Much has been discussed in this space lately regarding the 2-3 zone. I’ve pointed out some specific ways in which a team can attack it, and much of it involves ball distribution, which has been a problem for our Huskies during this three-game skid. CODawg pointed out to me that I missed one: the transition. I haven’t emphasized defense much here, and in fact pointed out—contrary to what both Lorenzo Romar and Isaiah Thomas said in yesterday’s Seattle Times—that it was the offense that was crippling this team, and that the defense had been merely lax in response to the poor performance at the other end.
Defense is responsible for the transition. Long rebounds, quick outlet passes and lots of running produce transition points. Seeing the transition points is going to be important tonight, as
I wanted to look at more general ways in which UW could attack the zone, particularly in half court offense situations. To do so, I checked out yesterday’s
It’s about the momentum of the play. Hitting the "soft spot" in the paint collapses the zone, and inevitably leaves shooters open. But what if your gunners aren’t hitting? The key is either hitting the high percentage shot in the paint, or dishing out and immediately setting a screen on the elbow or wing, allowing the sharp changes in ball motion to manipulate the defenders out of position. After the jump, a few notes on the California Bears’ particularly brand of zone, what the Huskies need to do (specifically) to beat it, the projected starters, and a few particular things to watch out for.
I’ve beaten the question of the zone to death, at this point. The question is does
The Bears do a great job talking along the back "3" of the 2-3. The past three games (although not as prevalent against
Another thing regarding
Final note regarding the zone: I want to see Justin Holiday get involved down low. That sounds a little odd, I know, given his value shooting the three, but I recall several plays in which he and MBA were able to play a little two-man game around the soft spot, and Holiday shoots 75.6% from the line. He’s athletic, and given our utter ineptitude in truly attacking the basket lately, he may throw a wrinkle in that
UW: Isaiah Thomas (5'8", 185, Jr.), Scott Suggs (6'6", 185, Jr.), Justin Holiday (6'6", 180, Sr.), Matthew Bryan-Amaning (6'9", 240, Sr.), Aziz N'Diaye (7'0", 260, So.).
Things to Watch
Terrence Ross, as always, is someone to keep an eye on. Maybe coming home jump starts his game some. Ross along with Venoy Overton both need to have solid, mistake-free games in order to make this the blowout the Huskies need to generate some momentum (if one believes in that sort of thing) to finish out the second half of the season. I’m not sure what Romar’s plan was if one of our guards were to get hurt, but Abdul Gaddy’s gone, Lorenzo. Talk Venoy up, give
The Huskies postseason hopes are far from dead. We have tonight, against a decent but not spectacular Bears squad to get things back on track. Next up is Stanford and a chance to avenge a close loss on the road to the Cardinal. Then the