How will this team attack zone defenses? | The Boneyard

How will this team attack zone defenses?

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Dogbreath2U

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UConn has often been susceptible to having trouble breaking down zone defenses when we do not have an experienced, top level point guard. Last year there were many times where Kemba beat it all by himself. Shabazz had several times when he pounded the ball 30 feet from the hoop until there was just time to pass it to Kemba and have him try to make something happen.

We could be better at shooting over the zone with Jeremy and DD, RB, NG, and RS. However, how will we break it down? I expect that SN will get better, but I don't think that either AO or AD will be great at flashing to the foul line and being able to make quick decisions or shoot the open jumper when there.

Not a big concern right now, but could be a challenge to such a young team. Any thoughts???
 
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I would say with the amount of 6'7"-6'9" guys that UConn has on their team they can find one of them that can pass well or knock down the jumper from the "Big East " logo so to speak just below the foul line. Charlie V was one of the best I've seen at playing that role for UConn. Lamb's ability to knock down jumpers consistently would play a big roll, and if Daniels can really shoot it he could help a great deal as well.

Or...they can just throw the ball down to Andre Drummond and he can dunk it.
 

Chin Diesel

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Someone mentioned in another thread that Lamb, Smith and Daniels should all be lethal with a catch and shoot from the middle of the key. I think this is the best Uconn lineup against a zone in a long time. Good shooters, good passers and when all else fails, throw it towards the rim and let Drummond do his thing.
 
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I would say with the amount of 6'7"-6'9" guys that UConn has on their team they can find one of them that can pass well or knock down the jumper from the "Big East " logo so to speak just below the foul line. Charlie V was one of the best I've seen at playing that role for UConn. Lamb's ability to knock down jumpers consistently would play a big roll, and if Daniels can really shoot it he could help a great deal as well.

Or...they can just throw the ball down to Andre Drummond and he can dunk it.

A good option would be to put in an athletic lineup to score in transition before the zone sets up. UConn will certainly have the personnel from 1-5 to push the pace with SN, RB, JL, DD, RS, and AD. If that doesn't happen, I agree that there are plenty of tall guys that could take that 15 ft. shot up over the zone. Olander's breakout first half against Cuse in the BET immediately came to mind.
 

jleves

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Better question - How will other teams attack our man to man defense?
 
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Watching last year's team attack the zone was painful at times.
 

UChusky916

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Put Lamb at the elbow (or DD since he can stroke it supposedly). Or alley-oop to drummond
 

mets1090

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Better question - How will other teams attack our man to man defense?
+1

We should be the aggressor in just about every game. Other teams should be worried about how to game plan against this group of athletes and a guy by the name of Jim Calhoun.
 

huskyharry

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UConn has often been susceptible to having trouble breaking down zone defenses when we do not have an experienced, top level point guard. Last year there were many times where Kemba beat it all by himself. Shabazz had several times when he pounded the ball 30 feet from the hoop until there was just time to pass it to Kemba and have him try to make something happen.

We could be better at shooting over the zone with Jeremy and DD, RB, NG, and RS. However, how will we break it down? I expect that SN will get better, but I don't think that either AO or AD will be great at flashing to the foul line and being able to make quick decisions or shoot the open jumper when there.

Not a big concern right now, but could be a challenge to such a young team. Any thoughts???
During the playoff run, they were much more affective at defeating the zone than during the middle of the season. This was largelytdue to JLamb flashing to the foul line and making a play (consistently hitting a shot or making a good pass)...this should still be a good option this year.
Additionally, the team particularly struggled against zone when AO or Chuck received the pass in the high post because they didn't have great hands and they were easily stripped or were unable to make a quick enough decision to hit the open teammate with a pass. Andre Drummond is a different situation...he has excellent hands and is an instinctive passer. I think his shot is good enough from 15 that the defense will still have to rapidly collapse, which could lead to easy dump-down passes to AO/TO/RS in the low block or a wing cutting along the baseline to the hoop (JLamb, RS, DD, NG or RB) or to a open 3-pt shooter (SN, JLamb, RS, DD, NG or RB). Our 3-point shooting was not great last year but players typically shoot a lower % when receiving a pass from around the perimeter vs. a higher percentage when receiving an inside-out pass.
 
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I would say with the amount of 6'7"-6'9" guys that UConn has on their team they can find one of them that can pass well or knock down the jumper from the "Big East " logo so to speak just below the foul line. Charlie V was one of the best I've seen at playing that role for UConn. Lamb's ability to knock down jumpers consistently would play a big roll, and if Daniels can really shoot it he could help a great deal as well.

Or...they can just throw the ball down to Andre Drummond and he can dunk it.

Some of the recent trouble has stemmed from lack of activity at the foul line (which jeremy fixed for the team in the BET) and lack of ability to pass out of the baseline position once the defense collapses. For all their talent, hasheem, jeff adrien and Alex have not been great passers out of the double team... CV was a master of it and destroyed the SU zone... AD should have similar success both because of height/reach and passing ability...

That said, after a little while, I think we will torch zones.
 
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I'm seeing Roscoe/DD/Giffey up at the free throw line. AO and AD on both sides down low. Lamb by the wings. SN at the top of the key. Roscoe gets the ball. On a 1-3-1 or 3-2, the ball gets thrown down low. On a 2-3, JL has to knock down the kick out or Roscoe knocks down the 10 footer.
 

CL82

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fleudslipcon

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During the playoff run, they were much more affective at defeating the zone than during the middle of the season. This was largelytdue to JLamb flashing to the foul line and making a play (consistently hitting a shot or making a good pass)...this should still be a good option this year.
Additionally, the team particularly struggled against zone when AO or Chuck received the pass in the high post because they didn't have great hands and they were easily stripped or were unable to make a quick enough decision to hit the open teammate with a pass. Andre Drummond is a different situation...he has excellent hands and is an instinctive passer. I think his shot is good enough from 15 that the defense will still have to rapidly collapse, which could lead to easy dump-down passes to AO/TO/RS in the low block or a wing cutting along the baseline to the hoop (JLamb, RS, DD, NG or RB) or to a open 3-pt shooter (SN, JLamb, RS, DD, NG or RB). Our 3-point shooting was not great last year but players typically shoot a lower % when receiving a pass from around the perimeter vs. a higher percentage when receiving an inside-out pass.
I was going to post something like this. No need now. Nice job.
 

willie99

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when the team wasn't playing well, the coaching staff was trying to work on their half-court offense

after the ND loss and before the BET, they went back to preseason defense and rebounding drills, what followed is still a dream to us all

So I say forget about working half-court sets, just keep winning the way JC knows best

and for the record, i don't think we're going to have any trouble scoring. None what-so-ever
 

UConnSwag11

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As long as they don't get 3 happy they'll be fine
 
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The key to attacking the zone is to present a credible threat in terms of shooting over it, thus preventing the defense from collapsing, and to have big men in the paint that can step out, create mismatches, and hit midrange and longer jumpers. Our best returning 3 point shooters from last year's team are JL (36.8%), SN (32.6%), NG (32.4%), and RS (30.1%). Each one of these players has taken his offensive game up a notch over the summer, based upon written reports and my observations at the GHPA, and should be legitimate 3 pt threats this year. In addition, RB and DD can both the trifecta and help spread the zone (leaving AO and AD with room to create havoc inside). Lastly, AO, AD, and RS can all hit from outside 12 feet, forcing the defense to go man-to-man in order to avoid substantial mismatches. On paper, at least, we have an embarassment of riches this year for dealing with the zone that caused us so much trouble last year. Whether the pups come together as a team and and execute up to their potential remains to be seen. In any event, I wouldn't relish being the opposing coach who has to figure out how to defend against a rotation of 9 talented, long, scoring threats.
 

Dogbreath2U

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The key to attacking the zone is to present a credible threat in terms of shooting over it, thus preventing the defense from collapsing, and to have big men in the paint that can step out, create mismatches, and hit midrange and longer jumpers. Our best returning 3 point shooters from last year's team are JL (36.8%), SN (32.6%), NG (32.4%), and RS (30.1%). Each one of these players has taken his offensive game up a notch over the summer, based upon written reports and my observations at the GHPA, and should be legitimate 3 pt threats this year. In addition, RB and DD can both the trifecta and help spread the zone (leaving AO and AD with room to create havoc inside). Lastly, AO, AD, and RS can all hit from outside 12 feet, forcing the defense to go man-to-man in order to avoid substantial mismatches. On paper, at least, we have an embarassment of riches this year for dealing with the zone that caused us so much trouble last year. Whether the pups come together as a team and and execute up to their potential remains to be seen. In any event, I wouldn't relish being the opposing coach who has to figure out how to defend against a rotation of 9 talented, long, scoring threats.

On one hand I agree with your overall point of the riches, but so much depends on the point guard on how well the pieces work together. Marcus Williams and AJ Price were able to keep their composure and shred zones with ease during their last year. We need passers who can get the ball to the player flashing to the open spot without hesitation, who can move the ball quickly without thinking or delaying too much, and who can break it down off the dribble when that is available. I can see Shabazz getting there, but it might take some time for his head to catch up with his moxie. If he can do these things at a high level, we will destroy them!!!
 
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Drummond or Olander at the foul line, both of them should be able to turn and shoot over the guards, when the defense collapses in the middle, kick it out for open threes to Lamb, Napier, Smith, or pass it to whomever cuts to the hoop (Lamb, Smith, Daniels, or Oriahki)
 

Waquoit

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Drummond will make a move, draw the double team and dish. The recipient will then swish or dunk the open look. Sometimes he will decide to just beat the double team and jam it himself.
 
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beating a zone requires ball movement from strong side to weakside and the ability to knock down an open shot. The elbows and lower blocks are ideal slots, and we appear on paper to have several options. Our wings are also a strength and and JL can shoot as well as penetrate and dish. I like boat and bazz at PG, but they may be a liability against a zone. Like a previous poster said, beat the zone down the floor, don't worry and be happy. I don't hear alot about Daniels, but he may prove to be a real valuable piece. If he can shoot as well as predicted and with consistency the zone will not be an issue.
 
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beating a zone requires ball movement from strong side to weakside and the ability to knock down an open shot. The elbows and lower blocks are ideal slots, and we appear on paper to have several options. Our wings are also a strength and and JL can shoot as well as penetrate and dish. I like boat and bazz at PG, but they may be a liability against a zone. Like a previous poster said, beat the zone down the floor, don't worry and be happy. I don't hear alot about Daniels, but he may prove to be a real valuable piece. If he can shoot as well as predicted and with consistency the zone will not be an issue.

I agree with a lot of that, but if Boat/Bazz can knock down shots and/or break down the zone off the dribble, they'll be huge assests.

In addition to ball movement (something we haven't done well) the middle of the zone is a weak spot. With have the size/length to handle a zone, if the guards/wings knock down shots, and guys learn how to move without the ball and we should kill zones.
 
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Marcus Williams use to absolutely SHRED the cuse zone during the regular season. Our bigs just need to stay active, and Napier needs to put the ball where it needs to be. This question of how we should attack a zone would be more relevant if not for the addition of AD.
 

fleudslipcon

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Kemba was great at attacking the rim, but he was far more effective against the press than the zone. IIRC a lot of his turnovers were the result of his trying to drive through the zone from the top of the key. During the season, about the only two effective halves against the zone were when JCM flashed to the foul line.

During the 11 game post season streak the zone was a non factor. The players figured out how to flash to the open spots. Lamb and Tyler were the primary players who flashed to the foul line. And AO played the base line a lot better even though he was unable to finish and had to settle for two shots at the foul line. I expect things to be a lot better this season against the zone, because AD will know how to set up and receive the entry pass a lot better than Chuck. And he will finish better than Chuck and for that matter probably better than Alex did last season. Tyler was good at getting the entry pass but wasn't strong enough to back people into the basket. I expect improvement from him this season. And Roscoe should play better this season because his primary focus will be at the 3. Niels got acclimated to U.S. college basketball last season. And he wasn't bad last season tournament time both in Maui and the postseason.

It is no a stretch to say DD will be a better option as a freshman than JCM would have been as a junior. And JCM was improving.

I think Shabazz is a better passer than Kemba. And he has better targets this season than were available last season.
The zone shouldn't be a problem. I'm much more concerned about the full court press particularly against teams with talented guards and with depth at that position. These teams include Louisville and Florida. It would be like the Hartford Pro Am where Kemba's team got beat by the PlayAZ who kept running defenders in and out of the game and played full court press against a short handed team.
 
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I expect improvement from him this season. And Roscoe should play better this season because his primary focus will be at the 3. Niels got acclimated to U.S. college basketball last season. And he wasn't bad last season tournament time both in Maui and the postseason.

It is no a stretch to say DD will be a better option as a freshman than JCM would have been as a junior. And JCM was improving.

I think Shabazz is a better passer than Kemba. And he has better targets this season than were available last season.
The zone shouldn't be a problem. I'm much more concerned about the full court press particularly against teams with talented guards and with depth at that position. These teams include Louisville and Florida. It would be like the Hartford Pro Am where Kemba's team got beat by the PlayAZ who kept running defenders in and out of the game and played full court press against a short handed team.

Why do you think/say Scoe is focusing on playing the 3? Is it based on summer reports? I hope he has been because long term I think he is better suited to play the wing. He needs to really improve his handle, and his jumper is too inconsistent.

We don't need ball handlers to beat the press, we need guys who can pass the ball. Ball movement beats any press, and if the ball doesn't touch the floor on it's way down the court, you can be certain the press was a non-factor. If Bazz/Boat put their head down and try to dribble through it we could struggle. It takes a lot more effort to dribble through the press, than passing to the open man.
 
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This year's team will not have 7 freshman playing together for the first time.

Their experience and understanding of the system should result in a more cohesive group capable of attacking ANY defense.
 
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