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Vanzagger
05-21-2018, 12:26 PM
It seems like that’s what all the cool kids are talking about. I think last year’s team fit right into this mold and we could see more of it this year.

Golden State 300 plus passes when they win

Brad Stevens “stop dribbling and start making plays for each other”


The 2 best defensive teams are favored to meet for a World Championship.

Nevada Don
05-21-2018, 02:48 PM
Excellent topic IMO. I look at SMC too for this coming year and its such a fine line between PF and SF and between SG and SF and even C and PF with the personnel they have. It's going to be very interesting. I'd guess GU personnel positioning is more defined for 2018/2019, or not?

jazzdelmar
05-21-2018, 03:14 PM
Nova and Donte the epitome of this. Here is his combine rating.


Donte DiVincenzo | SG/PG | Villanova

Villanova's March Madness hero, who is officially still testing the waters, had some impressive moments in both games after making the somewhat surprising decision to take the floor despite his tournament momentum. Although he knocked down only 1 of 6 triples in Game 2, he stroked a few deep pull-up 3s and on-the-move jumpers, giving NBA scouts a taste of his most translatable skill. He also proved his worth defensively both on and off the ball, and attacked the defensive glass. He's tough and instinctual with above-average in-game athleticism, having finished in the top four of combine participants all-time in max-vertical and no-step vertical.

From a physical standpoint, the 6-4˝, 201-pound DiVincenzo boasts a similar profile to Jamal Murray when he was 18.6 years old, both with so-so 6-6 wingspans. Given his lead-guard-esque measurements, DiVincenzo still has some work to do with his ball-skills and point guard reads, as he's very much a shotmaking guard at this stage. But DiVincenzo's combination of shooting, confidence, competitiveness and winning pedigree makes him an interesting option in the back-end of the first round, should he opt to stay in as most are expecting.

kitzbuel
05-22-2018, 03:24 AM
Taking a page from soccer. That postionless concept caught fire in soccer in the '70s; Dutch started it. Led to the successful 'Tika taka' style used by Spain in the early 2000's.

I think a well run motion offense is really 'postionless' basketball. More accurately; everyone has to be able to play every position and work for the mismatch.

Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk

thebigsmoove
05-22-2018, 04:44 AM
Perhaps the prototypical sizes of positions are changing, but players still have their roles. You gotta have ballhandlers on the floor who have at least some court vision and can help run the plays the coaches put out. You gotta have shooters who can stretch the floor and make it tough on defenses to collapse into the zone. You gotta have bigger/stronger players who can get inside and create matchup problems. Whether that means you run a 4-4-2-2-2 lineup or a 4-3-2-2-1 lineup, or whatever is irrelevant. Id say the real change is the big men are no longer just bangers, they have to be able to shoot and handle the ball. Part of our trouble last year was a lack of ballhandler outside Perk. We had games where JW3 was bringing the ball up the court and that was definitely not his strength.

MileHigh
05-22-2018, 05:28 AM
guards, wings, and posts.......that is how players are grouped now. and it has more to do with their skill set than their size. You have 6-7 muscular kids that can post up and defend the block and they are "posts" and you have 6-10 guys with great feet that can shoot 3's and defend on the perimeter and they are "wings". The 1-5 vernacular is pretty much dead when coaches recruit players or describe players, but for many offensive sets you still have specific positions (pg, sg, c, etc) As a poster stated above, a lot of modern motion offenses require interchangeable parts as everyone screens, cuts, spots up, post up, and must be able to pass.

Coach Crazy
05-22-2018, 06:38 AM
Perhaps the prototypical sizes of positions are changing, but players still have their roles. You gotta have ballhandlers on the floor who have at least some court vision and can help run the plays the coaches put out. You gotta have shooters who can stretch the floor and make it tough on defenses to collapse into the zone. You gotta have bigger/stronger players who can get inside and create matchup problems. Whether that means you run a 4-4-2-2-2 lineup or a 4-3-2-2-1 lineup, or whatever is irrelevant. Id say the real change is the big men are no longer just bangers, they have to be able to shoot and handle the ball. Part of our trouble last year was a lack of ballhandler outside Perk. We had games where JW3 was bringing the ball up the court and that was definitely not his strength.

Indeed. And until you get more players that are '5-tool' types (yes, I am using a baseball reference), position-less basketball doesn't go as far as the name suggests. And let's be real, maneuverability, agility, ball-handling, quickness etc. are much harder to find in players, the taller they got. Even LeBron is still the exception in the NBA. If you played a whole season with Kevin Durant as your primary ball handler and floor general, it wouldn't go over very well. There will come a time when post-heavy offense becomes a "thing" again. It's all about disrupting the balance or norm. Players are going to get so slight of frame and fast, that the best way to counter that will be to put a big dude in the middle and let him rage. It's all cyclical.

Coach Crazy
05-22-2018, 06:39 AM
I wouldn't call it 'position-less' basketball. I'd be more comfortable with 'role/ability-oriented'

caldwellzag
05-22-2018, 06:43 AM
Overall you are seeing this more and more in the era of basketball we are in. How many times do we use the term combo guard or stretch 4. That is basically saying these are guys that don't play a true position, but fit in the lineup as a PG or PF. Getting your best match ups on the court at any given time is the most important thing in basketball, so having a 5 guard line up with the tallest player on the court being 6'6 might have to happen depending on the team you are playing, as a 6'10 guy could be a liablity.

thebigsmoove
05-22-2018, 06:51 AM
Overall you are seeing this more and more in the era of basketball we are in. How many times do we use the term combo guard or stretch 4. That is basically saying these are guys that don't play a true position, but fit in the lineup as a PG or PF. Getting your best match ups on the court at any given time is the most important thing in basketball, so having a 5 guard line up with the tallest player on the court being 6'6 might have to happen depending on the team you are playing, as a 6'10 guy could be a liablity.

Anything is possible under the sun, but again, the term "positionless" is hyperbole at best.

zagfan24
05-22-2018, 07:20 AM
https://www.wired.com/2012/04/analytics-basketball/

https://www.theringer.com/nba/2017/8/22/16161026/nba-positional-census

Some interesting reading on the topic linked above. I think the biggest change, across all sports, is that use of analytics has helped shed insight into ways in which traditional approaches can be altered. For example, use of the shift and changes in use of relief pitchers in baseball. More football teams are altering traditional positions using hybrid LB/S or S/CB on defense. The "EDGE" position is a relatively new phenomenon as well.

As it pertains to College basketball (and the Zags in particular), fluidity/flexibility in positions helps especially with recruiting. Roster building is really hard now when early departures, transfers, etc make planning long term difficult. If you can bring in players who can fill different roles and take on various offensive or defensive challenges based on need, it helps a great deal in putting together a lineup that doesn't have any glaring holes.

willandi
05-22-2018, 08:06 AM
Overall you are seeing this more and more in the era of basketball we are in. How many times do we use the term combo guard or stretch 4. That is basically saying these are guys that don't play a true position, but fit in the lineup as a PG or PF. Getting your best match ups on the court at any given time is the most important thing in basketball, so having a 5 guard line up with the tallest player on the court being 6'6 might have to happen depending on the team you are playing, as a 6'10 guy could be a liablity.

True, but do you want the Zags having to play a style because of what the other team does, or do you want the Zags to dictate the style? If the other team is all 6'6" or less, a 6'10" posted inside to dunk everything would disrupt their plans. If he was somewhat mobile, he could even defend their tallest, but a zone would be the probable solution.

bballbeachbum
05-22-2018, 09:26 AM
Enjoying this discussion, thanks everyone

my $.02

the concept is cool, using Crazy's analogy of 5 tools, and guys with that. the rubber to road is more challenging seems to me. perhaps most difficult is the idea of being positionless defensively. take the Zags and the switching perimeter D they went to last year often, to mixed results; takes only one 'positionless' defender who is actually not positionless to screw it up. how about the unique impact a true rim protector has to a defense, and offense? not positionless by any means, look no further than our own Shem and his impact everywhere as a true post

I think the Euros changed things with bigs stepping out, with that short 3 point FIBA line, along with euro guards and slashers who can't finish at the rim looking to use the dribble drive to create the kick for that short 3 point shot instead of looking to finish. often enough that kick was to an open big while the big defender collapsed on the drive. but I wouldn't consider that positionless either

interestingly, USA basketball was forced to adjust, to change and go with a more 5 tool team, a more positionless team, but we're talking about a unique group there, where rubber could actually hit road with the concept, and it has been cool to see that under Coach K and Colangelo (K was one of the first to go to this here in the states with the drive and kick O--Vitale's three D man "he drives, he draws and he dishes").

anyway, the evolution internationally and in college today seems to have moved to forcing that dribbler to finish--which is perhaps not what he went inside to do in the first place--instead of collapsing and allowing the easy kick for an open, short 3. puts a premium on the ability to check 1v1, on the perimeter, in the post, wherever...that is a true positionless premium that is of great value, think J3.
and while that stretch 4 or 5 guy can still be covered on the perimeter if the rim protector collapses, that stretch 4-5 guy can often be the open player; if he can't hit, advantage to the D, if he can, the opposite obviously. and more, good defenses look to force the opponents worst attackers to make the plays, if they can, because those players are not positionless and in fact limited positionally. a lot of Zag/SMC matchups over the past few seasons have come down to just this stuff imo

I do think it's cool to see the game evolve and stretch towards the 5 tool players across the board, or at least the aim at it, tho I will always love a true post or true point guard who can dominate games with those true positional skills on both sides of the ball

Reborn
05-22-2018, 09:47 AM
I would not call Gonzaga's offense a positionless offense. I believe that more than any team, Gonzaga's offense is often run through the low post offense and the high post offense. Gonzaga is one team who has always had a very good low post player, and in most cases could not shoot from the outside: Jonathan Williams 3, Karnowski, Sacre, (I'm leaving someone out). Kelly O. is the only low post player who could score from the outside. Clark does not appear to be an outside shooter either. Gonzaga, however, does have sets for the 4 to shoot and score from the outside. Tillie, Wiltjer. There are others but I can't remember their names. Also we have not had very many guards who can post up...Williams Goss is certainly one who could, but Perkins will not, not Norvell, not kispert. Certainly Rui will be able to do that. Few is known for running designed plays for specific reasons and for specific players. I just don't see Few's offense as positionless.

caldwellzag
05-22-2018, 10:10 AM
True, but do you want the Zags having to play a style because of what the other team does, or do you want the Zags to dictate the style? If the other team is all 6'6" or less, a 6'10" posted inside to dunk everything would disrupt their plans. If he was somewhat mobile, he could even defend their tallest, but a zone would be the probable solution.

I agree with you and the one thing I would say is the Zags dictate the style of play (for the most part) in all their games. I was just talking in general. I think Few and co. do a great job of game planning and dictating the play.