A look at VCU’s game winning possession
We talked about cutting off the post last night with this Cleveland State post. During the last possession of VCU’s game, we saw this concept in action again and it allowed Jamie Skeen to hit the game winning shot which meant VCU would advance in the CAA tournament.
First, Skeen comes out to set a ball screen for Joey Rodriguez. The defender has to hedge to stop Rodriguez from getting into the paint, which allows Skeen to get position in the post by sealing the defender as he recovers after the hedge. The defender is trailing Skeen, since he had to hedge on the ball screen and Skeen is able to use this to pin the defender on his back and gain position in the post.
The play was always designed to go to Skeen in the post, as he had been effective from that position all game. The key to the play comes after the entry pass is made. As we talked about in the aforementioned Cleveland State post, a cutter off the entry pass will open one of three options: this time, it opens up the post man.
After the entry pass is made, the passer cuts through the lane. I can’t sugarcoat it and say it was a great cut but it was effective in opening up the play. If he does not cut through and stays on the wing, his defender can dig on Skeen, making it tougher for him to score.
In the following frame, you can see that the cut clogs the lane. However, this allows Skeen to operate against his defender and have room to turn over his left shoulder.
You can see how the cutter opened up that side of the court by clearing out the help defense. This allows Skeen to go one on one against his defender and from the way the game was going, he was a favorite to score in that position.
This is our second post on how a cutter opens up the offense after an entry pass. We have seen it open up the opposite wing in the Cleveland State play and we saw it favor the post man in this play.
The cutter cleared out the help defense and allowed Skeen room to operate, without a second defender bothering him. This was key in getting Skeen open to hit the buzzer beater to have VCU advance.