Ball movement helps Kansas make an entry pass
It is often the fundamental aspects of the game that impress me the most when they are executed. Kansas showed that tonight by making one simple swing pass that allowed them to get a layup.
Elijah Johnson is running the secondary break for Kansas, taking the ball down the right side of the court. As I showed in a summer post (seen here) the big men are key in the secondary break in terms of spacing the floor.
Here we see Thomas Robinson in the post with Markieff Morris trailing the play to fill the top of the lane. Morris is available to cut if the ball is entered into the post and is also an option to swing the ball.
DJ Stephens is playing good post defense by playing three quarters defense over Robinson’s shoulder and denying the entry pass. This takes away the option of the entry pass initially.
This is where the play is made. Two things occur to make this play work for Kansas. One, instead of trying to force an entry pass or holding the ball, Johnson sees the option is not open and quickly swings the ball to Morris. This is key because the Memphis defense is not fully set and forcing the ball would have either led to a turnover or Robinson getting the ball in a less than ideal place.
Two, Robinson makes a nice spin move in the post to seal off Stephens. With Stephens playing him high, he spins low and now Stephens is not in good position to defend the ball.
Robinson was able to seal the defender and get in better position because of the swing pass by Johnson. Now Morris has an easy pass and Robinson has the ball in great position.
Nice composure by Johnson to not try to force the ball but instead, make the simple pass and allow the play to develop. The pass to the top of the key allowed Robinson to spin and seal his defender, leaving himself open for the pass from Morris.