better over the course of a year, that's a great point, and defense takes some time to gel; I have written on this board before how the Zags with their offensive acumen have enjoyed an advantage in the OOC because other teams' defenses had yet to gel and the Zags O is typically MUCH better than that of most other college teams, so advantage Zags early on. But it goes to show that teams learn how to play better D as the season wears on. Tark used to say something to that effect, about how his team sucked defensively but in two weeks after Christmas break they'd be great at it...something like that.

Anyway, lots of nuances here. off to practice with the kids for now. fun discussion, thanks for bringing it up

bballbeachbum
03-24-2015, 06:25 PM
Just a question for people that know. Remember years ago (probably 10-12) when we were having trouble, we were continually out rebounded at the elite level, I read that one or two of the coaches left at mid-week, I think, to go watch Michigan State's pratices to pick up some ideas on teaching rebounding? I think we all can guess who set that up. But, no one is accusing us of being a bad rebounding team for a while. I wonder, that since our defense has improved, whether someone set up something similar, very quietly, and it has helped the coaches teach and implement it a little better?

Oh, and less anyone think I am saying that as some sort of knock on our coaches - "we can't do it, we have to learn from others" - I am thinking it is the opposite, it shows elite commitment to not be afraid to reach out to others and look for new ideas.

I think rebounding technique is one of the easiest things to teach in basketball, but finding and/or developing the mind set and toughness to execute successfully can be a challenge

jazzdelmar
03-24-2015, 06:25 PM
One key play in game was after Bell was deliberately clocked by that thug Huckleberry. He shook it off then went on to hit a three and continue to play harassing D.

bballbeachbum
03-24-2015, 06:26 PM
One key play in game was after Bell was deliberately clocked by that thug Huckleberry. He shook it off then went on to hit a three and continue to play harassing D.

loved that play. he hit that 3 right in front of the Iowa bench too...sweet

jazzdelmar
03-24-2015, 07:03 PM
Jazz, you must quit making BB sense it really seems to make "seasontixholder" twerk his keyboard.

There was one?

DixieZag
03-24-2015, 07:03 PM
I think rebounding technique is one of the easiest things to teach in basketball, but finding and/or developing the mind set and toughness to execute successfully can be a challenge

I don't know a thing about the decision or what it was, I distinctly recall reading that a couple went. Dunno, might be looking at variations of teaching that technique in game situations, or team rebounding, I'm obviously guessing, so I'll stop. But, that's also kind of why I'm asking. I have a recollection of it and there are people here who are a lot closer to the program and know lots more basketball.

It does seem straightforward, find a man, butt end out, watch for the angle of the ball. I just don't know.

MickMick
03-24-2015, 07:48 PM
It is all about winning individual match ups with the aid of both coaches and teammates.

You can tweak any stat you want to, but it is ultimately the cumulative effect of each player winning individual battles on both ends of the floor, combined with each player coordinating, communicating, and helping each other as required to win those individual battles.

At this stage of the season, there is no substitute for doing what you do best and doing what you have successfully done all year. Know what a player does best and fit your scheme to take advantage of it. In other words, both coaches and players put individuals in a position to succeed, to help him win his individual battle, doing what he does best, and be willing to alter your generic basketball philosophy to accommodate it.

You can't teach speed and size, but you can teach situational awareness, help concept (making those around you better), and good communication. As a team, collectively master those attributes and an inherently skilled team can beat anyone in the field.

Birddog
03-25-2015, 04:34 AM
The Michigan St thing definitely happened. Good coaching staffs seek out other coach's advice, this is not unique. It rarely if ever happens between teams that play each other often ( same conference for instance). I remember back in 2003/4 (about the same time as the Sparty clinic), Eddie Sutton got disgusted with his team's rebounding performance. He had a different approach, he dressed them out in football pads for a few days and made them pound each other on the boards. After that exercise, the Cowboys improved their rebounding numbers significantly and eventually wound up in the Final 4. Lots of ways to skin a cat.

bballbeachbum
03-25-2015, 07:02 AM
I don't know a thing about the decision or what it was, I distinctly recall reading that a couple went. Dunno, might be looking at variations of teaching that technique in game situations, or team rebounding, I'm obviously guessing, so I'll stop. But, that's also kind of why I'm asking. I have a recollection of it and there are people here who are a lot closer to the program and know lots more basketball.

It does seem straightforward, find a man, butt end out, watch for the angle of the ball. I just don't know.

I remember the MSU thing too! and what a positive effect it had, it was great. it's an attitude. Birddog's story about the football pads is a perfect example to me; you're not going to play in pads but you can bring that mentality to the task, that toughness, and it can be taught/developed.