[quote=“kidcoyote, post:12, topic:1587”]Agreed, but IMO, shooting is not the problem. If so, how does Maryland look so good? They don’t shoot that great. Difference is, they know how to play. IMO, PSU’s problem is structural.
NY Rangers hockey- some years ago, mid season, Herb Brooks was hired as Rangers coach. He immediately turned things around. After squeaking into playoffs, the Rangers demolished the first two teams, then faced the Canadiens. Game 1, Rangers, Game 2, Rangers. Then the Canadiens figured something out. Hockey teams, coming from their own end take the puck up the sides of the rink to avoid a steal and opponent goal. The Rangers didn’t do this, but took it up the middle, in front of their own net. Sounds risky, but as nobody did that, no defense prepared for it. Canadiens saw this after watching films, adjusted, and swept the Rangers. A structural change got the Rangers into winners, a structural adjustment by the Canadiens ended that.
With PSU basketball, think what happened last night on offense. Battle was belted at the arc, and when he tried to penetrate, he was often hand checked. That’s tiring, and before bonus, an effective strategy to stop him from scoring. He’d pass left and right around the arc, but his teammates couldn’t create on their own. So, where was the opportunity, or as they say in hockey or soccer, where was the space? Inside, I’d say, but nobody was there, and nobody went there, except for Talor on drives and he was stopped by hand checks. But driving isn’t as good as passing inside. Why? Bobby Knight says the most important thing in playing D is keeping your eye on the ball. If you pass inside, defenders at the arc have to turn to see the ball, and slough off the tight arc coverage, and/or take their eye off their man. That never happened last night, not once. If everybody’s at the arc, no passes are inside, and no need for defenders to turn or slough off, they just look left and right, not behind them, and stay in PSU players’ faces. It’s structural, not shooting related. You want good arc shots, unhurried? Change the structure. Get it inside, force defenders to turn, then go without the ball or have it kicked out. It’s easy to do. Like the hockey example, it changes the game. PSU tries to play the entire game on the perimeter. It doesn’t work, and it’s a snap to defend. Back door runs(and Tim to Talor was one nice one) were invented to beat this exact kind of defense, in your face, overplaying D. That along with back to the basket setup would have forced Maryland to not overplay on D, and they did that all night. And how did we respond? Take longer and/or hurried treys. Awful. But fixable.[/quote]
Great post. That’s one think I love about this board, there are some true basketball junkies here who know more about the game than I do, so I can learn. Good analysis.
Also, I’ve been a Rangers fan for many years and remember the Brooks Era. I actually think it was the Islanders rather than the Canadiens, but you’re correct about the rest of it. They also would pass the puck backwards to reorganize their attack if necessary, which I think is roughly analogous to passing inside and then back out in hoops. Anyway, thanks for some good Rangers memories.