How much is defense keying the WBB victories?
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    How much is defense keying the WBB victories?

    Before the light switch flipped at the end of the first half against Drake, we struggled to beat Creighton, were blown out by Stanford, and otherwise blew out a few nobodies (I don't consider UNI a nobody, but they were demolished by injuries going into that game). The big exception was solidly beating a pretty good San Diego St team that upset Texas a week ago and only has two other losses (one being UConn).

    Some pretty telling stats during our winning streak:
    In the last 23 minutes, Drake had 11 turnovers and shot 32%
    Detroit had 18 turnovers and shot 25%
    Minnesota had 26 turnovers and shot 34%
    Niagara had 30 turnovers and shot 34%
    North Dakota had 18 turnovers and shot 32%
    Vandy had 27 turnovers and shot 38%

    Heck, we only shot 33% against Vandy but only had 15 turnovers. By contrast, Stanford, Iowa, San Diego State, and Creighton each had only 11 or 12 turnovers in their games against us. Even UNI only had 13 turnovers. Prior to Drake, the only teams with more than 13 turnovers against us were Prairie View A&M and UMKC.

    When Minnesota had 26 turnovers, it was the most turnovers by an ISU opponent in at least 8 seasons according to the ISU game notes (seems a bit unlikely but I looked around a bit and haven't found an exception). Two of ISU's three opponents since then have broken that mark.

    (Of course, another telling stat is that Stanford, Iowa, and Creighton were all away from Hilton.)


    Last edited by mred; 01-07-2009 at 01:35 PM.

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    Re: How much is defense keying the WBB victories?

    I agree, the defense has been the key to us winning. There was a period in the Vandy game that we couldn't score, but our defense was solid and prevented them from making the preverbial run(now, they did cut it to 6 before Ezell hit a couple 3's). My observations are that Ezell, Bolte, and our posts are playing solid defense, but I think Stuckey is igniting the defense with her scrappy play. She gets in there and steals the ball, hustles after long rebounds, and generally keeps loose balls alive. She may not be a 30-minute per game shut-down defender, but our depth and talent allow others to also guard the opponent's scorers.



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    Re: How much is defense keying the WBB victories?

    Quote Originally Posted by mkcrawford View Post
    There was a period in the Vandy game that we couldn't score, but our defense was solid and prevented them from making the preverbial run
    The same thing happened in the Minnesota game. The Gophers technically had a 10-0 run early in the second half, but it was over a period of nearly 10 minutes. ISU went 10 minutes without a point and the lead only shrunk from 22 to 12. Then ISU ran off 7 straight points and Minnesota didn't have a chance.



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    Re: How much is defense keying the WBB victories?

    Your assertion about defense leading the way is accurate. I kept thinking at halftime of the Vandy game that we weren't doing so well, but the other side of my brain kept reminding me that the ranked team we were playing had 17 points at half time.

    Mkcrawf's point that we have depth that allows us to play more aggressively is also key.


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    Re: How much is defense keying the WBB victories?

    Pulling up an old thread for a few updates / random thoughts (but not really any new or interesting points):

    The San Diego State win is looking better every day. They were upset @ Utah but have won two straight against top-50 opponents (including @ The Pit).

    The Iowa loss was the third straight game where our opponent scored at least 60. We've played 12 games since then and have gone 10-2. In those 12 games only one opponent (Baylor) made it to 60 points.

    Opponent Turnover/FG% numbers since Vandy:
    IPFW 17 / 38.6%
    OSU 11 / 37.1%
    Baylor 17 / 44.2%
    KSU 9 / 47.6%
    Missouri 14 / 30.0%
    Nebraska 22 / 44.7%

    We haven't been forcing as many turnovers in conference play, and opp FG% is up. Not unexpected since the quality of competition is better. OSU and Nebraska actually shot better from the field than we did, but we beat OSU by getting to the FT line and we beat Nebraska by attempting 14 more FG than they did (due to rebounding and turnover margin).

    The 22 Nebraska turnovers included 15 ISU steals, where we stepped in front of passes or in many cases just reached in and yanked the ball away. Nebraska ran a full-court man-to-man, but ISU was actually the team that was playing aggressive defense.



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    Re: How much is defense keying the WBB victories?

    Quote Originally Posted by mkcrawford View Post
    I agree, the defense has been the key to us winning. There was a period in the Vandy game that we couldn't score, but our defense was solid and prevented them from making the preverbial run(now, they did cut it to 6 before Ezell hit a couple 3's).
    And what fun, eh? I like watching good defense, and that is what we are getting. Lets go state.....



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    Re: How much is defense keying the WBB victories?

    Let's not forget - how many years did BF have the women playing zone? And now, being able to do this playing man (or a junk defense when necessary).



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    Re: How much is defense keying the WBB victories?

    Quote Originally Posted by fccy View Post
    Let's not forget - how many years did BF have the women playing zone?
    I know this was a rhetorical question, but I'll answer it anyway. The first time ISU played predominantly man-to-man defense in a game (in the Fennelly era) was the first game of the 2004 postseason WNIT. At that point with the outcome of the season basically set, Fennelly decided to experiment with man defense. ISU won three games before losing in the WNIT semis. The next season (04-05) was the first year man-to-man was a regular part of ISU's defensive strategy.

    So to answer the question, almost 9 full seasons of zone.



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    Re: How much is defense keying the WBB victories?

    I keep hoping, ala the Nebraska game, that if our defense continues to play well, and our traditional offensive prowess returns that we will be one hell of a team. Looking at the schedule, I think we could easily go the rest of conference with one or two losses. I think having Aus back at point was a wise decision. I think her having the ball more has settled her down, and I think Ezell is best shooter off the screens anyway.

    I think our defense is also strong because Aus and Kelsey are big girls out on the perimeter and their length can create issues for smaller guards. Denae definately helps, but not having a 3 pt shot really shows in offensive sets. Nicky and Jos may be slender but both play fairly strong post up D, and Niz is very good at moving her feet and keeping herself between the opponent and the basket.

    It is nice to talk about WBB, I am tired of all the meltdown discussions on our mens team.



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    Re: How much is defense keying the WBB victories?

    We are #3 in attendence in the entire country! Only UCONN and TENN have higher. Go Clones!!



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