Monday, March 23, 2009
One trend I noticed over the first weekend of NCAA play is that sometimes in the big spot the opposing defense let's you get easy buckets. Sometimes Defense Is Hard breaks down some of those occasions.
The Scenario: Western Kentucky makes a bucket with 7+ seconds to go to tie the game.
This is only a mild mistake. One theory is that you want to get back and set up your half court D, the other is that by pressuring the ball on the inbound you can waste more time. They only have 7 seconds to shoot, every second wasted makes it harder to get off a good shot, so I'm obviously on board with pressure there.
Western Kentucky opts to continue not to pressure the ball letting the Demetri Goodson get the ball to half court in a just over a second and a half. Again this isn't the end of the world if you set up your half court defense.
And this is the beginning of the end. Orlando Mendez-Valdez begins to guard Goodson but he's immediately in a shitty position. Guarding a faster player who is going full speed while you are tucked in his side pocket. Mendez-Valdez is toast at this point.
At this point it should be blatantly obvious to every Western Kentucky player that Mendez-Valdez is burnt to a crisp. So it's time for some help D and a collapse on Goodson. There's only 3.8 seconds left. Play some D.
Ahhhhhh, that's not help D. You just did a faint hand wave at the ball. What the hell is that going to D?
Oh shit, 1 Gonzaga player with a boatload of space. Umm, where's the defense gonna come from now? Obviously the two guys in the paint are the only ones who have any chance at contesting the shot.
And so one guy manages to get there but instead of contesting the shot and risking a foul he just let's him get away the easy look. Bucket. Game Over. Nice Seeing You in the 2nd Round. Have a safe trip back to Kentucky.