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  1. #16
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    Re: A look at Iowa State's Ballscreen Defense Problem

    How much of our "weakness" on defense is related to the fact that we don't prioritize defense during parts of many games? It is hard to measure what we are okay giving up on offense (taking long 2s) in order to keep an opponent from doing something else (taking 3s or working the ball inside) and/or letting loose in order to beat opponents down court for our offense.

    I wonder what our defensive stats would look like just for the last 10 minutes of games that were close. I'll bet that we weren't that bad when we dialed it up on defense.



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    Re: A look at Iowa State's Ballscreen Defense Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by cyismydog View Post
    Switching when you have similar guys 1-5 does leave you vulnerable to slips. It also allows good players to shoot behind screens, and can really hurt you if guys reject on balls.
    For sure, the guy switching off the man with the ball can't fall a sleep and get sealed and beaten on a slip but more often than not when switching can be done it is executed better and more often than a good hedge and recovery. Agree?




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  3. #18
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    Re: A look at Iowa State's Ballscreen Defense Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Cycsk View Post
    How much of our "weakness" on defense is related to the fact that we don't prioritize defense during parts of many games? It is hard to measure what we are okay giving up on offense (taking long 2s) in order to keep an opponent from doing something else (taking 3s or working the ball inside) and/or letting loose in order to beat opponents down court for our offense.

    I wonder what our defensive stats would look like just for the last 10 minutes of games that were close. I'll bet that we weren't that bad when we dialed it up on defense.
    Scoring and efficiency actually goes up the last ten minutes of games, as players are more aggressive going to the hole, get fouled more, etc. That argument is also moot because assuming a team "dials in" for only the last ten minutes of an NCAA tournament game is ludicrous.



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    Re: A look at Iowa State's Ballscreen Defense Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by khaal53 View Post
    For sure, the guy switching off the man with the ball can't fall a sleep and get sealed and beaten on a slip but more often than not when switching can be done it is executed better and more often than a good hedge and recovery. Agree?
    Nope. Not if you drill it right, because a hedge/trap/flat hedge/drop hedge, etc takes a team out of running what they want. That's why NBA teams don't switch unless it's a guard to guard or big to big. You get dictated to if you switch everything.



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    Re: A look at Iowa State's Ballscreen Defense Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by cyismydog View Post
    Nope. Not if you drill it right, because a hedge/trap/flat hedge/drop hedge, etc takes a team out of running what they want. That's why NBA teams don't switch unless it's a guard to guard or big to big. You get dictated to if you switch everything.
    Agreed, I feel like switching a lot breeds lazy defense as well.



  6. #21
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    Re: A look at Iowa State's Ballscreen Defense Problem

    This is a really good post, cyismydog, and is a little reminiscent of the stuff Zach Lowe - probably my favorite basketball writer - does on Grantland. The gifs and the quick explanations make it easily digestible, even when going into some more advanced nuances of the game. I wish we would see more of this type of thing here.

    I think Hoiberg and co. made their peace last year with the fact that the roster essentially dictated that they were going to be poor defensively, and that they could recapture that disadvantage by forcing mismatches on the other end. The coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for making the best out of that roster situation. (I don't think Bill Self, for example, would be caught dead in the ground using Niang as a 5.)

    But I do think Niang drives a lot of these defensive issues. I'm not sure he's quick enough to contain ball handlers off screens on the perimeter, so we're left with that sort of Roy Hibbert-esque sagging defense in the lane, but with no shot blocking threat at that point. So we saw a lot of that semi-helpless, two hands in the air, feet on the ground defense near the rim.

    Niang did a nice job of cleaning up some things defensively between his freshman year and his sophomore year. He didn't foul as much, and he did a better of job of simply staying in front of people and making them shoot over him - not a huge challenge, but definitely preferable to letting them go around. So it'll be interesting to see how much further he can come after another year of work and a slimmer, more mobile, body.

    So I think the big question defensively this season is going to be how McKay is integrated, and that's probably another large post by itself. It'll be interesting to see how it all shakes out, but if the defense can creep up to the top 40-50 range, and the offense only takes a slight step back to the 10-15 range, we're looking at more efficient team than last year's.

    Great job, cyismydog.



  7. #22
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    Re: A look at Iowa State's Ballscreen Defense Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by cyismydog View Post
    Nope. Not if you drill it right, because a hedge/trap/flat hedge/drop hedge, etc takes a team out of running what they want. That's why NBA teams don't switch unless it's a guard to guard or big to big. You get dictated to if you switch everything.
    Agree...but I was referencing when a switch wouldn't create a mismatch. (At least that's what I was trying to say with "...when switching can be done..."). Switching isn't the best bet, but in some cases it is "easier" and can be executed correctly more frequently.




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  8. #23
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    Re: A look at Iowa State's Ballscreen Defense Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by kucyclone View Post
    This is a really good post, cyismydog, and is a little reminiscent of the stuff Zach Lowe - probably my favorite basketball writer - does on Grantland. The gifs and the quick explanations make it easily digestible, even when going into some more advanced nuances of the game. I wish we would see more of this type of thing here.

    I think Hoiberg and co. made their peace last year with the fact that the roster essentially dictated that they were going to be poor defensively, and that they could recapture that disadvantage by forcing mismatches on the other end. The coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for making the best out of that roster situation. (I don't think Bill Self, for example, would be caught dead in the ground using Niang as a 5.)

    But I do think Niang drives a lot of these defensive issues. I'm not sure he's quick enough to contain ball handlers off screens on the perimeter, so we're left with that sort of Roy Hibbert-esque sagging defense in the lane, but with no shot blocking threat at that point. So we saw a lot of that semi-helpless, two hands in the air, feet on the ground defense near the rim.

    Niang did a nice job of cleaning up some things defensively between his freshman year and his sophomore year. He didn't foul as much, and he did a better of job of simply staying in front of people and making them shoot over him - not a huge challenge, but definitely preferable to letting them go around. So it'll be interesting to see how much further he can come after another year of work and a slimmer, more mobile, body.

    So I think the big question defensively this season is going to be how McKay is integrated, and that's probably another large post by itself. It'll be interesting to see how it all shakes out, but if the defense can creep up to the top 40-50 range, and the offense only takes a slight step back to the 10-15 range, we're looking at more efficient team than last year's.

    Great job, cyismydog.
    This off season there has been an apparent focus from Niang to shed pounds, so that probably offers some guesses as to what his future holds and his defensive role. Maybe...? Ha ha.

    I will add too that the KenPom defensive rating was pretty volatile for a bit last year for ISU. They were top 40ish for a lot of the season (in to February, I want to say) before kind of falling off to the 70's. Those big peaks and valleys in the rankings seem to hit teams that keep playing in the tourney. Maybe I'm recollecting wrong or maybe there is some nuance to explain that.

    Either way, cimd, your larger point is crucial and this was well done.




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  9. #24
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    Re: A look at Iowa State's Ballscreen Defense Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by khaal53 View Post
    I will add too that the KenPom defensive rating was pretty volatile for a bit last year for ISU. They were top 40ish for a lot of the season (in to February, I want to say) before kind of falling off to the 70's. Those big peaks and valleys in the rankings seem to hit teams that keep playing in the tourney. Maybe I'm recollecting wrong or maybe there is some nuance to explain that.
    I had forgotten about this. I just checked, and ISU was 28th on O and 20th on D on January 20, so quite the turnaround from there. It's fairly simple to pinpoint when the big jumps happen by going back and looking game to game. And it's not surprising that things moved in the B12 and NCAA tourneys either. The offense was remarkably good from the first game of the B12 tourney on, and the defense mostly suspect, sans the Baylor championship game. ISU scored 1.48 (!!!) points per possession and allowed 1.2 against North Carolina Central, and then allowed 1.22 points per possession in the final game, which also helps explain the late defensive drop.


    Last edited by kucyclone; 07-14-2014 at 02:11 PM.

  10. #25
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    Re: A look at Iowa State's Ballscreen Defense Problem

    A lot of that is that they were playing better teams from January on, with no real gimme's, and KenPom, despite some adjustments, still tends to over reward beating (Or in this case, shutting down) bad teams.



  11. #26
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    Re: A look at Iowa State's Ballscreen Defense Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by cyismydog View Post
    A lot of that is that they were playing better teams from January on, with no real gimme's, and KenPom, despite some adjustments, still tends to over reward beating (Or in this case, shutting down) bad teams.
    Agreed. I think that a large portion of it too is that the gaps from team to team in the variable data is very minor. But when the teams are ranked by that data for convenience it makes gaps look larger from team to team.




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  12. #27
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    Re: A look at Iowa State's Ballscreen Defense Problem

    You can talk numbers all you like, but until someone steps in and says 'this is my lane' we won't have a good defense. I'm rooting for McKay.



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    Re: A look at Iowa State's Ballscreen Defense Problem

    Lack of interior size forced us to help more than other teams. I thought it was actually pretty effective compared to the year before.



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    Re: A look at Iowa State's Ballscreen Defense Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by acgclone View Post
    Our D has been mostly below average under Fred. That's of course offset by the fact that we're usually as potent as it comes offensively.

    Until this year, we haven't had the depth to play D aggressively. We also have usually had holes in post D.

    I think you'll see our D improve this year with McKay and some more depth.
    The post D is the key. ISU was so scared of getting Niang and Ejim in foul trouble that they'd either let someone score rather than foul (like against iowa) or constantly double (KU they doubled both posts). The doubling led to a ton of open shots. Vs KU in Ames, Tharpe had the game of his life because he was left completely open all game. I expect that with added depth in the post, a more in shape Niang and McKay's shot blocking ability, the amount of open shots from the perimeter are going to go way down. I think that's huge in not only avoiding major shootouts, but also not falling behind early due to giving up easy buckets as a result of reluctance to foul.



  15. #30
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    Re: A look at Iowa State's Ballscreen Defense Problem

    All you experts here need to state how many years you have coached at the D1 or D2 level before making comments. Oh, that would kill the thread.



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