Problems And Fixes.
There are problems with the Wildcat offense. How is that possible with a record like they have? Simple. They have made up for those with hustle, grit, and determination. They played harder on defense. But, sooner or later someone figures out those problems and figures out how to take advantage of them.
The problem the offense has is obvious and has been there since the start of the season. We have very little production outside of the post area. The stats that have been posted have shown that the Wildcats shoot fantastic percentages in the post. The percentages away from the post take a serious nose dive. There are a couple of players on this team that can shoot the 3. Nick is one, but he has off nights there just as all players do. TJ can shoot but again the same thing. When those two are not shooting well, where do you turn? Gabe can shoot the 3 and can score at the hoop. He can go cold as well, but he is an option. So why doesn't he get more time? Is it because he's not completely up to speed on defense? That appears to be the case. Coach Miller knows that offense is great but without defense you don't go far. Look at Oregon. They scored an average of 90 something throughout the OOC. True they didn't play a tough schedule. But just about every team they played scored very well also. Even the "cupcakes". While the basketball experts were touting them as a challenger to UofA's dominance in the Pac, I pointed out that they had no defense. The results proved that without it you just can't keep winning.
Since the Wildcats score so good around the post, why not just keep going there? Obviously if that's your main threat other teams start to load up and dare to score somewhere else, like they do when Aaron gets the ball out past or near the arc. They leave him open. And because he's a freshman and isn't comfortable with that part of his game yet, he misses a lot. You only get so many possessions in a game. If you're forced to shoot a large percentage of your shots from where you shoot low percentages, you don't finish with high scores. If your defense is great, that means the other team doesn't score very high either and you can win. That's what the Wildcats have done. No matter how great your defense is, there's always a catch. Like the offense, the defense can have off nights.
Then there's the minutes. One of the reasons that Coach Miller has had the Wildcats playing some great basketball even when lacking McDonalds All Americans and players for each position was by playing a large rotation. Keeping fresh legs on the floor. But when you get those highly talented players recruited to your team, you have to play them. They want to exhibit what they've become proficient at so they can advance to the next level. If you play a large rotation, they don't get as many minutes as they want. If they don't, then they will start to "lose" their game feeling like they're being wronged and the results are predictable. What would help to keep that from happening?
What the pro scouts are looking for is for the players that produce efficiently and consistently. The points per possession. They know they can get the physical conditioning up so that they can play more minutes once they get there. They want the players that learned the skills and apply them. So if they only play twenty minutes a game but still score 16 pts and get rebounds, steals, blocks, etc. they are a valuable player.
These high skill players learn to share the ball in the game. What they need to learn is to share the minutes without letting it bother them.
I know they're athletes and train and practice. But to go 110% on defense and then go 110% on offense is still difficult. And even though it's usually for only four or five minutes between media timeouts and team timeouts, and fouls, etc., it's still extremely difficult. It's like running a 300 yard dash while twisting, jumping, falling, and having people bang into you. And then resting for a couple of minutes and doing it again. And again. And again. These well conditioned athletes can do that. But the difference in results from the first couple of those sprints to the last couple will be noticeable and cannot be changed. That is proven fact.
What the Wildcats need is scorers away from the post. Consistent scorers. Scorers who can also play great defense. Players who will not only share the ball, but share the minutes.
Right now, the Wildcats need for Elliot Pitts to get his defensive game up and start hitting that long range net. They need Matt Korcheck to check in with his defense up to par and his scoring there as well. A rotation of 8 or 9 would help keep the ship sailing straight to port. But Coach can't put in players that can score 10 ppg if they're going to give up as many or more. Our bench needs to step up, and we need to get plays for other than the post to compliment it and players who can produce there AND defend.
The remaining problem is leaving 5 to 10 pts. laying in a basket that instead of nylon net is metal and holds garbage. Solution: Let Zeus show them the way. Maybe not his exact mechanics as what works for some doesn't always work for others. But his determination, attitude, and mindset when he steps to the line.
Last edited by titan4wildcats; 02-02-2014 at 08:36 AM.