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Saratoga2
12-24-2011, 10:38 AM
The ACC has a few foes who will give our team a serious challenge. The obvious test for us will be UNC. I watched them play Texas and drew some conclusions about what they struggled with and how we might best play UNC.

Texas has some quick but as yet inexperienced guards. They tried to penetrate the guards and were somewhat successful in doing that, but came up against the UNC front court players and often couldn't deal with the size, so turned the ball over. Since the Texas guard was inside, their transition defense was poor which led to UNC's favorite way to score, the fast break. Texas also was not that good with their passin, turning the ball over leading to more fast break points. UNC seemed to ahve a size advantage at most positions and were able to shoot over Texas on numerous occasions. UNC also tried to penetrate and pull the front court defenders to them, leading to easy baskets for the UNC front line. Finally, UNC's defense was solid but they seemed to have difficulty maintaining it for the full shot clock, leading me to believe we might be able to exploit that shortcoming.

My view is that we should do the following:
1. Advise Austin to avoid penetrating all the way to the basket, but to pull up early and either shoot or pass to an open player.
2. Make certain our guards in particular have a high priority of getting back in transition. That woud include Austin when he pentrates.
3. Ask our front court to keep the UNC front court from getting position close to the basket. That means running back on defense, something Mason and sometimes Miles don't do at full speed.
4. Ball handling and passing will be at a premium. We will need our best talent at point to avoid turnovers which give the advantage to the UNC fast break.
5. We need to keep at least two of our taller guards in the game to prevent UNC from shooting over us. Possibly Michael will have a role by that time.
6. Move without the ball and be very patient getting off a good shot every time down. We have good shooting from the guard posiiton.
7. Pull Ryan out to the top of the key at times to draw at least one of their front court players with him, providing less shot blocking when Mason goes to score and or rebound.
8. Avoid taking our guards into the corners from 3 point shots. My view is that keeps them too far from the action to get back on transition defense.

This game plan might not be needed against many teams, but I see UNC as a special case and problem. Interest in your thoughts.

JNort
12-25-2011, 02:05 AM
Idk seems to me there is not too much to worry about unless Barnes gets hot.

3 Defensive keys

NUMBER 1!: Sag off of Marshall and cover the passing lanes to the post. Nobody is afraid of him scoring.

2: Imo this is the hardest but keep Zeller and Henson from gaining to much position before they get the ball

3: Stay close on Barnes! He does not dribble very well outside 2 hard bounces but can get in a hot shooting streak very well. Just harass him as best as possible w/o fouling to much


Offensive keys:

Play like we have been for most the season. Unc doesn't cover 3pt range very well and Curry lit them up last year. This year I expect about the same from him, more from Dre and lots from Rivers

papa whiskey
12-25-2011, 02:42 AM
Call me simplistic, but I don't care. The strategy against unc this year is the strategy most teams have against us when we are really good. And unc IS really good this year. Play the best defensive game you have in you, and make shots. It's amazing how many games you will win when you do that.:) 1-12 unc is as talented as anyone in the country. This is one of those years where I'm hoping, like my kerlina fan friends often hope when we are on top, that someone takes them out in the tournament. Most of their core is gone after this year regardless of how they do so here's to hoping they go out with a flop. Cheers.

Saratoga2
12-25-2011, 11:30 AM
Idk seems to me there is not too much to worry about unless Barnes gets hot.

3 Defensive keys

NUMBER 1!: Sag off of Marshall and cover the passing lanes to the post. Nobody is afraid of him scoring.

2: Imo this is the hardest but keep Zeller and Henson from gaining to much position before they get the ball

3: Stay close on Barnes! He does not dribble very well outside 2 hard bounces but can get in a hot shooting streak very well. Just harass him as best as possible w/o fouling to much


Offensive keys:

Play like we have been for most the season. Unc doesn't cover 3pt range very well and Curry lit them up last year. This year I expect about the same from him, more from Dre and lots from Rivers

Sagging off Kendall is a good addition. Merry Christmas!

DukieInBrasil
12-25-2011, 05:36 PM
My view is that we should do the following:
1. Advise Austin to avoid penetrating all the way to the basket, but to pull up early and either shoot or pass to an open player.
2. Make certain our guards in particular have a high priority of getting back in transition. That woud include Austin when he pentrates.
3. Ask our front court to keep the UNC front court from getting position close to the basket. That means running back on defense, something Mason and sometimes Miles don't do at full speed.

7. Pull Ryan out to the top of the key at times to draw at least one of their front court players with him, providing less shot blocking when Mason goes to score and or rebound.
8. Avoid taking our guards into the corners from 3 point shots. My view is that keeps them too far from the action to get back on transition defense.


I think the Mason/Miles/Ryan getting back down the court on UNC's transition game is a big key, partly cuz they did a poor job of it last year vs UNC, but also b/c they did a poor job of it all of last year, and have been quite lackadaisical much of the time this year in that regard. The parts about Rivers and the other guards being in a position to limit their transition also points at the main key towards limiting UNC, stopping them from running. When they play half-court offense they are a pretty mediocre team, when they run they can be the best in the country. They are maybe above average on D, but certainly not great.
However, do we have the guards that can a) effectively keep Marshall from dropping mad dimes? b) keep Strickland out of the lane? c) keep Barnes, Bullock and Hairston from shooting over them for 3s? To me that's where the game will be decided, since honestly, i think our 3 bigs can play their 2 + Fr. McAdoo to a draw. If Mason and Miles can effectively muscle Henson away from the rim, i think either one can outplay him. Zeller is not a jump-shooter, but he has great footwork and post moves, so keeping him a bit further out than he wants to be will also be important. He's not as strong as either Plumlee, so perhaps they can do that too.
Will we put Kelly on Barnes? It would keep HB from being able to shoot over him, and force him to drive, which he'll probably be able to do vs Ryan, but as mentioned previously, HB is not good once he has to dribble a few times. Playing Kelly and both Plumlees vs Barnes/Zeller/Henson will seriously reduce the minutes for our backcourt, but no way can Marshall contain Austin and either Curry or Dawkins vs. Strickland might be a draw.
Honestly, I'm not scared of UNC this year despite their lofty pre-season accolades. If we can keep them from running, i think we beat them handily. If they get out and run a lot, they probably win.

roywhite
12-25-2011, 05:54 PM
Sagging off Kendall is a good addition. Merry Christmas!

Eh?

Need good, tight defense on Kendall; not that he's a major scoring threat himself, but don't need to give him extra room to make plays.
Ideally, we'd like to pressure Kendall and make him set up further out than he's used to doing. Perfect model was Nolan Smith's defense against him in ACC Tournament finals.

Now whether we have somebody who can defend Marshall nearly as well as Nolan did....that could be an issue.

IMO our matchups against Carolina are not bad, with the possible exception of Barnes getting hot and being hard to stop.

bird
12-26-2011, 11:29 AM
This is a strange Duke squad in a way. Offensively, it has the potential to put up big numbers (and efficiently too!) against anyone.

However, I'm hoping that we come out of the holidays with better all-around defense. Game specific tactics are fine, but without some vintage defense that we really have not seen this year, we might be able to hang with UNC in a shoot-out, but more likely we get drubbed a la Ohio State.

Bob Green
12-26-2011, 12:14 PM
...but without some vintage defense that we really have not seen this year, we might be able to hang with UNC in a shoot-out, but more likely we get drubbed a la Ohio State.

What stood out in the Ohio State drubbing was the intensity of the Buckeyes defense. I have not seen an equal level of intensity from the Tar Heels so far this season so I have a hard time believing we would be similarly whupped by Carolina.

ChicagoHeel
12-29-2011, 01:28 PM
It's 5-6 weeks early for this threat, but I'll bite. We're the 5th ranked offense and 9th ranked defense, so we're pretty balanced and tough at both ends of the floor. The keys to beating us are:

Defense:
1. Keep us out of transition. This is a given- it's everyone's goal against UNC. The best way to do this is play effective offense so we are taking it out under the basket.
2. Play physical with our bigs and double team Zeller aggressively and early. He's improved recently, but so far this year Zeller has struggled with physical defense and double teams. If you can get Zeller to put the ball on the floor, it can yield positive results. The hard part is to play physical against Z without fouling.
3. Turn us into a jump shooting team. Even if it poses the risk of getting burned by some combination of Bullock/Barnes/ PJ, we're at our worst when we don't work it inside regularly. We get very little scoring out of our backcourt- Strickland hasn't even attempted a three and Marshall's shot is inconsistent, so I would sag off the perimeter, pack the middle, and take my chances.

Offense:
1. Dribble penetration. My biggest concern is Rivers. If he can penetrate and effectively mix scoring and passing, it could pose a real problem for us especially since you're good at spacing the floor and obviously have a lot of good shooters. If you don't get dribble penetration, I'm hoping our length on the perimeter will slow you down from beyond the arc. Our length advantage can be minimized if Rivers forces others to rotate over and help.
2. Rebound. My sense is that you're not real strong in terms of offensive rebounds- I'm not sure, could be wrong. But we're a little weak in that area. We have very good first shot defense, but are prone to giving up second shot baskets. Henson gets out of position going for blocks and both Z and Henson are sometimes caught slipping out early trying to get in transition. Barnes doesn't pull down enough rebounds, although that may be changing if the UT game is any indication. The risk here is that in crashing the boards you might get beat in transition.
3. Play patient offense. We do not generate a lot of turnovers with our defense so you will have time to move the ball around. I thought both teams that beat us did a very good job of working the ball around and waiting until the right shot or mismatch was there. The number of weapons you have on offense works to your advantage here- you just have to run your offense until the opportunity is there.

Bob Green
12-29-2011, 01:51 PM
It's 5-6 weeks early for this threat, but I'll bite. We're the 5th ranked offense and 9th ranked defense, so we're pretty balanced and tough at both ends of the floor.

Please elaborate on your thoughts on Carolina's defensive toughness. Perhaps I'm overlooking something but I've watched a significant amount of Carolina basketball this season and I've seen nothing which would lead me to conclude the Tar Heels are tough on the defensive end of the court. Yes, Zeller and Henson are tough interior defenders, but Carolina does a poor job defending the 3-point line and on the wing Harrison Barnes plays matador defense at best.

ChicagoHeel
12-29-2011, 02:51 PM
Please elaborate on your thoughts on Carolina's defensive toughness. Perhaps I'm overlooking something but I've watched a significant amount of Carolina basketball this season and I've seen nothing which would lead me to conclude the Tar Heels are tough on the defensive end of the court. Yes, Zeller and Henson are tough interior defenders, but Carolina does a poor job defending the 3-point line and on the wing Harrison Barnes plays matador defense at best.

According to Kenpom, our defense is ranked 9th overall. Our 3Pt defense is weaker- we're holding opponents to 29.9%, which leaves us ranked 50th (vs. 124th for Duke). And admittedly we have been beaten by the three- it was a big part of the loss to UNLV. But since the UNLV wake-up call we've done much better in that area, especially in big games. In our two games against top ten teams, we held the opponent well below their average coming into the game: Wisconsin shot 28.6% vs. a season average of 47.2%, while UK was 23.5% vs. 39.6%. Obviously this is a small sample, but my general sense is that we turn up the D in big games.

As for Barnes, I agree that he doesn't play D to his full capability on a consistent basis. There's no denying that he should use his size and strength more effectively. THat said, he did play better in our last game against UT and recently seems more intent on improving his D (and rebounding). Given his drive and desire to be seen as more than a one-dimensional jump shooter, I expect he will improve. Also, like the rest of the team, Barnes seems to focus more in bigger games. Last year I thought he did a great job against Singler (as Singler did against him). Singler was 3-17, 3-14, and 5-14. It wasn't all Barnes, but he was a big part of it.

Bob Green
12-29-2011, 03:57 PM
But since the UNLV wake-up call we've done much better in that area, especially in big games. In our two games against top ten teams, we held the opponent well below their average coming into the game: Wisconsin shot 28.6% vs. a season average of 47.2%, while UK was 23.5% vs. 39.6%. Obviously this is a small sample, but my general sense is that we turn up the D in big games.

Thanks for the thoughtful response. It isn't a big game, but tonight's contest against Elon will provide another data point for the discussion. Elon makes 35.9% of their 3-point attempts and score 36.2% of their points via the 3-point shot (276 of 761 total points scored). I intend to watch the game so I'll be analyzing Carolina's 3-point defense, or perhaps, their lack of 3-point defense.

For a point of comparison, Duke makes 41.5% of their 3-point attempts and score 29.2% of their points via the 3-point shot (258 of 882 total points scored). Carolina only scores 18.7% of their points via the 3-point shot (210 of 1119 total points).

Acymetric
12-29-2011, 05:29 PM
Thanks for the thoughtful response. It isn't a big game, but tonight's contest against Elon will provide another data point for the discussion. Elon makes 35.9% of their 3-point attempts and score 36.2% of their points via the 3-point shot (276 of 761 total points scored). I intend to watch the game so I'll be analyzing Carolina's 3-point defense, or perhaps, their lack of 3-point defense.

For a point of comparison, Duke makes 41.5% of their 3-point attempts and score 29.2% of their points via the 3-point shot (258 of 882 total points scored). Carolina only scores 18.7% of their points via the 3-point shot (210 of 1119 total points).

As an Elon grad I'll be watching as well...would be great to see Elon pull off another win over a major conference opponent this season (although the odds are much lower against unc than they were against usc).

Acymetric
12-29-2011, 06:39 PM
Elon is clearly getting thoroughly outplayed, but they also can't buy a call. Guess that's the downside of playing in the Dean Dome.

PSurprise
12-29-2011, 08:00 PM
While not watching the "game", one suggestion might be to do exactly the opposite of what Elon is doing tonight.

UrinalCake
12-29-2011, 09:43 PM
Need good, tight defense on Kendall; not that he's a major scoring threat himself, but don't need to give him extra room to make plays.
Ideally, we'd like to pressure Kendall and make him set up further out than he's used to doing. Perfect model was Nolan Smith's defense against him in ACC Tournament finals.


Last year we used both strategies effectively. The first game in Cameron we backed off of him (after they built the huge lead) and he failed to convert on a number of shots. When we played them in the ACC final a lot of teams had copied our strategy so we adjusted and instead had Nolan pick him up at half court and make him work just to get to start the offense. That seemed to frustrate him and take him out of rhythm.

Unfortunately this year we don't have Nolan. I can see Tyler coming in to harrass Marshall for a few possessions, but mostly we're going to need to prevent the fast breaks, disrupt his passes as best we can, and hope our inside guys hold their own.

devildeac
12-30-2011, 05:56 PM
Elon is clearly getting thoroughly outplayed, but they also can't buy a call. Guess that's the downside of playing in the Dean Dome.

Complain, complain, complain. At least Elon got to shoot 5 FT:rolleyes::o.

ChicagoHeel
01-06-2012, 12:02 PM
Thought this article from the News and Observer might be of interest...

Scouting UNC: An opposing teamís breakdown (http://blogs.newsobserver.com/uncnow/scouting-unc-an-opposing-team%E2%80%99s-breakdown)

devildeac
01-06-2012, 12:16 PM
Thought this article from the News and Observer might be of interest...

Scouting UNC: An opposing teamís breakdown (http://blogs.newsobserver.com/uncnow/scouting-unc-an-opposing-team%E2%80%99s-breakdown)

Could you see if Mike, Chris, Steve and Jeff get copies of that, please?
;-))

Saratoga2
01-06-2012, 01:21 PM
Thought this article from the News and Observer might be of interest...

Scouting UNC: An opposing teamís breakdown (http://blogs.newsobserver.com/uncnow/scouting-unc-an-opposing-team%E2%80%99s-breakdown)

Pretty much what we discussed, but carries more weight when coming from a DIV I coaching staff

Kedsy
01-06-2012, 02:17 PM
Thought this article from the News and Observer might be of interest...

Scouting UNC: An opposing teamís breakdown (http://blogs.newsobserver.com/uncnow/scouting-unc-an-opposing-team%E2%80%99s-breakdown)

Wow, to see a real Division I coach flat out say "Marshall and Barnes donít want to guard," PJ Hairston "Doesn't guard," that Henson and Zeller each "Hates it physical" and that Henson "Hates pressure on the perimeter" is very interesting. I mean, fans say that sort of thing, but I wouldn't expect to see it from someone who's really in there.

Matches
01-06-2012, 02:59 PM
Putting up 2002 calendars seemed to work pretty well. Maybe we should try that again.