Kansas State defensive breakdown nearly costs them the game against North Florida
This breakdown by the Kansas State defense late in the game against North Florida gave North Florida an easy layup for the lead, which nearly cost them the game. Kansas State was able to come back to the tie the game in regulation and win the game in overtime but their defensive execution on this set was horrendous. This is the second poor defensive play highlighted here from Kansas State in the last week, which is somewhat odd for a team that was giving up only 0.9 points per possession before this game. They have made some crucial mistakes on defense this week, giving their opponents easy layups at the rim and this one nearly cost them the game.
On the initial ball screen, the help defender hedged very high on the screen to take away penetration to the middle of the floor. When Jimmy Williams, the ballhandler, paused to take stock of the situation, the hedger, Thomas Gipson, stayed in place. While Gipson took away the penetration to the middle of the floor, the fact that he hedged so high and was flat footed when Williams paused took him out of the play once Williams changed direction.
Once Gipson took away the middle, Williams paused and let the play develop. Once Gipson showed he was going to stay where he was, the screener made a slight adjustment to change the angle of his screen. He moved from the right side of Williams’ defender to his left, allowing Williams to drive to the right. Gipson is out of the picture, as he was playing so high in the middle of the floor. This allows Williams to go right, with a free pass to the rim.
Once Williams gets past the screen below the three point line, the help defense does not do its job in stopping Williams. The wing defender, Will Spradling, is in fine position to take away the passing lane to his man but is not able to rotate in time to take away penetration. The paint defender, Jamar Samuels, ends up caught behind a seal by his man, as he was not in proper position when the drive started. He needed to be in the middle of the paint, seeing the ball, which he can’t in this position.
Once Samuels’ man sees the drive coming, he seals Samuels off, allowing Williams the lane to the rim. Since Samuels started in poor position, he was able to be sealed before he could cut Williams off. If he had started in strong position, seeing the ball and planted in the middle of the lane, he would have been able to step up and defend Williams. Since he was caught in bad position when Williams started the drive, he was able to be sealed and taken out of the play.
Kansas State nearly gives the game away with this play, as they allowed North Florida to gain the lead too easily. Their defense was poor on the ball screen, as Gipson held his hedge too long, allowing Williams to change direction on the screen. The bad defense continued as the help defense was in poor position to start and failed to rotate properly, allowing Williams to freely get to the rim.