The 2 keys to Purdue forcing OT
Down 1 with less than a minute, Purdue had a chance to take the lead with a basket. However, the shot came up short and Malcolm Delaney secured the rebound. Being the senior leader and a 87.5% FT shooter, he covers up the ball and hopes to get fouled.
I am not sure when Purdue recognized they needed to foul but it is a good thing they did not foul right away. Delaney was not the player they wanted to foul and by making him give up the ball, they were able to force OT.
Watch Delaney as he brings the ball up. He is very lackadaisical and looks as though he is expecting to get fouled at any time. This causes him to pause his dribble right after the half court line and be double teamed.
E’Twan Moore is able to come over and double Delaney. With nowhere to dribble, he must give up the ball. Delaney gives the ball up to Jeff Allen (53.6%) but the ref does not give them the foul. The ball ends up in Terrell Bell’s hand (46.2%) and Purdue gets the foul.
Bell makes one of two and the door is left open. While most of the credit here can go to the awareness of Purdue to get the ball out of Delaney’s hand, Delaney has to be at fault somewhat. He cannot assume he will be fouled and needed to be in a better position to hold onto the ball.
The second key was a well executed play out of a timeout to force OT. At the time, JaJuan Johnson had 23 of the team’s 49 points (47%) so many could have guessed where the play was going. How was he able to get open?
Johnson starts on the weak side perimeter (red square). A back screen is made by John Hart for Moore, who subsequently sets the back screen for Johnson.
Moore gets just enough of Johnson’s man to free him up for the post up. As we have seen before, Johnson likely could have gotten this post up by himself, but the screening action makes it easier as well as takes away any help defense.
Johnson gets the ball on the block and in this game, he was a favorite to score. Check out an underrated part of the play – the on ball defense. Erick Green is giving Hart plenty of space and not pressuring the pass at all.
Not only that, his hands are down and not in Hart’s face or the passing lane. This allows the pass to be thrown right over Green to Johnson for the tying basket. Just lazy defense.
If Green forces a tough pass, the defense has time to recover and could have forced a missed shot. As it played out, Hart was free to make the pass to Johnson for the layup.
To me, the decision by Delaney to pause his dribble and the lazy defense by Green are mental mistakes that cost them the game in the end. Purdue took advantage of these two errors and closed out the game for the win.