Is Zone Defense The Answer?

  • Prior to Saturday’s game, coach Self said “We ain’t going zone.” Further, Self said that he didn’t want to give the kids the mindset that they could be bailed out by playing zone. Then he promptly played zone. I thought it was a great decision at the time.

    Jesse Newell posted a terrific column analyzing the zone defense and posing the question of whether Self should focus the team on zone defense the rest of the way. His logic is that we have a team with a number of one and dones, and the window is closing. Couple that with the new hand-checking rules and our obvious inability to stay out of foul trouble, zone should be a serious consideration.

    Newell alluded to Self needing to realize the hand-checking rules have changed the game. I’ll go a step further – is coach Self struggling with teaching defense given how the new application of the rules has put his philosophy, literally, on the chopping block? Think about it. His guiding philosophy of aggressive, tough, hard nosed, physical defense has been ravaged by the new application of the rules. Worse, as we’ve seen, the new application is horribly inconsistent. Self’s teams have always been defense first. Tough man-to-man. How can this team, with multiple freshman, fit that mold when the application of the rules essentially diminishes the ability to play the way Self wants to play?

    What we’ve seen is significant foul trouble, particularly with our post players. Many have been when the post players are defending out on the floor, or in situations where there is very little contact. Our four primary post players, Embiid, Traylor, Ellis, and Black have combined for 86 fouls. The rest of the team, combined, has 88.

    I have great confidence in saying now what I said in October – Joel Embiid is the player that will most determine our fate this season. We need him on the floor. No one matches up with Embiid’s height and skill set. Protecting Embiid from foul trouble may be the most important task ahead for this team to win the national championship. Further, Tarik Black has been rendered useless. He can’t avoid fouling. Heck, he’s probably fouling right now.

    Could a shift to zone protect our post players, while not sacrificing points on the defensive end? Is a shift to being a primary zone team the move that will put this team in the best position to succeed? Or as Newell asks, “Self has speed and length and depth, so forcing this young team into his tough, man-to-man style may or may not be what’s best for KU in the long run.”

    Rustin Dodd of the KC Star brought up a great point on Twitter – there is only so much practice time available. Self would need to decide pretty quickly if zone was going to be his focus.

    We know Self is a man-to-man purist. So such a switch is a long-shot. But he used the box and one and triangle and two to lead us to the title game in 2011-12. Perhaps it is in the realm of reason.

    Newell’s column is worth a detailed read. Link below.

    link to Newell’s column

  • HEM, your post is also worth a detailed read.

    On Embiid, what makes you think the zone will protect the post players? I thought Self went zone to protect Wiggins. Didn’t Embiid foul out when we were playing zone?

    Should Embiid stop hedging on ball screens?

    Embiid has to avoid fouls on offense too, so should he stop doing ball screens?

    To play zone, should we go to a quicker lineup to close out more quickly on 3-point shooters?

    What about the impact of zone defense on our offense? How about experimenting with two 3-point specialists in the games at the same time? That’s another way of giving each one enough minutes to get in the flow.

  • Yes it is. And maybe time to start attempting to run, run, run, and outscore opponents vs stopping them. The new rules are clearly anti-SelfDefense and there needs to be an adjustment.

    I think the Zone potentially helps our rebounding as well.

  • I think a mix of man to man and zone would be great. I highly doubt we will see a zone defense start to finish but it does work for Cuse. Most of their teams are long and athletic and appear to be well suited for the zone. We have been burned so much from 3 this year that I don’t know what to think of playing zone but I agree with HEM and Newell that it could help with our foul problems and that we need Joel on the floor.

  • Lucas & Embiid back–Lucas has a 7’1 wingspan and Embiids length would be nice back there too. Then 6’8 Ellis & Wiggs on the Wings. That’s a long, long, defense.

    Lucas isn’t an actual option though, I’m just day dreaming about length 🙂

  • Black just picked up another foul.

  • I agree that we probably need to play some sort of zone to offset our foul problems. My only concern is our lack of intensity. Self has talked about this already, but we’re getting beat on 50/50 (for us it’s more like 10/90) balls because our guys are just watching the ball and the other team going after it. This also goes for rebounds. There are times when nobody goes after the ball. We some how beat CU in rebounding by 2 while giving up 13 offensive rebounds. There were too many second chances and even a few third chances granted. Guys need to put an ass on someone and then go after the ball. Too much spectating for the KU guys.

  • @approxinfinity and @vailhawh. I don’t like to dis Tarik Black but I can’t help but laugh. You guys are funny!

  • I come from the perspective that I love zone defenses, particularly the 1-3-1. I think it is the best basketball defense. So I’m a bit biased there. Self obviously favors the 3-2.

    But my only question is whether zone defense the best thing for a coach Self coached team? For a team that is coached by a guy so passionate about man to man defense?

    I think it can be used effectively. Self used it very effectively with another very athletic group in 2008. But they were much more experienced.

    Not sure that this is “the” answer. But it may be a part of the answer. Meaning, I think that Self can be a primarily man team, but use zone more liberally as needed with this team. Or situational based on opponent. I don’t share Rustin Dodd’s concern about practice time. There’s room for both. Many teams practice both and use both. Michigan last season was a great example. Bielein is a zone guy, but they used man quite a bit.

    Zone can make guys lazy; tough to rebound if you don’t find someone to box out. And if you’ve got a shooter or two from outside, it can obviously be devastating – kind of the reverse of our discussion regarding our shooting.

    I think it makes sense here as a significant part of the gameplan. I do think it can provide better protection. For our fouling bigs, namely Embiid. Self went to it Saturday for a reason.

    @ParisHawk - my take on your questions:

    1. Yes, I think zone will better protect post players. Not perfect, but better. Embiid’s the one I’m concerned about. Ellis doesn’t foul a lot.

    2. Yes, I would really like Embiid to stop hedging. If I’m an opposing player, my strategy is to just dribble at him. Period.

    3. On Embiid’s ball screens, just get his feet shoulder width apart, and not so wide.

    4. I would not go with a quicker lineup with Self’s 3-2. He’ll have his 1 and 2 guards on the wings. Post guys low. But you can play small in the zone since you always have help.

    5. I think zone will have minimal impact on the offense, but may help a bit on the break as guys are in lanes, spacing is more uniform, guards are on the wings, etc.

  • If I may, I’d respectfully like to post a couple of opinions/observations on this topic for consideration.

    1. There are always situations when you must adapt both your approaches in offense & defense, due to various foul situations, injuries, matchup issues, etc. It’s becoming apparent that homers & critics alike are now questioning the status quo with Bill’s philosophies regarding rule enforcements that have decimated his defensive strategies going forward. Face it, even teams in the L play zone D occasionally. Am not that familiar with international ball so will leave it at that. Like all great coaches & leaders, HCBS can be stubborn at times, yet can out fox others with creative adjustments as he did in the NC run 2 years ago. He pushed all the right buttons at all the right times except for the final game vs UK. Then there is the end of last years’ Michigan debacle, which is still remains a mystery to many of us who try to think strategically. The points brought forward, & even with our lack of success then or now, you still can’t throw out the baby with the bathwater -ever. But you do have to change the water when needed.

    2. I am also laboring under the impression that too many of these kids are just not willing to play hard, possibly due to their projected OAD college stopover. And I reference it this way instead of calling it a career because many would not set a foot on a campus were it not a requirement to be out of HS a year prior to entering the NBA draft. Surely hope I’m way off base, but this isn’t HS ball where you consistently matchup with foes that are not on your level of play, & you just flip the switch & dominate whenever you wish. Boys are becoming men & I tend to agree with what Ditka once said, “Desire will make up 50% of what is lacking in talent.” You just cannot make a horse drink when you take him to water. I would refer only to what happened to UK during their recent visit to the NIT & Robert Morris to validate this premise. Cornering 50/50 balls is a stat we have traditionally dominated year in & out, so even though I certainly hope I’m wrong, a smidgen of our lack of effort/chemistry may be rearing it’s ugly head for us to see. Managing the egos of adolescents is never easy & can be virtually an impossibility as those of us as parents can attest to, so I am starting to consider a repeating pattern that Bill may be struggling year in & out with the OADs, & how to motivate their intensity to improve. I definitely wouldn’t recommend the proverbial “tobacco enema” quite yet, but there really seem to be multiple issues here to address. Back in the day, coaches just worked & ran you till you till THEY got tired, & I’m not sure a OAD will respond positively to this plan of action in this day & age. But that’s why he gets the big bucks so even if he can only blow the smoke without the tube insertion, looks like there may be a philosophical/attitude adjustment reaching the horizon in the not too distant future before the ever so close losses begin to add up, which will adversly affect his recruiting classes henceforth. As always, JMO.

  • @HighEliteMajor - Excellent thread. The dilemma on Self’s plate is mostly about the rules. It doesn’t help that we have so many freshmen and such a young team overall. There is really no veteran player left to help these younguns learn defense. Our only senior is teaching habits that might have partially worked (only partially) before the rules tightening, but now Tar’s habits are the absolute worst thing a big man can have. I’ve seen Embiid picking up on some of it, and it scares me. The key for big guys is to stand your ground, hands straight up, no jumping until the shooter commits, and then jump into clean space (with a buffer of space between) and make sure not to touch the shooter. Know where the ball has to go and find a different path to the ball to get the blocks. Tar has been praised for having a big body his entire life. Guys like that always want to leave some body on shooters, just to let them know of their presences. Not a good idea this year.

    All our post guys need to look at tape on Withey. If Withey was a senior this year, he still wouldn’t be getting in foul trouble!

    There is the one call where there is no answer for… it is what I posted over the weekend… If a defender is in the circle under the basket, any contact is a foul on him. The only exception is things like elbows to the head/face. That’s just not right… a defender can’t even hold his ground!

    This dilemma may even impact Self’s stay at Kansas. If it keeps going like this, his big strategy for success has been turned upside down. I don’t know if he has the stomach to run zone teams.

    We will be using some zone this year. We have to. When the fouls pile up, we’ll be forced to switch.

    Personally, I believe that CS is going to stick with the M2M at least through December. The outcomes of games may not show it yet, but he is making small progress steps with this team.

    Our offense is suffering because of our defense. Not only do we need to score run outs off our defensive efforts (part of Selfball)… but he isn’t focusing practices as much on offense. He said it more than a month ago… he didn’t want our high offensive output taking away our incentive to play tough defense. Selfball puts defense first.

    What if we had played zone from the beginning of this season?

    We may still be undefeated. Or maximum of one loss… probably against Duke.

    We would have been able to polish more of our offense and we would have fouled less.

    That’s just my opinion.

    But what will help us more in March? (and also league play)

    I think the M2M helps us most in March. In league play, there are plenty of experienced players that already know our M2M tendencies. But in March, all the teams there will have most of their experience running against zones. If we have a decent M2M in March, we will be a tough team to beat!

    The problem is more the rules. Read back on Self… he said it best… you can’t defend the ball screens coming over them any longer because those require pinching the ball, and that’s a foul now. Ball screens are a problem with both defenses, but especially with M2M.

    Our bigs are more susceptible to fouling right now playing M2M… but who is to say it stays that way later? Teams will get better at attacking the seams in zones. And zones always give up the treys.

  • @globaljaybird - good post!

    I don’t know about the kids not playing hard because they think they are going pro in a few months. That always comes up in conversation when talking about OADs. I remember it coming up constantly with X. I didn’t buy into it, and it turned out he went on the hardwoods for more balls than anyone else. He did back down from some finishes at the rim, and who could blame him. The only time I saw him back down was on a contested finish, then he would just play it safe and score the basket.

    What really stinks is we have several possible OADs on this team, and we have no veteran players to help keep our pants up until they learn to play decent D1 basketball. I’ve been chewing on Perry’s recent sleepy play because he is the closest thing we have to a veteran player. Black is a transfer… doesn’t count the same.

    The one thing I do know is Wiggins is a competitor. I think all our projected OADs are competitors… and they don’t like losing. Now if we can teach them to HATE losing, we’ll be competitive in March! The only reason we have the NC trophy from '88 is because Manning got sick of losing and couldn’t stomach another loss! That was the difference in '88, and nothing has changed since. The team that wins it all has at least one player that can not stand to lose!

    We’ll see what Wiggins and the others are made of. They keep losing and we keep falling out of the public eye… and then people start to talk… and away games become even more difficult because of all the jeering. Wiggins still has a debt to pay with the rest of the world; that SI cover. He better produce or he’ll get blasted on that. I’ve already heard some bad comments and that stuff will go virile soon. I’m not even sure he can do anything to stop it now. Maybe average 50 ppg and we win out.

    I’m going to repeat what I said earlier… just trying to get everyone used to this… B12 conference play is going to get extremely nasty this year (within the fan bases). We thought last year was bad… like at ISU. All of that will pale in comparison to this year. Our losses on the road will be insanely humiliating. Every venue will storm the court (when we lose), player’s jeered and possibly assaulted. This will be nothing like we’ve experienced before. I’m warning all Jayhawk fans to be ready to experience this. I do not feel the B12 has prepared for what is coming.

  • @drgnslayr Made this comment on another thread, but thought it may be relevant here,

    “That’s what I’m best at,” Wiggins said. “Being aggressive, driving to the basket and being fouled. Slashing to the basket, that’s what I’m best at.”

    Hope his light bulb stays on.

  • Strongly think our kids knew when they picked KU they bought in to playin D. When we played zone sat. It took awhile for Co. To adjust. That’s one reason to change it up now and then. Also zone needs to be played while keeping man to man principles. I’d rather stay in man, but if you have trouble guarding the drive or in foul trouble it’s worth the time.
    As for us against a zone, we have always done so well attackin that most teams don’t stay in it long. Puzzling we couldn’t or didn’t adjust to it.

  • @drgnslayr. The circle gets even worse. Last year, as long as the player was outside the circle with his feet planted, he always drew the charge. Now, he has to have his feet planted before the offensive player leaves his feet…and even if he jumps into the defender, and since this is a judgment call, 9 out of 10 times it is called a blocking foul.

    The new rules have eliminated good defense for the sake of more scoring. I believe Coach Self saw this coming before anyone realized how much it would affect play, and he is still trying to figure out how to re-tool his style of play so the team can still play tough defense without fouling out or playing zone. If he does not come up with solution soon, he will have to consider playing zone like most everybody else has. This is not good, since the NBA plays strictly man to man and playing zone does not prepare players for the next step.

  • I hope he does figure it out! If any coach can, he will. Do you think they will change these new calls? Can they go back, and would it have to wait til next year?

  • I’ll be shocked if they revert back. To do so would admit idiocy and the NCAA would never do that.

  • The chances that the rules will change in mid season are zero. The NCAA claims that these are, by and large, not new rules but simply being enforced more rigorously. However, I would not be surprised if by tournament time the refs are told to ease up to allow for better continuity and avoid a parade to the foul line.

    It is a good thing that Ed Hightower retired, with so many fouls being called, by now he would have pulled every muscle in his body

  • Here is an article about the new rules…and KU…


  • Rules aren’t going anywhere. Ever. John Adams ESPN Article

    Adams says they changed the rules for consistency and to eliminate the grey area in hand check foul vs hand check non-foul. I guess having a brain and using it while running was too hard.

  • If memory serves me correctly, and it may not as the rule in the L has been this way for years, hasn’t it always been such that the defender must be set before the opp leaves his feet, with the discrepancy being the way the judgment call is made? With the preposterous sum of money the CBB pumps into the NCAA pockets with the OAD stars & dance, isn’t it most likely they are accommodating the NBA to keep the cha ching ringing in their ears by changing the way the game is called? They sure aren’t doing any favors to the programs/schools by necessitating the current interpretations IMO. Also, this continual rule change conversation is becoming absurdly redundant with the same comments made over & over for weeks at a time, while HEM’s thread presented the possibilities of making strategic adjustments in approaches to remedy the obvious problems/deficiencies that this, & all other teams face. These interpretations are here to stay regardless of what anyone wants to think, as money is fueling this fire well beyond the dry line.

  • The rules committee got what they wanted with the Oregon-Mississippi game - Score, 115 to 105, Oregon. Welcome to the NBA.

  • This post is deleted!

  • HEM, thanks for your replies.

  • @truehawk93 : A zone, be it 1-3-1, 2-3, or Tri&2 are the blueprints for stopping KU’s athletes. We didn’t know how to or couldn’t run an effective offense against any of these zones. We should devote some practice time on zone D so maybe we can figure out what to do against that zone on O. And until we can run an O that exposes the zone or we get someone (two, three, all) hitting the 3 we will see a lot more of it.

  • @truehawk93

    I don’t know what bball psycho babble Self is using…

    crazy system,…

    Self plays mind games with players, thinking he will “break” them into Bill Self coached players…

    The pg situation is goofy…

    The 3pt shooter issue is stupid…

    I don’t mean to be uncivil and it is nothing personal…but really???

  • Great discussion, guys! My take is all this is a moot point if we focus on rebounding the damn ball and guarding the opponent better, which is clearly a work in progress since we have FROSH players. Look at how many opponent possessions get down under 5sec, and they still convert a bucket. Also, we LOST the 'Nova and Colo games due to getting outrebounded.

    So its not like we are seeing the junior/senior defensive studs of 2008 getting thrown off their game with the rule change…No, we are seeing freshmen struggle with off-ball defensive concepts, which simply takes experience (of gettin burned…) and time + film study, along with also getting your azz burned by Self. They will get it, just will take time.

    All the same “rules” apply to the opponent…its just that other teams may have more experienced players in order to be able to execute their coach’s gameplan (Nova had a great defensive scheme on us, as did UTEP’s slow-it-down gameplan). Play Nova or UTEP in March with this team, and see what KU’s improved play will do to them. Same applies to Duke and KY…young teams that under their respective coaches will get a ton better. Notice how everybody-not-named-Towson, or the in-state Div2 schools can “bother” this KU team?

    Better question to ask, conceptually, is this: “Why are lesser (talent) teams able to hang with, and even beat, this KU team?”. Because you can throw things at frosh they have never seen before (in November), especially at Div.1 speed and with Div1 sized athletes. WakeForrest showed us. Villanova showed us. UTEP showed us some things, eventhough we won that one. Prepare yourselves for another lesson, courtesy Billy Donovan, on a hostile court. Call it another learning experience (for sure) win or lose.

    Summary: we got a 6’9 260lb senior, a 6’8 230 lb soph, another 6’8 230lb soph, a 7ft 250lb frosh, and an amazingly athletic 6’8 kid… … … yet we get outrebounded by Colorado. Bill Self Basics. SelfBall 101.

    Also, if you ask Bill Self to change alot of what he “is” or his philosophy–> then is he still “the” Bill Self that gives us an edge? No. The variable being exposed this season is the green team. Hell, they are greener than the 2-horse Sherron/Cole 2008-9 Hawks that started frosh Marcus and frosh Tyshawn and frosh Xavier. This team has more talented depth, but alot of that is green also. That 2008/9 team also is the one that finished sub-30 wins…and got bounced out of the Tourney by MichState (tougher team). It takes frosh almost a year to learn Selfball. Case in point Ellis last season, and you cant have a smarter kid trying hard to “get it”…Another case is really what you all have seen: look at most Bill Self frosh his whole 11yr tenure here…A Bill Self team is NOT a Bill Self team until it is reliably and consistently executing most of what Bill Self wants it to do, right? The 08Champs had over 55 plays in their half-court offense…How many do y’all think we have installed at this point? In case anybody is wondering, Im not sold on the zone. Especially when we lost the game due to the rebounding discrepancy, and letting em off the hook and make a bucket in the last few sec of an opponent possession. What good is ANY defensive scheme if thats what happened. Bill Self 101: Limit opponents’ possessions and looks at the basket, gain extra possessions yourself, and get high% looks for our offense.

  • I agree that Embiid should start over Black, but honestly, with all the fouls Black accrues–> isnt Embiid getting starter-level mpg already? Notice how he has fouled out twice also. Not sure if I’d draw additional “conclusions” from the fact that those 2 Embiid-5-foul games were also the 2 we lost.

    Not ready to jump on the KU-win-it-all-this-season bandwagon just yet…too many fundamental issues with a very green team, that honestly was simply amped enough to beat an pretty green + smallball team named Duke, and did look really good in that-1-game-vs-Towson…(remember that?). Lots of ground to cover.

    Talk about “regression to the mean” or “law of averages”…you are seeing that right…about…now, with this squad. Notice how you only can “move the averages” with game after game of consistent play. That takes work and focus. These kids came to KU knowing that is how we build contenders. Time to get to work. Or “back to the lab”…as Tyshawn used to say. Or “bring the young’uns along” as Sherron used to say. Time to “put ya shoes on”…

  • …“jacking with the lineup”…Funny. I recall discussions in 2010-11 where Self was criticized for NOT using all his lineup, or getting true athletes some real mpg…

    I also wonder what Duke board-rats and KY-board rats are saying about their respective teams right about now. Especially the KY people…I bet with their #1 class, they consider themselves a “shoe-in” for the NC game (reserve your hotel to the Final4 right now!!!). (laughter).

    Just cant please everyone, can we? Watching Bill Self patiently craft yet-another-winner doesnt seem to be in the lexicon of some KU fans–I’m just wondering aloud here…

  • Gosh @ralster - it is great to have you back posting a lengthier post. Everything you said was spot on.

    Right on the mark about Self staying Self. And I wonder if he’d rather take on the challenge of the NBA than take on the challenge of running a zone team. I know if it was me, I’d definitely consider the jump more now than ever before.

    I like how you framed up the zone… playing hard for 30+ seconds on defense then letting teams bail out with an uncontested 3. It seems to break every rule Self brought with him to Kansas. Why even put in the energy for the first 30 seconds?

    M2M is all about hustle, and it is all about personal responsibility… two key qualities you have to have to win at this level.

    These guys are still playing half HS basketball. They haven’t made the jump to D1 level basketball. They are learning what it takes; 40 minutes of hustle, 40 minutes of staying focused, 40 minutes of going hard after rebounds and 50/50 balls, 40 minutes of execution. If you slack off in any of these areas you can expect it will eventually catch up to you. It’s why most of America watches basketball in March… because it is the real deal.

    If you think back just a few years ago, any freshman on our team was not counted on for anything… we keep raising the stakes on expectations. Maybe it’s because of all the media attention. I really don’t understand why OADs steal most of the attention from established players… but then, hype isn’t earned, it’s nothing more than fluff. If you want to have a true understanding of college basketball, go to Vegas and talk to the guys who make a living by putting their money first (over hype). Those guys look for experienced teams to make cover. I’d put their advice 10x over all these fluffy sports analysts who make a living only off the hype. Experienced teams are more predictable.

    We have no idea what to expect tomorrow in Florida… we could win by 20 or lose by 30… with young players you just hope someone gets hot and gets the entire team jacked up on momentum. It’s the best you can expect out of all those freshmen (this early in the year).

    Funny you mentioned UK fans… Cal spent all summer and fall jacking up the fan base with his utter nonsense about perfection. They’ve already blown their expectations for the year, and we are just in December. Even if they win out from here… it will be remembered as a team that “could have” had a perfect season, but failed. I’m just glad Self paints a realistic portrait of his teams. Never mentions nonsense about striving for perfection…

    I’m more optimistic now that we’ve dropped a couple. I might even get more optimistic if we lose a couple more before league play. Whatever it takes to get these guys hustling. It won’t be long before they’ve completely left their HS games back in HS. I actually think Wiggins has made quite a bit of progress already… and of course Mason and Embiid have, too. I still think we haven’t seen Selden play to the level he already possesses… he needs to come out of his shell a bit more.

  • @drgnslayr, Yep, agree with everything. The one thing about SelfBall, is that it is ultra-rare to see a 20+pt blowout loss for a Self-era KU team. “Muddying it up” and turning an off-shooting night into a “grinder” is EXACTLY at the core of Self, who only learned that from Eddie Sutton, and from his days in the Big10.

    You mention the 40min of execution–> well, funny, that now the “big-time” win against Duke required exactly that: we broke the game wide open only in the last 3min. Wiggins himself said on-camera afterwards that “that’s what we do, we play from the opening tip, to the final moment”. Now we realize he was simply a good Self-soldier and reiterating a Self-phrase no doubt, and that the team as a whole has struggled to duplicate that effort level.

    We cannot Duklicate reliably yet…

  • Right on… typically it is almost impossible to blow out a Self team… but typically we have a defense that limits opposing offenses to a poor FG%. Until we get that going on, we could be blown out! In fact… I’m kind of surprised we haven’t been blown out yet!

  • I don’t think we should panic until B12 season starts and we have trouble winning games then. Bill Self is all about winning the B12.

  • A couple of things come to mind.

    1. Remember how the 2006 team (with Mario as a freshman and RusRob as an inexperienced sophomore) struggled to get the ball out of the backcourt against Arizona? It was painful to watch. That team’s early struggles followed by a 13-3 conference season demonstrate that this team should get a lot better (as we’ve all been saying).
    2. I don’t specifically remember how that team played defense early on (or later in the year for that matter). Probably not very good.
    3. This team (compared to 2006) has the additional issue of the new foul interpretation to deal with. Could it be, though, that they should be able to adapt as most of them are learning a new system (as well as level of play)? Or is it Self that needs to learn?
    4. I’m in favor of mixing in a zone now and then if for no other reason that it gives the other team a new look.But, wouldn’t a zone potentially limit the turnovers and breakaway baskets that we are so used to seeing from Self’s teams?

  • Good post HEM. Personally I tend to agree that coach should use a zone more often for those reasons Jesse outlined. Don’t think pure zone all the time is the answer, just enough to limit our fouls and shake up the opponents offensive rhythm. We are about to see how our favorite young team will do after a tough road loss, going to another tough team on the road. KU is more talented but they are younger. They are better but they need to play like it. Wigs needs two halves of NBA caliber game, Perry needs to watch his perimeter D, Joel needs to not foul on fakes and hedges, and all need to keep their turn overs down. Mostly they have done that but against CU, they turned it over too much, they need to use quick ball movement for better shots and someone needs to make more 3pt shots. If they can do all that, they could win at Florida but that’s a pretty tall order.

  • Didn’t Self even say early in the season they had practiced zone?

  • Zone, schmone. Let them play zone. If, for whatever reason, nobody on our team can hit a 3 point shot this season you can still dribble to the basket against a zone.

    But then we’d have to learn to shoot a free throw.

  • Fantoo- I’m sure Self will work out the kinks, but right now they are totally out of sync. I’d like to see a bit of progress, not digress. Two games in a row is a bit out of character for Bill Self teams.

  • Seems to me that beating a zone defense will be the answer. 😉

Log in to reply