NBA Offense vs College Offense

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What are the differences between modern pro offense and college offense? For me it's the 3 point shooting and the wide open lane. And I think they are related. Player skillset is a big difference as well... maybe the biggest difference.

Next question. What's stopping college teams from running more of a pro offense? Lots of 3. Wide open lane. Etc..

Next question. I actually think we have a lot of players that can shoot the three. I know others disagree. Which is cool. Anyways, what's stopping UCONN from running a pro offense?
 
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The differences are spacing, skill level, not wasting time with motion that's just for the sake of motion (like dribble hand offs) and the mastery of the pick and roll or pick and pop. Some of the wasted motion in college offenses would go away if the shot clock was 24 seconds.
 
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i was going to say spacing, too. plenty of teams play 4 or 5-out offenses, but the wider lane and three-point arc (not to mention the numerous players who can effectively stretch the defense beyond the arc) make a big difference.
 

HuskyHawk

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Agree with @Kenny11 I think coaches at the college level try, but lack the athletes and skills to try. Villanova pulled it off, but only because it had a really unique roster. In college, if you recruit a skilled 6'6" ballhandler and shooter, the 6'7" skilled ballhandler and shooter is going to a different school. It's extremely difficult to recruit an entire roster of the guys you'd need to play that way. There is still a need for bigs who can catch and score in the paint, even in the NBA. But it's all but essential in college.
 
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I was about to write something like, couldn't we run a pro-like offense if we played Cole, Bouk, Martin, Polley and Whaley? Then I realized we have a recent thread titled "Cole, Bouk, Martin Polley, Whaley". I think a few of us may be coming to a similar thought.

Get everyone outside the arc, Jack up some threes, flash to the middle, take advantage of the space in the middle. Analytics... duh
 
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Turnovers... the NBA is great at getting shots off whereby the college game is filled with empty possessions.
 

HuskyHawk

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I was about to write something like, couldn't we run a pro-like offense if we played Cole, Bouk, Martin, Polley and Whaley? Then I realized we have a recent thread titled "Cole, Bouk, Martin Polley, Whaley". I think a few of us may be coming to a similar thought.

Get everyone outside the arc, Jack up some threes, flash to the middle, take advantage of the space in the middle. Analytics... duh

We tried. It was a disaster. They aren't big enough. Aren't skilled enough. The roster you want for that offense is essentially the 2018 Villanova offense, or going way back the 1988-89 Illinois team. It was way ahead of its time, play Marcus Liberty as essentially a stretch 5.

UConn has finally looked better on offense and it happened because we stopped trying to play 5 out, and instead started passing the ball inside to Carlton, Sanogo and Whaley. NBA teams have guys with size like Lebron and Tatum who can put the ball on the floor and take it to the basket, or drain 3s. Bouk is really the only guy we have who can do that, which is why he's expected to be a possible lottery pick. Maybe Jackson someday, or Akok.
 
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We tried. It was a disaster. They aren't big enough. Aren't skilled enough. The roster you want for that offense is essentially the 2018 Villanova offense, or going way back the 1988-89 Illinois team. It was way ahead of its time, play Marcus Liberty as essentially a stretch 5.

UConn has finally looked better on offense and it happened because we stopped trying to play 5 out, and instead started passing the ball inside to Carlton, Sanogo and Whaley. NBA teams have guys with size like Lebron and Tatum who can put the ball on the floor and take it to the basket, or drain 3s. Bouk is really the only guy we have who can do that, which is why he's expected to be a possible lottery pick. Maybe Jackson someday, or Akok.
My favorite part of your post is the part about our offense looking better. It definitely is. Coaching staff has us going in the right direction. No need to do anything other than what we are already doing. Point taken.
 
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It's the skill level. In the NBA you can get away with doing different things and often more simplified offense, not to say that there aren't complicated offensive sets. Nearly every team has at least one player who can break down their defender at will or who can dominate the pick and roll game. Teams also have at least four shooters out there to open things up. Plus the NBA is much more of a finesse game than college. Even though we all complain about college refs it's still a more physical brand of basketball. The last two rounds of the playoffs in October featured a ton of headhunting and exploiting mismatches. You can't do that at the college level outside of a few studs.

We're a perfect example of a college team. Bouk is the only player who can consistently break down his man but he's not a point guard. Neither of our point guards can do it. All of our shooters are inconsistent. I've seen folks complain about our point guards not being aggressive enough but that's by design; we're running our offense and relying on that to create open looks because our point guards aren't good enough to generate good looks--for themselves and others--on their own consistently.

Look at how NBA teams defend the PnR vs college teams. NBA teams now play drop coverage a vast majority of the time. College teams still blitz and trap and hard-hedge pretty often (this is how everyone is defending Bouk's PnRs). That's not really an effective strategy in the NBA anymore.
 
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It's the skill level. In the NBA you can get away with doing different things and often more simplified offense, not to say that there aren't complicated offensive sets. Nearly every team has at least one player who can break down their defender at will or who can dominate the pick and roll game. Teams also have at least four shooters out there to open things up. Plus the NBA is much more of a finesse game than college. Even though we all complain about college refs it's still a more physical brand of basketball. The last two rounds of the playoffs in October featured a ton of headhunting and exploiting mismatches. You can't do that at the college level outside of a few studs.

We're a perfect example of a college team. Bouk is the only player who can consistently break down his man but he's not a point guard. Neither of our point guards can do it. All of our shooters are inconsistent. I've seen folks complain about our point guards not being aggressive enough but that's by design; we're running our offense and relying on that to create open looks because our point guards aren't good enough to generate good looks--for themselves and others--on their own consistently.

Look at how NBA teams defend the PnR vs college teams. NBA teams now play drop coverage a vast majority of the time. College teams still blitz and trap and hard-hedge pretty often (this is how everyone is defending Bouk's PnRs). That's not really an effective strategy in the NBA anymore.
If its mostly the skill level of the players (which I do not doubt) it doesn't say much for NBA coaches. Seems like the job is to either draft, trade or develop the skillset. Then just tell em to spread out and have-at-it during the game.
 

HuskyHawk

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It's the skill level. In the NBA you can get away with doing different things and often more simplified offense, not to say that there aren't complicated offensive sets. Nearly every team has at least one player who can break down their defender at will or who can dominate the pick and roll game. Teams also have at least four shooters out there to open things up. Plus the NBA is much more of a finesse game than college. Even though we all complain about college refs it's still a more physical brand of basketball. The last two rounds of the playoffs in October featured a ton of headhunting and exploiting mismatches. You can't do that at the college level outside of a few studs.

We're a perfect example of a college team. Bouk is the only player who can consistently break down his man but he's not a point guard. Neither of our point guards can do it. All of our shooters are inconsistent. I've seen folks complain about our point guards not being aggressive enough but that's by design; we're running our offense and relying on that to create open looks because our point guards aren't good enough to generate good looks--for themselves and others--on their own consistently.

Look at how NBA teams defend the PnR vs college teams. NBA teams now play drop coverage a vast majority of the time. College teams still blitz and trap and hard-hedge pretty often (this is how everyone is defending Bouk's PnRs). That's not really an effective strategy in the NBA anymore.

I absolutely hated that we didn't play drop coverage with Carlton. Yelled about it all last year. It's one thing to hard hedge with Whaley who excels at it. But I have to say I never remember any college team with a true shot blocking 5 playing anything but drop coverage. You don't let them take that guy too far from the paint.

It's another area where I feel like some college coaches get caught up in trying to play with the team they wish they had, instead of the team they have. There are damned few real centers anymore. If you've actually got one, don't waste him. Javonte Brown should become a guy who always plays drop coverage. Clingan as well. As the reddit post below says "it is the default defense in many ways for teams that wish to play a traditional center who has limited mobility."

Thought this was pretty good.
NBA Defense 101: Pick and Roll Drop Coverage. A simple guide to drop pick and roll defense. : nba (reddit.com)
 
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There are barely enough skilled bigs who can both hit 3s and defend other bigs inside for the NBA. There aren't nearly enough for college basketball. If you had the pre-break up GS Warriors' roster on your college team, you'd play that way but it's not likely. Plus, would you need to shoot 3s if your bigs who can shoot 3s can't be defended inside about other teams.
 
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The differences are spacing, skill level, not wasting time with motion that's just for the sake of motion (like dribble hand offs) and the mastery of the pick and roll or pick and pop. Some of the wasted motion in college offenses would go away if the shot clock was 24 seconds.
This is all true.

Also, the defensive 3-second rule doesn’t lead to a clogged lane.

Also, too much emphasis on defense by college coaches. It is important, but a lot of colleges work their tails off on defense, and then rest in offense. You have to work as hard on offense as you do on defense.
 
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If its mostly the skill level of the players (which I do not doubt) it doesn't say much for NBA coaches. Seems like the job is to either draft, trade or develop the skillset. Then just tell em to spread out and have-at-it during the game.
The coaching in the NBA is superior to college, and it’s not particularly close.

But the biggest differences to me is the talent/skill level of NBA players compared to college (which is true of all sports). On top of that, having 4 quarters, a longer 3-point line, defensive 3 seconds, and a 24-second shot clock help to open things up and enables that talent to thrive.

College players are a lot more athletic than they were 20 years ago, but the rules are archaic and don’t allow that to show.
 
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If its mostly the skill level of the players (which I do not doubt) it doesn't say much for NBA coaches. Seems like the job is to either draft, trade or develop the skillset. Then just tell em to spread out and have-at-it during the game.

If you believe that I encourage you to watch film of the Knicks last year under Fizdale, then this year under Thibs.
 

polycom

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Lol. First off watch more basketball, both college and nba. College teams don’t play like nova teams because the players on the average college team are horrible compared to nba players. Not average or okay, horrible. When you have horrible players you have to hide them, that’s what they spend their time doing.

Coaching college is easier than coaching in the nba...so let’s not make that comparison either. Defense is way more complex in the nba as well it just seems that it’s not because the players are exponentially better.
 
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You see pretty much run the same offensive sets in both the NBA and college.

In the NBA they just get into them quicker due to the shorter shot clock

The biggest difference has to do with the floor spacing due to the extended 3pt line and defensive 3second rule opens the game up more.

Also most of the time in the NBA you have offensive threats at all five positions so you can’t cheat off your man as much as they can in college
 
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A lot of good answers here. Ultimately, I think it boils down to one thing: three-point shooting.

NBA players at all positions shoot the rock much, much better than even high-major D1 players. The differences in everything else is a result of this fact.

Probably a bit simplistic answer, but that's how I'm explaining it to most anyone who asks.
 

HuskyHawk

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Andre Drummond demonstrates proper NBA offense.

That guys like Andre Drummond shouldn't be that far from the basket with the ball in their hands.
 

nelsonmuntz

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Lol. First off watch more basketball, both college and nba. College teams don’t play like nova teams because the players on the average college team are horrible compared to nba players. Not average or okay, horrible. When you have horrible players you have to hide them, that’s what they spend their time doing.

Coaching college is easier than coaching in the nba...so let’s not make that comparison either. Defense is way more complex in the nba as well it just seems that it’s not because the players are exponentially better.

Your takes are terrible. You think everyone sucks. We heard you the first 100 times. Why do you watch a sport if you think it is terrible? Why should anyone care about your takes if you think the sport is terrible?
 
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I like this specific tweet b/c it looks good for the Jays to influence NBA sets. Beyond the selfishness, this twitter account posts a lot of great clips highlighting smart half court sets. Fun to watch for a basketball nut.

 
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I like this specific tweet b/c it looks good for the Jays to influence NBA sets. Beyond the selfishness, this twitter account posts a lot of great clips highlighting smart half court sets. Fun to watch for a basketball nut.

That’s beautiful basketball. It helps if you can run a 4-man set and all four players can pick and pop a three. It’s also nicely designed to create shot opportunities where the right-handed shooter moves left to right and squares into a three.
 

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