@DoubleDD All system’s take time to learn. You want to go to an open offense chucking up 20-25 threes/game? Great. Only problem is the other team has a say so in the matter. Sure we could throw up shots with a hand in our face every time, but then I suspect we would be shooting a significantly lower percentage and wouldn’t all be convinced that our strength was outside shooting. Instead you have to create an actual offense to get players open. To create space. To screen. Actions. Movement. Still getting players in rebounding position. Etc.
This is the crux of my defense of Self sticking with the hi-lo offense. You cannot simply scrap everything you’ve been doing in years past for something different. Personnel changes and it is true you should play to your strengths, but doing so within the same offense is the way it has to happen. I argued the same point last year when some fans were clamoring for a switch to a zone defense. If you aren’t teaching the same things year in, year out, then you have no consistency. The foundation of your team, the 3 and 4 year players (or the high basketball IQ 2 year players) would not be nearly as effective if one year you’re teaching one thing then the next year you’re teaching something else.
Last year we were more equipped to play inside-out. We had Embiid, and even Black was better than our bench options this year. Also, our outside shooting was not great. Greene couldn’t be trusted to see the court, so he doesn’t even factor in. Selden had very poor mechanics and wasn’t near the weapon he is this year from beyond the arc. Wiggins was mediocre at best, shooting 34%. Mason was below average. Etc. So we can agree that last year we were more geared to the inside-out, hi-lo game, right? So fast-forward to this year and the personnel has changed. No Embiid or Black, and Cliff is producing as most freshman have under Self. But Greene has improved enough on defense to see major minutes, Selden & Mason have improved their shots. Oubre is an upgrade over Wiggins in terms of three-point shooting. Clearly the strength of this team is in its outside shooting. Not many would debate that. However, who’s to say if we changed the offense the results would be the same? Suddenly you have second year players Greene, Selden, & Mason discarding much of what they learned as freshman in lieu of starting over with a new offensive scheme. Does this new learning curve afford Selden the time to focus on re-tooling his shot? For Greene to find a comfort zone within the offense enough that he can improve his defense to the level of serviceable? Would Mason be as successful running the team or would he in essence be a freshman PG, and therefore would he still have the confidence to shoot with such success? I doubt it.
And then what happens next year if we recruit the necessary pieces to once again effectively run a hi-lo offense? Do we switch again, therefore creating even more inconsistency with the players’ performance?
I’m not saying there aren’t some tweaks that could be made to maximize our outside shooting. We’re seeing Self do some things. Not as many as some would like, but give it time. Could be this young team is similar to the '05-'06 team: a young team full of freshmen and sophomores. A team that looked lost early in the Maui invitational and lost in the first round to Bradley. A team that would go on to win the national championship in 2 years. Sometimes patience, focusing on the big picture, and staying the course is the right play, even if the rewards yielded are not immediate.