What is missing in our offense?

  • Our struggle against zone defense is bothering me. This is going to be THE ISSUE moving forward in the medal rounds. We’ll face more teams tall and capable.

    I hope our day off today is spent adding in more ripples to our offense.

    Where did our high ball screens go to?

    What we have now is two guards up top… we pass the ball from side to side, wasting time on the short clock, and then get stuck at the end with one of our guards having to use a one-on-one move to penetrate and create opportunities. This works fine against teams like Switzerland. Not so fine against the better teams.

    We need more going on to create spacing opportunities in the defense. I know many of these Int’l teams are better prepared to handle high ball screens… and the fact is that we aren’t skilled in that area. But we have to do more than the typical 3 guards sitting on the trey line throwing the ball back and forth. This isn’t D1 where defenses can’t quickly hang with the perimeter ball movement.

    The back door play we run is great and will be there now and then. But we need more happening on offense. We are extremely predictable. And it is a shame, because we are far more athletically gifted and capable than all other teams in this tournament.

    I have liked that we wear teams down by the fourth quarter… but moving forward, it may be us that is tired down the stretch. Our perimeter players are starting to show their exhaustion.

    Perhaps from here on out we get a day of rest between games. That would be a big help.

    What I would really like to see is an increase in pace. We turn our half court offense into a “secondary break” offense. We need to push the ball up the court quicker and with better timing. Have our PG attacking the basket at the same time the rest of our players are setting up on offense. Don’t let the defenses set. This is the way to really beat the cr@p out of Int’l teams. They aren’t so good on defense if they aren’t allowed to set. We could easily run more low post offense if we did it quickly up the court. Back door screens… alley oops…

    All of our guys need to realize that they are playing slower, smarter guys. They use their brains and they make up lots on their inferior speed by knowing how to hedge. They can’t perfect their hedging when they don’t get time to set. So even if we are slow setting up our offense and the defense is set… the key for our guys is to have ZERO hesitation on their moves, and if possible, to be in motion when receiving the ball. Our typical 3 guards on the perimeter and quick passes back and forth feed directly into every team we will play. It does nothing but chew off valuable seconds on the shot clock. All of these teams understand proper spacing, as long as they are allowed to set.

    Notice how well we are defended… then suddenly, one of our guards makes a drive past his guy and the defense often collapses. Once you are able to break them out of their set positions, the game becomes a race and the race is won by the superior athletes.

    We will leave Korea with a championship trophy if we can push the pace and make all our games a race.

  • @drgnslayr well, so far those slower, smarter guys have lost to us. Self said don’t think, play. W/lane so wide it is harder, but think how well we do against Baylor. W/lil practice I’m sure they will be working on that today. I think we have some smarter guys too.

  • Nothing wrong with the offense. Serbia was a big experienced team that clearly had an advantage playing the zone but we still beat them! I bet we practiced zone offense next to zero for this tournament. What I see is that our guards have to be aggressive in driving through the gaps. If your just passing the ball around which we tend to do a lot of in zone sometimes then you give the Defense the opportunity to just extend. The guy in the middle should always be getting a touch, or there should be active movement to get the ball into the middle.

    We also missed a ton of outside shots which only made it easier for Serbia to keep the game close. They knew that playing M2M they would have gotten creamed because Selden was going to dunk every play it seemed. Kudos to them for exploiting the matchup. Self has generally never been a great coach against the zone unless he has guys that pass the ball really well. We have just a few proven passers so its even harder to breakdown a zone when your passing game is just average.

  • I believe the offense is doing just fine. Against Switzerland there was an 18-2 run full of fast breaks and dunks that made me dream of what is yet to come. Had Coach Self played the starter the entire game, KUSA would have easily scored 120 point and set a new record.

    When Self and Manning play more minutes than Mason, Moore and Ellis and the leading scorer is the player that had been 9 or 10 in the rotation, you know the score could have been substantially higher. The lower scoring game against Serbia was against a veteran team that has played together many time and most of its players have been playing professionally 4-5 years under FIBA rules and might be the second best team in the WUG, although I have really not seen teams in the other pools play.

    Like I said, nothing wrong with the offense…in my opinion, of course.

  • The problem with the zone offense is Perry still doesn’t flash to the FT line enough to either get an open look from there or forcing the defense to collapse and have someone open. Mason is great at probing a zone and KU is still good at the back cuts, but without Perry being able to bust the zone from the FT line, those other two become much less effective.

  • @drgnslayr Good stuff to mull over. I love fast breaks, loved the run out show against the swiss last night ( were any of their players actually from Switzerland originally?). The best thing that has happened to us is the struggle against the zone, which means days of practice on defeating the zone. We’ll be ready for it - we’ll attack it better, and we’ll make teams 2nd guess themselves when we scorch their zone.

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