Where's the 17 and 12 Mason that showed up against KU? Would be nice to have him.
Over the past 5 years, our scoring leaders have been as follows:
2012: Top 4 scorers are perimeter-oriented* players (top post scorer averages 10.7 ppg)
2011: Top 5 scorers were perimeter players (top post scorer averaged 7.2 ppg)
2010: Top 3 scorers were perimeter players (top post scorer averaged 5.6 ppg)
2009: Top 4 scorers were perimeter-oriented* players (top post scorer averaged 5.3 ppg)
2008: Top 7 scorers were perimeter-oriented* players (top post scorer averaged 4.3 ppg)
Notice the bump in scoring for our leading post scorer from 2008-2010 to 2012. It's practically doubled. And that doesn't consider all the times Mason has kicked it out of a double team to a wide open shooter (he's averaging nearly 2 assists per game) and all the times he's missed free throws (he's missed 77 free throws - that's more misses than all but 3 players on the team have even attempted). The team has absolutely, unequivocally made a greater effort to run offense through the post.
To some degree, the results don't look phenomenal in part because Mason still isn't completely fluid in the post. He has only a couple of moves, and people seem to be figuring those out. He still turns it over too frequently (in part because he doesn't have very polished post skills). He isn't a good shooter, which limits his scoring opportunities on the floor and hurts his scoring totals when he's fouled. And he is a good passer, which results in him often giving up shots to set up other open shooters.
But even given all of that, we've still seen a near doubling in scoring average for our leading post scorer over 2 years ago. And on top of that, our second leading post scorer has more ppg than our leading post scorer from 2 years ago. When you add in the post production from Kelly (admittedly its only a small percentage of his production) and Hairston, we're probably getting ~3 times as many points out of our post players this year than we did a few years ago. And that's despite not having guys with well-polished post scoring skills.
To the extent Mason turns it over more than some would like, might it not be due to the pressure on him to "get to the bucket" more often, as Bobby Knight advocated on the air? Knight, providing color on a Duke game, said that he thought Duke should be going inside to Mason far more frequently, especially early in the game, to draw fouls on the other team's big men or score easy baskets or both. Knight has also said that catches should be made two or three steps further out along the lane than where Mason usually posts up. Catching in that higher position, according to Knight, provides opportunities to take it either way, which he says catching it in the low block doesn't.
Notwithstanding that Mason catches in the paint less often than Knight would like, it seems obvious that there is considerable pressure on Mason to "TO TAKE IT TO THE BUCKET" even when the circumstances are far from ideal, i.e., there might be sagging help in the middle, if he goes to the baseline, he might be left with nothing (trapped) with passing it out over outstretched hands very problematic. I do not think that Mason has bad hands but rather quite the opposite. How often have you seen him mishandle a pass?
The best place to catch it if you are a center is in front of the rim, a few steps out. That is a win position. Shelden did it all the time. I don't believe that that was by happenstance. Mason almost never catches it there; in fact, I don't think you see him moving into that space to receive a pass. Another way to create good touches is to catch it on the move going to the rim or immediately after arriving at the post-up point Knight advocates. That often happens when a team has a high low game and the guy who secures advantage is moving from high to low off set plays (think Zeller here). No one here seems to want to address the quality of touch issue, or the pressure on Mason to try to score the ball even when he gets it in less than ideal circumstances.
Last edited by greybeard; 02-28-2012 at 12:05 PM.
- the defender won't let you stay there
- the rules won't let you stay there (3 seconds)
As such, the vast majority of post plays start on the block (or extended out a bit from the block).
Teams that can run a nice high-low with moving screens can create a few of these great opportunities per game, but with the exception of weaker defensive teams these easy opportunities aren't that common.