Gonzaga gives up 2 open 3′s off of the same play
Leading by only 4 at the half, Illinois came out in the second half and fired off a barrage of long distance shots that eventually sunk the Bulldogs. Three of those makes came from 7 footer Mike Tisdale, two of which came off of the same action that Gonzaga had trouble defending.
Here is the Illini’s first possession. Since the Illini run it the same way and the Zags defend it the same way a few minutes later, watch the play first and follow my breakdown of the second play after that.
Illinois is running a staggered pick and roll. Jerome Richardson is setting the high screen with Mike Tisdale setting the second screen of the staggered screen. Sacre is guarding Richardson and letting Demetri Goodson have space to get around the screen, while Elias Harris is guarding Tisdale and will hedge when Demetri McCamey drives to the left.
Harris hedges on McCamey cutting off his lane to the basket. Richardson rolls of Tisdale to the basket, while Tisdale pops to the three point line.
Since Sacre is playing in the paint, he is in position to defend Richardson. The play breaks down when Harris goes to recover on Tisdale. He either thinks that he is covering the roll man (Richardson) or cannot find Tisdale. Either way, he takes one step into the paint, which is enough time for Tisdale to get off the 3.
Again, I am not sure whether this is miscommunication on who Harris is guarding on whether he does not see where Tisdale is on the court. Either way, it leads to an open 3.
This play works because Gonzaga must decide which option they want to cut off, opening up another one. They decide to take away McCamey driving and the first screener rolling to the basket. This puts a ton of pressure on Harris, as he must find Tisdale and recover in time to close out. Both times, he fades to far back into the paint and cannot recover in time.