Game Day Wish

  • One wish for tonight. Only one wish.

    Zone defense.

    When it became apparent that our best lineup was 3/2, it was also apparent that there would be challenges guarding the 4/1 lineups with the straight up man D that Self loves to play. We had discussion about that a number of months ago.

    At 3-2 zone, a mix of Doke, DeSousa, and McCormack in back, with our guards working to guard the perimeter seems like the be set option. The ball side big would help out to the line as well.

    It’s the only thing I really want to see tonight – some zone defense.

    Other than, finally, KU BB again.

    **I broke down, bought Roku, and with the help of more competent family members, I am now all set up with ESPN+ on the Roku “device”. Lucky me.

  • I thought self said we’d never see 3 bigs at the same time??

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Three guards, two bigs – as opposed to four guards, one big. 3/2 zone, three guards out front, two bigs in back.

  • Interesting seeing the comments about he might play 4 guards 20 minutes a game. Yikes. For the exhibitions that seems impossible minus Dotson/Moss.

    The 3 point line did move out which is going to impact the teams we play more then any defensive scheme Self could dream up to stop perimeter shooting. I disagree he needs to play small but I have nothing from this group to base that on. Maybe his best 5 will end up with Dotson/Agbaji/Moss/Garrett and a big but it seem like a crime to limit De Sousa and McCormack to limited minutes with how much Self could scheme to take advantage of their size… Going to be interesting to watch develop here.

    I think its important to see what Garrett can show as a PG tonight and just how much Braun/Wilson/Enaruna might be able to contribute in that 5th guard/wing/small ball rotation…

  • @BeddieKU23 The strength of the team appears to be Dotson + the bigs. That’s a winning formula. We can destroy 4/1 teams if we defend adequately and thus not permit 4/1 teams to force us to play 4/1.

    I’m not a fan of four guards 20 minutes a game. Oh how things have changed with coach Self. Can’t imagine those words, say, 5 years ago.

  • @HighEliteMajor I thought the way u said it, 😳

  • Really wanted to see moss play!😤

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Definitely times have changed. I was just surprised given the personnel of this team that he’d try and make this team split between two styles of play. It doesn’t hurt to have the possibility to do both but how good will they really be at executing both? I think the best way forward is focusing on one and riding it. But Self makes the big bucks and knows what to do here so we’ll see how it plays out. Long term I hope switching styles doesn’t impact results when it matters

  • It’s hard to say which D will work best for us. But there is a reason why all-out zone isn’t allowed in the NBA. I prefer an aggressive M2M, but I haven’t seen the needed energy and technique with a KU team for a long time. Sad to say that. But as we have moved to having players that aren’t around for 4 or 5 years, it becomes too much a challenge (I guess) to teach that aggressive defense. Pity.

    Playing good zone also requires skill, technique and hustle.

    The game is largely about setting screens and testing defenders to fight through them. Regardless of the defense style, it comes down to hustle and technique. It is beneficial to be able to play both, but if players don’t fight through screens, neither will work well.

    I’m thinking we are going more towards a zone to save our guards. We have questionable depth and playing zone should help save the legs of our guards. And less fatigue may help keep our trey shooting % higher.

  • @BeddieKU23 I don’t defer on Self’s judgment, or most coaches. Here’s why. Very few adapt to win. Most focus on their style, what they like to do, what they think is best. They don’t look at their team, determine that team’s best opportunity for success, and the tweak/modify their system to best adapt. Zone defense is a great example. Many coaches, like ours, just don’t like zone D and rarely play it. To me, that’s crazy. If you have a team whose skill set, personnel, etc. doesn’t match what the coach wants to do, the coach needs to adapt. Lots of gray area, I know. I watched this team for years play Self’s style, because that’s how it had to be done, all the while ignoring better alternatives – the three point shot. Now, amazingly, Self is convinced on the three point shot. That means his hard-headedness was not particularly prudent.

    @drgnslayr You’re right in how you see our D. Our three point defense is case in point. Self is an old school man to man defense teacher. I went into this in more detail a number of months back. But “old school” is treating the closest shot to the basket as the most dangerous. That “teaching” focuses on the player’s relationship on the floor to the basket – for spacing, help, hedging, etc. I know it’s been adapted to the three point era to an extent, but I see a team that doesn’t not fully appreciate the threat from three in its scheme. It doesn’t treat the three ball as the second most dangerous threat (behind the lay-up/dunk).

  • The 3-2 zone was the defense of choice in the last 35&older league I played in. Easier to defend the 3 and at that age nobody wants to bang down low or move too much. LOL

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