A look at UNC’s first possession against UVA
There was a nice mixture of good defensive rotation on UNC’s initial pick and roll by UVA yet solid offensive execution by UNC on the second option. This is a good example of a team not panicking after their first option fails and continuing with their game plan and executing the second option.
Good rotation on pick and roll
The play opens with a pick and roll between Larry Drew and John Henson. The play looks to be designed for Henson to roll to the basket for the alley oop. Dexter Strickland is setting the screen on Henson’s man, with the hopes of his man staying tight to Strickland, leaving the lane open.
However, UVA rotates the right way, as Strickland’s man sees Henson rolling to the basket and sags off of Strickland to cut Henson off. He allows Henson’s defender to recover before stepping back to Strickland. This is nice recognition by the defense, as the defender sees Henson open and rotates over to cut off the lob.
After the lob does not work, UNC goes into their second option. Tyler Zeller and Larry Drew set a double screen for Harrison Barnes, who curls to the middle.
Strickland gives Barnes an early pass, allowing Zeller to pivot and set a screen that almost works as a ball screen for Barnes. With the defender trailing Barnes off of the screen, he has an opening for a jump shot.
I don’t think this is a great shot by Barnes, especially as the first shot of the game but he sinks it. He is much more dangerous slashing to the basket than settling for jumpers and an early layup would help his confidence. However, you can see that the lane is crowded and Barnes makes a fine decision to pull up and he nails the jump shot.
Good defense by UVA on the initial action but UNC pressed on with their second option and got a great shot off it. They did not panic when the initial lob was taken away but worked through their options and were rewarded with a basket.