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View Full Version : "We have to shoot 3's…and make them."



raise the zag
03-23-2016, 06:12 AM
So said Coach Few when asked about the Syracuse zone.

He said nearly the exact quote on:

-- Jime Rome show
-- Doug Gottlieb show
-- Myron Medcalf

If we get 3 happy, we will lose. Shooting open 3's is the general consensus on how to beat a zone. I hope we don't settle.

I trust Coach Few, of course I do, yet hoping we stay aggressive -- high low in the post, cutting McClellan on baseline, Perkins to the middle, Wiltjer at the top of the key, Domas down low, or vice versa. Domas shooting mid-range swishes, or driving it. Cut open that zone, slice it apart, don't rely on our "hot", possibly streaky shooting.

Coach mentioned to Gottlieb he hopes Wiltjer to be the X-factor by hitting 'his 3's'. Even mentioned 'Domas is now hitting 3's'. Feel nervous about this mentality going in, almost seems as this plays into Syracuse's game plan.

Is that just "Coach Speak"? Maybe a diversion. I cringed every time Coach Few talked about us shooting over the zone. I realize we're ON, but that's not really us. To kill zone by making 3's…that's Middle Tennessee St, not us.

Anyway, after checking 'Cuse boxscore(s) in their 9 losses, it WAS NOT 3's what beat them, not once, rather, it was offensive rebounding and aggressive post play. When they win, it WAS the other team missing 3's.

I'd like to see the Zags attempt less than 20 3's as they did in their recent wins. Don't settle.

I trust McClellan, Wiljter, Dranginis, Perkins to make open shots, but would rather see them put pressure on Syracuse. Middle Tennessee St and Dayton both shot a ton of 3's….and missed most of them = leading to long rebounds and transition buckets.

Syracuse is an excellent transition team, when the other team misses 3's and they get the rebound. In the games I've watched, they struggled to rebound the ball when a guard or a post attempts a close shot.

My hope is Few's recent interviews were just diversions, and they may very well have been just that...

Jstock12
03-23-2016, 06:16 AM
Syracuse first has to prove that their zone even works against Domas/Wiltjer, before we just start hoisting a bunch of threes.

raise the zag
03-23-2016, 06:23 AM
Syracuse first has to prove that their zone even works against Domas/Wiltjer, before we just start hoisting a bunch of threes.

Exactly.

That is precisely why I was shocked to hear Coach Few repeatedly talk about "shooting 3's" in back-to-back interviews.

When inquired about beating the zone, immediately spoke about "hitting our 3's". I was expecting to hear about our post play, mid-range jumpers by Domas/Wiltjer, allowing guards to penetrate, our flex offense opening up lanes, etc etc.

Makes me think this was a ploy by Few to lure Syracuse in thinking we are going to hoist 3's, as opponents did in their blow-out wins i.e. Dayton, Middle Tennessee St, Maryland, Duke, etc.

Syracuse was nearly doubled on the boards in many of their losses. This will be key. But noticeably it was post play that killed them. We have an advantage, and 3pt shooting isn't one of them.

Cusefan
03-23-2016, 06:26 AM
I don't think there is any diversion here. I think he is merely referencing the need to hit 3's from outside to force Cuse to extend the zone to pressure those 3 point shooters. That opens up the inside and top of the key (even more) where the Zags can really do some damage. Few is far to smart to think passing around the perimeter and hoisting up 3's is the key to winning the game.

hegotit!
03-23-2016, 06:35 AM
I have never coached basketball, but have watched 25+ years and know to break a zone it takes more than hitting 3's. I would say hitting your 3's would be the 3rd item on the list. Getting the bigs the ball at the elbows and hitting those shots is a key as well as guards driving and distributing the ball are very important. Also fast breaks and quick baskets before the zone sets up are helpful. Rebounds are also a big key. So I don't think there is one specific way to break the zone.

Few is much smarter than me and I am sure has a great game plan. I am sure they have watched hours of video of the games where their zone was ineffective. Just need to make sure to make game time adjustments if something is not working. My .02.

rennis
03-23-2016, 06:37 AM
I don't think there is any diversion here. I think he is merely referencing the need to hit 3's from outside to force Cuse to extend the zone to pressure those 3 point shooters. That opens up the inside and top of the key (even more) where the Zags can really do some damage. Few is far to smart to think passing around the perimeter and hoisting up 3's is the key to winning the game.

agreed.

raise the zag
03-23-2016, 06:49 AM
I don't think there is any diversion here. I think he is merely referencing the need to hit 3's from outside to force Cuse to extend the zone to pressure those 3 point shooters. That opens up the inside and top of the key (even more) where the Zags can really do some damage. Few is far to smart to think passing around the perimeter and hoisting up 3's is the key to winning the game.

I hope you nailed it.

Maybe the host didn't allow him to give any more details, but it started and ended with "shooting 3's".

I haven't seen a game this season where we beat the other team's zone by hitting 3's.

We have 1 very good-to-elite shooter from the perimeter. Doesn't need to be open, can be from any range, etc. The other 3 are solid-to-streaky and have to be open to hit.

I don't doubt our ability to find open 3pt shooters, my only hope is we don't FALL IN LOVE with the 3pt shot if one or two go in. Or if this is our primary game plan because we are "red hot" right now, as Coach Few put it.

I saw a Cuse team in the Bahamas and in NCAA Tournament score in bunches. Mostly transition and slashing points, but defeat the other team by streaking your mobile wings down the court for lay-ups. Middle Tennessee was allergic to transition defense and the net in the 2nd half.

Cusefan
03-23-2016, 07:04 AM
I saw a Cuse team in the Bahamas and in NCAA Tournament score in bunches. Mostly transition and slashing points, but defeat the other team by streaking your mobile wings down the court for lay-ups. Middle Tennessee was allergic to transition defense and the net in the 2nd half.

True, but the fact is Middle Tenn played us even in the first half (almost), even for the first 5 minutes of the second half and the last 5 minutes of the second half. We went on a run and blew their doors off for an 8 - 10 minute span. That was the difference. Those 10 minutes. Same with the Dayton game. Almost the exact same scenario. We tend to play a team even for most of the game and hope for a big run then use our defense to hold onto the lead. We score in bunches for short periods and we're just as likely to go ice cold for short periods as well. We are not a great offensive team. Thus our record this season.

DixieZag
03-23-2016, 07:29 AM
I think it is every bit as likely he's making the rounds talking 3s because in practice right now he's drilling into his team that they have to still exploit down low, where they've gone to work all year.

Misdirection isn't likely to really fool a coach, especially an experienced one like Boeheim, but it makes more sense to talk 3s in the interview if what you're really working on is how to get the ball down low on a zone.

Few pounds the ball down low to a fault, I just have to think it is every bit as likely that a little gamesmanship is going on.

Coach Crazy
03-23-2016, 07:30 AM
Perhaps this is just my hubris, but I just don't respect the zone enough to stay away from good post-entry play when you have big's that are aware enough and strong enough to handle the collapse in the paint. We have the shooters, we now have the slashers that can take advantage of an open seam, and the big's to effectively hold the ball and distribute or move/shoot under pressure. Go at the teeth of that defense. Everything stems from that.

zagzilla
03-23-2016, 07:44 AM
To advance at this stage of the dance we will need good shooting performances from our players regardless of our opponent. We have recent history with 'Cuse (none of it good) that hopefully has given the staff some exposure to what they need to do within our system to be successful.

We have the better offense and they have to slow us down a lot from our typical efficiency because they are unlikely to sustain a high offensive output. They seem to go on runs and if we can avoid that, we should be OK.

ZZ

CdAZagFan
03-23-2016, 07:58 AM
I think hitting 3's will be critical in this game - but they must come on our terms. I've seen the difference in teams that end up taking rushed, hurried, or off-balance 3's late in the shot clock versus teams (like ours the first two games) who take 3's in rhythm and when they have a good open shot. Basically I agree with most above who said GU will still pound it inside - we just need to keep playing the way we play, and not have SU dictate how we play.

Cusefan
03-23-2016, 08:06 AM
Misdirection isn't likely to really fool a coach, especially an experienced one like Boeheim, but it makes more sense to talk 3s in the interview if what you're really working on is how to get the ball down low on a zone.

Of course you could be right. But it's not like Syracuse has a plan B or will change defenses mid game. Boeheim stopped coaching (and playing) man to man entirely about 10 years ago. Since then it's been all zone all the time. Up by 25? More zone. Down by 25? More zone.

We are the definition of "live and die by the sword".

alaskasu
03-23-2016, 08:19 AM
I have never coached basketball, but have watched 25+ years and know to break a zone it takes more than hitting 3's. I would say hitting your 3's would be the 3rd item on the list. Getting the bigs the ball at the elbows and hitting those shots is a key as well as guards driving and distributing the ball are very important. Also fast breaks and quick baskets before the zone sets up are helpful. Rebounds are also a big key. So I don't think there is one specific way to break the zone.

Few is much smarter than me and I am sure has a great game plan. I am sure they have watched hours of video of the games where their zone was ineffective. Just need to make sure to make game time adjustments if something is not working. My .02.

My only point is that the zone makes it very difficult for the opposing team to fast break. Seems like every team's fan base says the same thing - beat the zone down court. Think about it - our guards are always at the top. Who is in the best position to get downcourt first - our two guards who are already at the top of the key or the other team's guards? When the zone is going good we have gone several games in a row, against good competition, without giving up a single fast break point!!! There have been times when we broke down and the other team did fast break. Those were games that we lost. However, the odds of beating us by getting down court before the zone sets up are so slim that they are not worth mentioning. This is not to say that Syracuse will win. Just want to clarify that it is difficult to beat the zone downcourt.

cggonzaga
03-23-2016, 08:55 AM
My only point is that the zone makes it very difficult for the opposing team to fast break. Seems like every team's fan base says the same thing - beat the zone down court. Think about it - our guards are always at the top. Who is in the best position to get downcourt first - our two guards who are already at the top of the key or the other team's guards? When the zone is going good we have gone several games in a row, against good competition, without giving up a single fast break point!!! There have been times when we broke down and the other team did fast break. Those were games that we lost. However, the odds of beating us by getting down court before the zone sets up are so slim that they are not worth mentioning. This is not to say that Syracuse will win. Just want to clarify that it is difficult to beat the zone downcourt.

I think when speaking about beating the zone down the court is in reference to after a miss. In those instances I don't believe it's any more difficult to beat a defense back than when playing man. I'm sure Boehiem stresses getting back off misses however and is one of the main principles of his defense.

As for Few's comments, I take them at face value. I don't believe he is suggesting we're just going to hoist 3 after 3. I think he's simply saying we are going to have to shoot the 3 at times and we're going to have to make a few to win the game. The more successful we shoot the ball from distance the more successful we'll be in this game.

alaskasu
03-23-2016, 09:23 AM
The zone does set up quickly. The only slow man is our starting center and he generally does not play more than 20 minutes.
Boeheim and Few are friends. I assume that Few knows what to do. He wants to extend the zone and then have a versatile attack that starts from the middle of the zone. I doubt that he thinks that fast breaks will come easy. He will go for penetrating the zone so as to get mid-range shots and hitting cutters.

jim77
03-23-2016, 09:40 AM
The way to beat the zone or any defense for that matter is to make shots. The higher % shot the better. The PG is not the guy who does the damage to the zone....the PG is the guy who initiates the damage....the guy who draws the defense in. When the defense collapses the PG needs to get rid of the ball...to an open man...a man out of SU's reach. The next guy will then either go for the hole or shoot OR pass to the third man..who should be open..or he fakes a pass and either shoots or drives. It's usually the third pass that kills as the defense simply can't react that quick. I stll remember what my coach told me...."No defense is faster than the pass". You can't be tentative...the passes have to be sharp and quick...and the decision making too. The 2 things that give the Zags a decent chance at success are our 3 ball shooting and our passing ability...the latter especially.

maynard g krebs
03-23-2016, 01:50 PM
Without reading the whole thread- I'd assume he means hit 3's on kickouts to squared up, ready, open shooters after getting the ball into the middle and collapsing the zone.

23dpg
03-23-2016, 02:04 PM
I'm of the opinion that our 3 point defense will decide this game. Syracuse likes to shoot it from deep. If we can bother them and continue the stellar defense of late, I think that could turn the game in our favor. Sometimes Syracue gets hot for insane distance though.