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View Full Version : Compare/Contrast Packline Defense Vs Big East/Big Ten "Rugby" Defense



devildeac
02-17-2015, 08:46 AM
Ok, I'm not smart enough to figure out the differences here so I'd like some help from the more astute basketball minds/analysts/coaches here to educate me on this topic. I'm not starting this to be critical of UVa/physical defense/low scoring games/bore fests that are parts of the discussion in another thread, but I do find myself wondering why Bennett's principles/teachings/teams are so great to watch and the (sometimes? often?) overly physical "maulings" in the other two conferences (and others) that result in numerous complaints here and occasional scores in the 40s and 50s for the winners. Thanks.

AIRFORCEDUKIE
02-17-2015, 08:54 AM
Ok, I'm not smart enough to figure out the differences here so I'd like some help from the more astute basketball minds/analysts/coaches here to educate me on this topic. I'm not starting this to be critical of UVa/physical defense/low scoring games/bore fests that are parts of the discussion in another thread, but I do find myself wondering why Bennett's principles/teachings/teams are so great to watch and the (sometimes? often?) overly physical "maulings" in the other two conferences (and others) that result in numerous complaints here and occasional scores in the 40s and 50s for the winners. Thanks.

I think its clear why its more enjoyable to watch Bennetts D vs the overly physical D. Bennett's D does so without mauling and fouling like mad. Its a disciplined Defense that is quick to react and the whole team seems to know where to be and when to be there. As opposed to well if we are overly physical and lay people out they can't call every foul right? That is the difference for me at least. The scary part is the better athlete Bennett keeps getting to UVA the better that D is going to get. As long as Bennett is there UVA will be a force every single year.

roywhite
02-17-2015, 09:06 AM
Not an expert, but a few thoughts on the UVa style and success:

their defense adjusts very well when the offense makes a pass -- they rotate well, and quickly establish double teams; they affect the tempo also by playing a deliberate offense and allowing few run-outs (Duke was able to beat them downcourt a number of times, but I haven't seen other teams do this); the players are experienced, disciplined, and physically strong; Bennett has found a sweet spot of sorts in recruiting -- getting reasonably talented athletic kids who are not likely to go pro early...he could actually start to get the McD AA types and not have them stay, so it will be interesting to see how that unfolds. Bennett has a great overall system and has selected and trained kids who fit it well.

FerryFor50
02-17-2015, 09:15 AM
Personally, I feel like they get away with a lot of the "impeding movement" violations - two hands on a perimeter player with the ball, preventing movement around screens. They also do some things on offense that could be violations. One play I saw last night, Brogden drives across the lane and starts to go into a shot motion. The UVA big starts to post up/box in on a defender, effectively taking him out of the play on defense. It's a borderline illegal screen, but no call.

I think their philosophy mainly is "don't get beat on fast breaks" - they effectively bail out on offensive boards in favor of getting back on D. But the halfcourt D, they seem to get away with a lot. It's remarkable that a team that plays so much man defense is 8th in the nation in called fouls per game.

I don't think it's a ref bias, but just that everyone buys into the notion that UVA plays defense without fouling.

Seattle Hoo
02-17-2015, 11:08 AM
Personally, I feel like they get away with a lot of the "impeding movement" violations - two hands on a perimeter player with the ball, preventing movement around screens.
I don't think it's a ref bias, but just that everyone buys into the notion that UVA plays defense without fouling.

So what you're saying is that UVA plays a lot of Duke defense on the perimeter?

Seattle Hoo
02-17-2015, 11:18 AM
Ok, I'm not smart enough to figure out the differences here so I'd like some help from the more astute basketball minds/analysts/coaches here to educate me on this topic. I'm not starting this to be critical of UVa/physical defense/low scoring games/bore fests that are parts of the discussion in another thread, but I do find myself wondering why Bennett's principles/teachings/teams are so great to watch and the (sometimes? often?) overly physical "maulings" in the other two conferences (and others) that result in numerous complaints here and occasional scores in the 40s and 50s for the winners. Thanks.

UVA defense is predicated on a few simple ideas put together:

1) The on-ball defender plays pressure man-to-man like you are used to seeing with Duke. But instead of the defenders on either side of him also playing pressure to deny the pass, UVA's defenders are closer to the lane, more on the shoulders of the ball defender so that they can snuff out any penetration quickly. If the ball is passed, then the receiver's defender is responsible to close out quickly. It's not really sagging - I'm talking a difference of probably a step. We will let you pass the ball around the perimeter all you want (although we do go after lazy passes), but when you try to penetrate, you're going to have three or even four guys around you by the time you get to the paint.

2) Hard hedge on ball screens. You've all seen it. Ideally, the hedger will force the dribbler to turn away from the basket. The dribbler's man stays with him. The other big will pick up the hedger's man, while the weakside wing will drop down to get the helping big's man. Our wings are long, so it's not easy to just pass over them to the big man. Then the hedger recovers quickly and the defense resets its shape. The pick-and-pop with a stretch 4 is our defense's kryptonite.

3) Big-Big double on the post. We don't do it all the time, but our double team is with the other big man, not with the passer's man or a guard like most doubleteams. It makes it harder for the big man to pass out of the trap, and the open man is going to be behind the trapped player. It's not the usual trap big men deal with, so it takes an extra good decision-maker to make the correct pass. Okafor worried me because he is an excellent passer out of double-teams.

4) Deny transition. That is non-negotiable. We only go to the offensive glass when our players have proven that they can do that AND still deny the opponent fast breaks. Force the other team to score against our halfcourt defense.

There are other things, like how we go over screens, the help-and-recover, the rotation, but those are the core principles of the Bennett defense. In my mind, the key elements that make Virginia so strong are more the psychological aspects of coaching and leadership, at which Bennett excel.

CDu
02-17-2015, 11:42 AM
In many ways, the stretch-4 is the antidote to UVa's defense. It makes their doubling of the post much harder to do (unless the PF abandons his man on the perimeter). It also stretches out the pack line more, making it hard for the defenders to successfully help on the drive and still recover.

If you have multiple ballhandlers capable of beating their man off the dribble and 4 perimeter threats, you can beat UVa's defense. If not, it is difficult to beat them.

I will say that UVa's defense is aided a bit by the refs allowing some overly physical play on the perimeter snd in the post, but that is true of almost all good defensive teams.

What really makes UVa's defense look better, though, is that they rarely give up transition points. The packline is meaningless if you can't force a team to play half-court offense. So UVa is very careful with the ball and isn't overly aggressive on the offensive glass, minimizing fast breaks.

And lastly, they take their time, limiting the number of possessions. This doesn't directly relate to defensive effectiveness, but it deflates the total score so the average fan notices the lack of offense more.

We had some success early in beating UVa for transition points. And we finished strong by having Winslow at PF. If we had hit even a few of our 3s early and not missed some layups, we would have had a score in the 80s, which is ridiculous. Folks in the media and plenty of fans wrote off our win a bit as "oh, Duke got lucky hitting 3s down the stretch", but they ignore how amazingly unlucky we were to have missed all those 3s for over half the game (we shot below our season average on 3s for the game).

So I think Duke's approach of going small (with Winslow as a stretch-4) and running as much as possible is the blueprint to beating UVa's defense. Not every team can do it though, as you need a guy like Winslow who can play PF on defense but can shoot 3s, handle the ball, and drive to the rim as well. Otherwise, it is going to be tough sledding.

AIRFORCEDUKIE
02-17-2015, 11:51 AM
So what you're saying is that UVA plays a lot of Duke defense on the perimeter?

Well Played sir

FerryFor50
02-17-2015, 12:02 PM
So what you're saying is that UVA plays a lot of Duke defense on the perimeter?

Right, but Duke now gets called for it, whereas UVA gets away with it.

The new emphasis on the rules for perimeter guarding should have eliminated things that UVA does. My point was that with the type of defense UVA plays, they should not be in the top 10 of least fouls committed per game.

Seattle Hoo
02-17-2015, 12:15 PM
Right, but Duke now gets called for it, whereas UVA gets away with it.

The new emphasis on the rules for perimeter guarding should have eliminated things that UVA does. My point was that with the type of defense UVA plays, they should not be in the top 10 of least fouls committed per game.

Well it's ok, our opponents don't get called for fouls, either. Take away the end-of-game deliberate fouls, and our opponents get called for fewer fouls than we do.

FerryFor50
02-17-2015, 12:21 PM
To go a little deeper, this is the fouls per game rank:

http://www.ncaa.com/stats/basketball-men/d1/current/team/286

The teams in front of UVA and their defensive rank:

1) Wisconsin - 70th
2) Wyoming - 81st
3) Notre Dame - 153rd
4) Central Connecticut St - 331st
5) American - 172nd
6) Michigan - 80th
7) Northeastern - 141st
8) UVA - 2nd
9) San Diego St - 4th
10) Loyola Chicago - 146th

UVA and SDSU are the only 2 teams in the top 10 of fouls per game and KenPom defense. The rest of that list is comprised of teams that are either very bad at defense, play mostly zone or just bad overall.

SDSU is a pressing team. How they don't foul more is a mystery.

Duke is 43rd in fouls per game. UNC is 280th - they seem to foul a lot more this year than most.

Some of it is coaching not to foul. Some of it is scheme. But it's hard to fathom how any team that plays man to man doesn't foul AND plays great defense.

FerryFor50
02-17-2015, 12:24 PM
Well it's ok, our opponents don't get called for fouls, either. Take away the end-of-game deliberate fouls, and our opponents get called for fewer fouls than we do.

That's quite possibly true - I'd be totally on board with the notion of officials are "letting them play" when UVA is in town. But the rules shouldn't change just because of what team is playing.

I just think that Duke used to be a team that was known for its defense before the rule changes made aggressive man to man a little passe' and forced K to alter how he coached defense. I'd suspect that if we see more rule changes/emphasis based on how UVA plays, we'll see UVA struggle for the first few years after that.

Seattle Hoo
02-17-2015, 12:39 PM
This has been an enlightening experience. Since everybody else in the conference knows that Duke gets all the calls, to come over here and read Dukies complaining about the refereeing makes me think maybe we all should just shut up and accept that they suck for everybody. I guess when you get good, the officials think you play without fouling, and everybody else thinks you just get away with everything. Honestly, it just makes us all sound childish.

That said, Jamie Luckie has it out for Mike Tobey!

FerryFor50
02-17-2015, 12:43 PM
This has been an enlightening experience. Since everybody else in the conference knows that Duke gets all the calls, to come over here and read Dukies complaining about the refereeing makes me think maybe we all should just shut up and accept that they suck for everybody. I guess when you get good, the officials think you play without fouling, and everybody else thinks you just get away with everything. Honestly, it just makes us all sound childish.

That said, Jamie Luckie has it out for Mike Tobey!

Who is complaining?

alteran
02-17-2015, 12:50 PM
That's quite possibly true - I'd be totally on board with the notion of officials are "letting them play" when UVA is in town. But the rules shouldn't change just because of what team is playing.



Is it possible that Virginia's "slow the game down" style results in less possessions, and, hence, less fouls, for both teams?

AIRFORCEDUKIE
02-17-2015, 12:52 PM
This has been an enlightening experience. Since everybody else in the conference knows that Duke gets all the calls, to come over here and read Dukies complaining about the refereeing makes me think maybe we all should just shut up and accept that they suck for everybody. I guess when you get good, the officials think you play without fouling, and everybody else thinks you just get away with everything. Honestly, it just makes us all sound childish.

That said, Jamie Luckie has it out for Mike Tobey!

I think the complaints about refs come with winning and losing. If you are a team that wins a lot, well other fans think you get all the calls. If you are a team that wins all the time and all of a sudden you have a few years where you are down, then the refs are starting to turn on you. In general refs do the best they can.

Except they have no clue how to officiate as good of a post player as Jah, which isnt their fault really we haven't seen as good of a post player as Jah in a very long time

That being said Duke is only 43rd best at getting all the calls this year.

Also whenever Duke wins, we always get the calls... whether we did or not, that's just the only way we can be good enough to win.

FerryFor50
02-17-2015, 01:07 PM
Is it possible that Virginia's "slow the game down" style results in less possessions, and, hence, less fouls, for both teams?

Entirely. And I did consider that a bit after posting the link.

I'd need to average it out for pace. Maybe fouls per possession?

vick
02-17-2015, 01:38 PM
Entirely. And I did consider that a bit after posting the link.

I'd need to average it out for pace. Maybe fouls per possession?

It's not exactly the same, but Virginia has a very low free throw rate (FTA/FGA), at 15th in the nation.

Of course, Duke is even better at 5th in the nation.

FWIW, I don't think Virginia fouls all that much. They're just good.

FerryFor50
02-17-2015, 01:47 PM
It's not exactly the same, but Virginia has a very low free throw rate (FTA/FGA), at 15th in the nation.

Of course, Duke is even better at 5th in the nation.

FWIW, I don't think Virginia fouls all that much. They're just good.

Well obviously they don't foul much. Look at the stats! :p

I think they are good, too. Just not #2 good on defense.

uh_no
02-17-2015, 01:58 PM
Who is complaining?


it doesn't take long searching post game threads to find the answer to this question. It's silly to pretend that people here don't complain about calls that don't go duke's way, or that "the other team beat up our guys all night long and they only called it on us" is not something that seems to happen every game. The guy you responded to is spot on that we complain about the other team getting all the calls, and they complain about us getting all the calls...it's just how sports fans work.

To pretend that we're somehow above that, and objective in our assessment of refereeing is a misrepresentation of what goes on here.

In fact I'm the only objective assessor of referees :)

Seattle Hoo
02-17-2015, 02:25 PM
To pretend that we're somehow above that, and objective in our assessment of refereeing is a misrepresentation of what goes on here.

In fact I'm the only objective assessor of referees :)

Uhhhh, no. I'm the only objective assessor of referees.

FerryFor50
02-17-2015, 02:26 PM
it doesn't take long searching post game threads to find the answer to this question. It's silly to pretend that people here don't complain about calls that don't go duke's way, or that "the other team beat up our guys all night long and they only called it on us" is not something that seems to happen every game. The guy you responded to is spot on that we complain about the other team getting all the calls, and they complain about us getting all the calls...it's just how sports fans work.

To pretend that we're somehow above that, and objective in our assessment of refereeing is a misrepresentation of what goes on here.

In fact I'm the only objective assessor of referees :)

In game threads and post game threads, sure.

But this thread and this topic? Not so much.

And this happens on EVERY sports forum. No one is immune.

It is unreasonable to come to a Duke forum and expect blind praise for a non-Duke team.

devildeac
02-17-2015, 02:31 PM
So what you're saying is that UVA plays a lot of Duke defense on the perimeter?


Then why was this game officiated in such a manner:

http://goduke.statsgeek.com/basketball-m/games/boxscore.php?gameid=20140316

You can do better than that.

FerryFor50
02-17-2015, 02:33 PM
Then why was this game officiated in such a manner:

http://goduke.statsgeek.com/basketball-m/games/boxscore.php?gameid=20140316

You can do better than that.

Yeesh. Forgot about that one.

Probably repressed due to trauma.

devildeac
02-17-2015, 02:33 PM
UVA defense is predicated on a few simple ideas put together:

1) The on-ball defender plays pressure man-to-man like you are used to seeing with Duke. But instead of the defenders on either side of him also playing pressure to deny the pass, UVA's defenders are closer to the lane, more on the shoulders of the ball defender so that they can snuff out any penetration quickly. If the ball is passed, then the receiver's defender is responsible to close out quickly. It's not really sagging - I'm talking a difference of probably a step. We will let you pass the ball around the perimeter all you want (although we do go after lazy passes), but when you try to penetrate, you're going to have three or even four guys around you by the time you get to the paint.

2) Hard hedge on ball screens. You've all seen it. Ideally, the hedger will force the dribbler to turn away from the basket. The dribbler's man stays with him. The other big will pick up the hedger's man, while the weakside wing will drop down to get the helping big's man. Our wings are long, so it's not easy to just pass over them to the big man. Then the hedger recovers quickly and the defense resets its shape. The pick-and-pop with a stretch 4 is our defense's kryptonite.

3) Big-Big double on the post. We don't do it all the time, but our double team is with the other big man, not with the passer's man or a guard like most doubleteams. It makes it harder for the big man to pass out of the trap, and the open man is going to be behind the trapped player. It's not the usual trap big men deal with, so it takes an extra good decision-maker to make the correct pass. Okafor worried me because he is an excellent passer out of double-teams.

4) Deny transition. That is non-negotiable. We only go to the offensive glass when our players have proven that they can do that AND still deny the opponent fast breaks. Force the other team to score against our halfcourt defense.

There are other things, like how we go over screens, the help-and-recover, the rotation, but those are the core principles of the Bennett defense. In my mind, the key elements that make Virginia so strong are more the psychological aspects of coaching and leadership, at which Bennett excel.

This is much better. Thanks.

devildeac
02-17-2015, 02:42 PM
To go a little deeper, this is the fouls per game rank:

http://www.ncaa.com/stats/basketball-men/d1/current/team/286

The teams in front of UVA and their defensive rank:

1) Wisconsin - 70th
2) Wyoming - 81st
3) Notre Dame - 153rd
4) Central Connecticut St - 331st
5) American - 172nd
6) Michigan - 80th
7) Northeastern - 141st
8) UVA - 2nd
9) San Diego St - 4th
10) Loyola Chicago - 146th

UVA and SDSU are the only 2 teams in the top 10 of fouls per game and KenPom defense. The rest of that list is comprised of teams that are either very bad at defense, play mostly zone or just bad overall.

SDSU is a pressing team. How they don't foul more is a mystery.

Duke is 43rd in fouls per game. UNC is 280th - they seem to foul a lot more this year than most.

Some of it is coaching not to foul. Some of it is scheme. But it's hard to fathom how any team that plays man to man doesn't foul AND plays great defense.

I knew there was some way you could get the Blue Devils in the top 10 of least fouls/game.

(4765

Once again proving that the Blue Devils do indeed get all the calls:o. Well done.