[quote=“byake, post:3, topic:1640”]I’ve been thinking about something for the past few day and these statistics reaffirm this question in my mind… is Ed going to take a drastic measure to turn things around?
One would believe that this is a put up or shut up season for Ed which should force him to win by any means. Will he start sitting seniors? Will he play Bowman, Marshall, or Woodyard more? If Graham can be ready to go, will he burn his medical redshirt (or whatever we’re doing with him)? What will Ed do to get the ship righted?
Based on the stats you’ve pointed out Eric we need to bring the D. Maybe we should switch to a zone defense.[/quote]
You don’t shake things up by playing guys who are worse than the ones you have out there. I don’t think that makes any sense in this case. The people clamoring for more Bowman, Marshall, and Woodyard are just not getting it - we need more defense, not offense…and none of those guys has shown the ability to play a lick of defense. At least the guys we play the most occasionally have the idea behind what’s going on defensively, and the hope is that not everybody will shoot 45 percent from 3 against us - which would probably be an NCAA record.
I was looking at those numbers the OP mention and while they are very troublesome, they are also severe outliers in a lot of ways. Take VaTech for instance… they played UNC-Greensboro earlier this year, one of the worst teams and worst defenses in the entire country and hung up 92 points on them… they only shot 53.7% against them from the field, and just 25% from 3 versus the 54.5% and 47% from 3 they managed against us - those are outrageous numbers that they will probably not hit again all season long.
Now if our defense were truly as bad as UNC-Greensboro’s, we’d see terrible defensive numbers against every team we’ve faced so far - yet we only have two truly bad defensive performances and they were both a result of the other team lighting the nets up, particularly from 3.
We’ve seemingly always had trouble defending the 3-ball, so I’m not willing to write this off as just bad luck… but it is worth noting that our defense isn’t as bad as those types of nights make us look. Already this season we have had a lot of very tough, contested (even crazy banked) shots fall against us. We certainly have issues in the paint as well, as we all knew we would coming into this season, but the biggest thing going wrong right now is the great shooting of our opponents and our inability to defend the 3-point line better.
Maybe zone is something worth considering, but typically that encourages a team to shoot more 3’s against you - I’m not sure that’s what we are looking to do right now. I think we just need to see more ball pressure on the perimeter - enough of this pack it in, 3 guys help on every drive system we’re running right now. We have some athletes with long arms that could become a problem if we were to begin overplaying all over the floor. We’ll give up layups still but we already do, at least we stop giving up 3 pointers.
If anything, this is where the bench guards COULD be of use - get in there and really get in your opponents face defensively, use your fouls up a little bit going for steals. Too often I see our subs come in and just kind of float on defense - these guys need to work harder if they expect more minutes, I see very little fire on the defensive end from any of the bench players… that needs adjusted in a hurry.