Poor transition defense by Kansas State gives West Virginia an easy dunk
Watching film later this week, Frank Martin is not going to be happy with Will Spradling in this play. Kansas State was set up in their transition defense to slow down West Virginia but a poor read by Spradling gave Kevin Jones a free pass to the rim for a dunk.
With Kansas State on offense, Spradling takes the three point attempt and the Wildcats send two players back on defense with three players crashing the glass. Although West Virginia comes away with the rebound, Kansas State should be able to prevent any easy transition baskets as they have defensive floor balance.
Will Spradling makes a huge mistake when he chooses to sprint toward the player on the left wing, instead of staying to protect the paint. With two defensive players back in this situation, one of them should be stopping the ball and the other should be running to the paint. With the ball handler bringing the ball up the left wing, it looks like Martavious Irving is going to pick up the ball, which means Spradling needs to get to the paint.
However, Spradling sees Truck Bryant running down to the left wing and sprints cross court to cover him. This leaves Jones with an open lane to the rim for an easy catch and dunk. With one of the two Wildcat players stopping the ball and the other covering a shooter coming down the wing (and a dreadful one at that), the paint is vacated.
This was a very poor decision by Spradling to leave the paint open for Jones on a good rim run. Spradling’s duty was to protect the paint from someone leaking out and he left to cover a poor shooter. The objective of the floor balance is to prevent leak outs like this by protecting the paint and then closing out on shooters. Frank Martin is not going to be happy with Spradling when he reviews this tape as Kansas State was perfectly set up to slow West Virginia before the mistake by Spradling.