Some more followup on strategery against the Gators. CNNSI’s Luke Winn checked in with an assistant coach from a former Gator opponent, and wrote up a pretty interesting scouting report. According to this coach the key to stopping Gators on the offensive side is to limit their 'flat ballscreen':
"What's happening elsewhere, when they set that screen, is they have [Lee] Humphrey in one corner and Corey Brewer in the other, and Horford hanging around under the basket. As soon as the ball is thrown back to Noah, if you take it out of Green's hands, Horford ducks in and posts you really hard. And if you want to help out on him, you have to do it with perimeter guys. That's what opens up Humphrey and Brewer for all those shots. It's a very effective play and if you can't handle it, a LETHAL play. They'll keep going to it all night long.
"All that's left for Green to do is throw it back to Noah, or hit Brewer on the left side. If Noah gets the ball, Brewer's man needs to be in position to help for a second while Noah's man gets back from hedging or doubling Green. If Noah can pass to Brewer quickly enough, and he knocks down the shot, then you're in trouble. But if he's not hitting a high percentage of them, you can say, OK, we've taken away some of their bread-and-butter options and put them in a position where it's more difficult for them to score. Because we're also doubling down on Horford with Noah or Brewer's guy, and eliminating a lot of those easy low-post baskets.
"To get into those half-court situations, you have to play a really great game with your transition defense. It still might not be enough, but you're not going to have a chance if you let them score their kind of baskets. By that I mean Humphrey spotting up for threes in transition, Green taking it to the rim, Noah out-running big guys down the floor and getting dunks, Brewer slashing to the basket on breaks for dunks. All five of them will come at you hard if you don't make an effort to get back."
I also think it will be up to DC to put serious pressure on Green as soon as he crossed the half court. Bruin guards will have to disrupt Florida’s efforts from even initiating their set offense. I have a feeling AA is going to do a pretty good job of fighting through the screens and sticking with ‘Humpty’ to make sure he doesn’t get any open looks. And if Shipp can do the job on Brewer while providing quick help down low we will have a shot. Shipp is definitely going to be a huge key for us on Saturday.
AA, Shipp, and DC’s efforts can get a big boost if they get some key minutes from Westbrook and Roll. Especially if Westbrook can continue to provide that spark right off the bench, it will help us sustain pressure on Florida guards keeping them from resting easy, when AA, Shipp or DC are taking a breather on the bench.
It’s Thursday and I already feel like I have had enough discussions on strategery wrt to this game. But as always I am sure there are angles I am not covering on the home page. So if you have more to add, please share your thoughts in the comment threads.
BTW isn’t it an awesome feeling to have the chance to look forward to a game in which we know our coaches and players are going to give their all and come in well prepared. What a different feeling this is from Fall weeks when we are left with dreading about how our coach may be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory on Saturday. It really is all about coaching. Isn’t it? We have it in hoops, not so much in football. And you can sense the difference in how it impacts the atmosphere in which we follow the programs. Just saying.