[quote="chicago lion, post:1, topic:306"]Why do we take so many three point shots? Is that our strategy? Is it thought to open up the floor? It just seems that if it is not there one night, then perhaps we should try to pound the ball down low.
On the flip side, why is our defense so poor against the the three point shot? Even last year we did not defend it well and now two teams in a row are shooting over 50% from behind the arc.[/quote]
Last season, we were 80th in the country in defensive 3FG%. That’s good enough to put you in the top 25%, so we certainly didn’t defend it poorly. While it may seem like we take a lot of threes, we’re 53rd in the country in 3PA/FGA, while we were 56th last season (so we take a lot, but not THAT many). I think we take a lot because our strength is at guard. If we had some big bangers down low, you’d probably see that number drop considerably.
One of the things it doesn’t appear we do that others do is pass the ball inside, not necessarily into the paint, but the high or low post. Then, the defense collapses somewhat. Two things happen when you do that; you get a good inside look or you kick it out to a player at the arc who’s more open as his cover has collapsed somewhat and may have turned to keep his eye on the ball. Keeping your eye on the ball is in Bobby Knight’s view, the most important thing in playing D. Because we don’t get it inside often, but normally whip it around the perimeter, teams can keep their eye(s) on their man and the ball without having to turn their head(s), nor take their eye(s) off their man. Players are taught to keep their eyes on the ball and their man when playing D. We make it too easy to do that. When you’re at the arc with the ball, and pass it inside, your defender has no choice but to turn to see the ball, then you can move along the arc for more space from your cover. The only way we seem to be getting inside is by penetration by Battle and Frazier, then they kick it out. It’s okay, but then they’re off the arc for a possible kickout to them. Not as good. Brooks seemed to be setting up inside better vs. Tulane. Hope he continues, 'cause it’s important.
When Carmody coached Princeton, and Bruce Earl played there, they went somewhat deep into the tourney, and lost to MSU’s team which had Cleaves, eventual tourney winners. I watched a bunch of Princeton’s games, and they did two or three things, 3’s and give and go’s(usually back doors), and weakside cuts. That was about it. The player would pass it to the high post and follow the pass and cut to the basket via the back door pass. The high post player would either give it back or kick it out to another player for a 3. He’d also look for a weakside cut. Very simple and very effective. Key is establishing the inside presence to receive the initial pass…we don’t do that. If we’re not getting effective low post play, play high post play, as it’s easier to establish high post presence. We’ll at least get better looks at 3’s. Passing out is better than passing around for shooting 3’s. The shooter has more space and unlike the pass from the side, he’s more likely to have his feet in better position to shoot.