Lazy defense hurts Hofstra
I tweeted this earlier (follow me!) but wanted to talk about it a bit more. I thought Hofstra had a solid gameplan on defense out of their zone. Every time the ball went to the short corner, they would double team the ball.
However, time and time again, UNC passed over the top of the double team to a cutter. In fact, the combo of John Henson, Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller and Justin Knox had only 4 turnovers combined, showing that the double team was not effective in creating turnovers but helped contribute to several easy buckets for UNC.
How did that happen? Hofstra doubled at the right time but they often made one glaring mistake: they did not have their hands up and active in the double team.
This allowed the UNC big men to see and pass right over the double team to the open cutter for a layup. Look at the double team on John Henson. Not only do the defenders have too much space between themselves while giving Henson too much room, they have their hands at their side.
Dexter Strickland makes the right cut to the vacated area and with Hofstra giving Henson a passing lane and the ability to see the cutter, the easy pass is made for the layup.By the time the defenders get their hands up, the pass is already being made. Not only that, it is not in the way of Henson.
A similar situation happens with Tyler Zeller catching the ball in the short corner. The double team comes right away but it is neither organized nor effective. Look at the space between the defenders.
That opening between the two defenders allows Zeller a passing lane, while he has the vision to see cutters thanks to fact the Hofstra defenders are being lazy with their hands.
The double team could have been effective if done properly. The defenders needed to close the gap between themselves to hinder the sight line of the passer and have their arms up and active to bother the UNC player and deflect any passes. Instead, they made it far too easy to pass to the open cutter and it ended with several layups.