Posts Tagged ‘Pitt’
Pitt rebounds 71.8% of its opponents misses, good for 30th in the nation. That is part of what makes the offensive rebound by Paris Horne so surprising with under a minute left in today’s Big East matchup.
It was a great move by Paris Horne but he took advantage of a weakness in the box out technique of Gilbert Brown. Take a look at what happened.
Here is a clip of the last free throw attempt that had Gilbert Brown on the block before the one where he gave up the offensive rebound. The red arrow illustrates the first step he made, which was straight into the paint. The green arrow shows the step he should have made, which is up the lane, to get his body on the St. John’s player.
If you saw the big road win by Notre Dame at Pitt Monday night, you no doubt know a lot of the win was thanks to the three straight baskets by Ben Hansbrough off the pick and roll. Here they are broken down in order starting with the first basket.
I believe that using screens and getting open mid range shots off of these screens is the most effective part of Gibbs’ game. I have been meaning to discuss this for a while now and I saw two great examples of it today against UConn.
Bob Knight believes that the ball fake is the lost art of today’s game but I contend that it is using screens. Many players loop around the screens, either allowing their defender to get through the screen or setting up their teammate to commit a foul by setting a moving screen.
Pitt looked strong in its convincing win last night against Illinois-Chicago. There was not much that could be inferred from the game, as Pitt was clearly the dominant team from the onset and proved it all 40 minutes. What I did enjoy was watching one of the inbounds play Pitt ran that got them a bucket.
Not the prettiest game to open the college basketball season but to me, it was clear what won the game for the Pitt: the lack of transition defense by the Rams, especially in the second half.
Doris Burke blamed it on fatigue of the Rams. While this may be a part of it, a lack of awareness by the guards plays a big part in transition defense. When a shot goes up, at least two players on the perimeter need to be floating back to their end of the court to deter easy transition opportunities.
What we saw several times were Rhode Island players standing in place when an outside shot went up, instead of getting back on defense. This led to several easy opportunities for the Panthers, helping them get easy buckets.
Here, Pitt grabs the defensive rebound and you can see 4 Ram defenders inside the paint. With one Ram defender back, this leads to a three on one for Pitt. Delroy James (#21) needs to realize his position on the court and get back on defense.
James is caught flat footed and is easily beat down the court.
Although Pitt did not convert the break, it illustrates the opportunities they had in transition. With Rhode Island shooting 3′s on a regular basis, they need to have balance with the long rebounds that are bound to happen.
This shot shows how the perimeter players were drifting toward the basket, hoping for an offensive rebound, instead of getting back for defensive balance.
Watch as Nikola Malesevic drifts toward the basket and gets caught in no mans land after Pitt secures the rebound. He needs to be moving toward his own basket (green arrow) instead of fighting for an offensive rebound (red arrow) which he has little hope of corralling.
Considering Pitt was strong on the glass (Rhode Island only got 27% of offensive rebounds), they should have been focusing more on transition defense. They did not and Pitt took advantage of it, getting out and running numerous times.
I think the exploitation of the poor transition defense by Pitt was the key to this game and the only thing that prevented it from being a double digit win was Pitt missing the easy layups in transition.
Rhode Island was successful playing their style and almost knocked off #4 Pitt. To be a legitimate contender in the A-10, they need to shore up their transition defense.
Pitt has not run the pick and roll that many times in the first half, but Rhode Island has been ready for it when they have run the set. The Rams have shown they are not concerned with the big men rolling to the basket and are putting all their focus on the ball handler.
In this first clip, watch Rhode Island switch the pick and roll. The switching defender is able to cut off the driving Pitt player and picks up help from his teammates.
This looks to be the gameplan for the Rams, as they are focusing on the driving player and relying on the help defense to provide support and recover. As the help defense collapses, the weak side is open, but the Rams are content in giving Pitt the open three point shot.
While this gives Pitt an open 3, they cannot convert. Rhode Island is happy with this possession, as they forced the ball out of the guards hand on the pick and roll.
On the second attempt by Pitt, Rhode Island doubles the screener and forces him to give the ball up, leading to another empty possession. Rhode Island is showing no respect for Zanna and it is paying off. (Sorry for the poor quality).
Finally, we see Rhode Island again relying on the switching and help defense to defend the pick and roll. Rhode Island leaves Zanna again and focuses on the ballhandler.
They then rely on the help defense to scramble to cover the open man and recover.
This works for the Rams again, as the big men of Pitt are no threat to score from anywhere on the court. Right after this clip, they ran the pick and roll again, with Zanna missing an open layup.
That is why Rhode Island is switching/doubling the pick and roll. The big men for Pitt (Zanna/McGee) are not strong offensive players and the Rams can focus on denying the paint from the ballhandler rather than focusing on the roll men. It has worked in the first half as Pitt has not scored directly from the pick and roll.
Can Pitt adjust in the second half? Check back and see.