Rice’s defensive breakdown gives Texas a late layup
With Texas up one with less than a minute left, the Longhorns ran a set play to try to get a basket to cushion their lead. While they did not get their initial option, they stuck with the play and a defensive breakdown gave them an open layup to help seal the victory.
Texas starts in a pretty typical box set. They open the action by trying to get Jordan Hamilton to post up his defender.
However, Cory Joseph is crowding the post and Gary Johnson cannot get the entry pass into Hamilton. Had Joseph not been in the paint, there likely would have been enough room and the play (and game could have ended differently).
Since the post is not open, Texas goes into the second option, which was a staggered screen by Joseph and Tristan Thompson for Hamilton, where Hamilton was to curl around to the elbow. Joseph looked to be eager to get to this action, which is why he was in the paint early.
However, there is a breakdown in communication between Joseph and Hamilton’s defender, as both defenders go out to defend Hamilton. It appears as though Joseph’s defender thought they were switching screens while Hamilton’s defender was playing straight up.
This led to both defenders flashing to the high post to cut off the pass to Hamilton, leaving Joseph wide open for the layup to put Texas up by 3.
Whatever the game plan was on defense, it broke down on the staggered screen. I am kind of surprised Joseph’s defender followed Hamilton, since the jump shot Hamilton would have gotten would not have been automatic. Rice left the basket open thanks to either confusion on the game plan or miscommunication and they paid for it with a loss.