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.
Oh, and a P.S. How about putting Gabe York in and run screens for him? Not to shoot the three but to slash and score. He's pretty good at that and it would keep defenders a little more wary of that and maybe open him up for three's when the drive isn't available cause they're backing off of him? Would it work?
The one complaint I have about Miller is his inability to adapt either his offense or his defense. If there is someone that is having a good game you should go to them in crunch time and not get the ball to a player that was 1-13 at the time. Motion offense is good but sometimes you habe to abandon it for an isolation play. Zeus or AG in the post or even TJ iso to create for himself or drive and dish to a teammate would have been better option at the end. I would love to see Miller sit down with Lute for an offensive crash course.
I hear you and I agree. One thing I've noticed when Lute was coaching and since Coach Miller is here. Player X would get the ball. He is a very good driver and slasher/scorer. He gets the ball and wants to drive and starts to. But the remaining players on Player X's team would instead of spreading the floor to facilitate the drive would move close to that area, bringing their defender with them, thus congesting the driving lane. I've seen that from many teams, not just with the UofA. This is usually the case when the driver is very quick and has good moves, and he's capable of getting into the lane by himself.
That's a problem with motion offense. If you have a slasher that can create there are always players cutting thru the offense taking their defenders with them amd this clogs the middle briefly which is enough to take the driver out of his focus of getting to the basket. Don't get me wrong I'm a fan of motion offense but Miller's version doesn't appear to directly lead to a shot. Honestly it just appears to have the intent of making the defense move. A good motion offense should have the intent of moving the defense but also of creating a good shot. I just don't get the impression that Miller's does that.
I think that's the purpose of the screens in the motion. Since Brandon is one of our best screeners, I think that's why there weren't as many open shots against Cal. And the ones that were open were mostly missed because of poor shooting nights. At least that's the way I saw/see it.
But I have noticed a lot of times the motion offense ends up with guys running around and around and still there's not a good, wide open shot. The question would be is it the offensive choice or not executed properly?
Yes you are correct c the screens should be able to create open looks but like you said our players appear to be running and running and running. Honestly I don't think it's a lack of execution I think it's just Miller's version.
Arm chair coaching is fun to do. Reality factor states, Arizona went 21-0 with Coach Miller coaching exactly the same way he did from day 1.
Reality factor also states our team lost by two points, on an improbable fade away shot against a team playing its best, without one of our best players, and one of the worst shooting performances we've had in the season.
I trust coach Miller. We are a key man down, yet we still went on the road against one of the best teams in the PAC-12 and nearly won. Imagine if the dump from tj to Gordon wasn't called a charge. Or that the pass from NJ to Zeus for the dunk wouldn't have been a miraculous block by Kravish.
everything that needed to go right for cal to win, did. Oregon is up next, and we owe them a serious beat down!
That's all very true moosety2008. And I trust Coach Miller to the hilt. My mentioning that we need to go with a larger rotation was simply because I saw the effectiveness of playing that way when he took a team without any of the 4/5 star players and beat teams that had them. He knows how to get the most out of the team. After the last season where the Wildcats broke down in the middle, it seemed there was a chemistry break down. I thought it was from Lyons playing scorer to make his stats go up. At the beginning of this season he stated that he learned that not giving everyone the minutes they needed caused problems. I was addressing that by stating my opinion that they shared the ball very well but needed to share the minutes because that would give us the fresh legs like he used before. Also because you notice things like Rondae. Rondae started out playing a few minutes and not playing very well. Then it seemed the more minutes he got the better he played. I figured that might help with Elliot and Matt. Which in turn would help the team. I know Coach Miller is a GREAT Coach and I've posted many times that I trust him to take this team to the top.
Just expressing my opinions about what he could/might do to get the offense back to the top. I think the constant pressure on one or two players to be consistently relied on in the high pressure situations could cause the drop off that has occurred. And by going with the larger rotation the team is also a little better prepared to deal with the unfortunate injuries that may happen.
I know I'm arm chair quarterbacking, but it's only because I am seriously attached to Wildcat Basketball. Just giving my thoughts on what would help. I believe he's already made comments stating that Elliot and Matt will have to be contributing more.
I guess sometimes I get a little carried away because I can't help but get emotionally involved. Bear With.
I hear you Titan. I feel like putting Korcheck at the 4 may give us a similar look on defense as brash, but obviously we'd take an offensive hit. Let's see what happens
Originally Posted by titan4wildcats