Offensive Execution | The Boneyard

Offensive Execution

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So, I gave myself the mandatory 24 after an ass whipping. Got to thinking... Never, do I remember a season where JC has run so little offensive schemes. What I see are high pick and rolls , the guards driving to the bucket looking to create, or an ally oop. JC always ran the set where the 2/3 would circle under the hoop with a double screen on the side for the shooter. Granted it was only a set, but Im sure there was more plays that came off it.. I can see Rip , Ray, Shad hittin 17 footers clear as day off that set. If Lamb was to go to the high post it might help loosen the perimiter up, and it would definatly help with put backs. This kid got too much game, and too big of hops to be hanging on the arc. Then, cement AD on the low block and lets see if he can create some stuff. Hes got to be more involved other than ally oops and put backs.. Air balls or not, I can live with it. He seems like a decent passer too.. (kind of envisioning a shaq like scenario where he would hold the ball in one hand and look to create). No reason why he isnt on the line 6-8 times a game. Too much 1 on 1 and standing around for me, looked stale..
 
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The offensive execution right now is poor to say the least. I'm noticing a lot of standing around on offense. As with any offense, JC's offense is at its worst when there isn't any movement. The other things I notice, is that defenses are heding high on the pick and roll, mainly because none of our big men (besides maybe Tyler) are a threat to score from the top of the key. There is very little movement, very little cutting, off-ball screening, or anything else that usually goes hand in hand with an effective offensive set. Without having watched any of the game tape, I would suggest a couple of things that might help the offense run better:

1. Cross screening by the big men down low. Haven't seen much of that this year, because it seems like most of the time Shabazz or Lamb are calling for screens at the top of the key. It's nice to have three guards who can pretty much penetrate at will, but when you run the same play every time down the floor (high pick and roll) your offense becomes a little one dimensional. A lot of posters have been hammering Oriakhi for his lack of effort, but I tell you, he works his ass off to free himself down low and post his man. It's frustrating to watch him work hard for position, only to have Lamb or Shabazz look him off. As I've said, Oriakhi is the type of guy who starts playing like a beast after he gets a couple buckets to go down. If he gets looked off, he might start to pout a little bit, and his whole game suffers. Oriakhi has expressed frustration before because of not getting the ball, and it is pretty evident with his body language that he doesn't appreciate not being used on offense. When Drummond signed on to come to UConn, I thought one of the staples of this team was going to be the inside game. With their size down low, they should be able to bully defenders. Neither of these kids have great touch in the paint, but that can be made up for with the size, athleticism, and grit they bring to the table. Not to mention, half the time they'll be getting their own offensive board on a missed shot. Also, Oriakhi has looked a lot more comfortable from the line lately. Bottom line: Feed him the ball.

2. High low screening by the big men, culminating with Olander catching the ball at the top of the key. Olander is a big men who has a lot of potential. It would still benefit him to add strength, but I would say he's by far our most skilled big men. If you give him the ball at the high post, surround him with shooters, and plant Oriakhi or Drummond in the low post, he would have a variety of options. He can hit the elbow jumper, he's a good passer, and he'd have three guys around him (Giffey/Daniels/Boat, Lamb, Bazz) who can make the three. IMO, this offensive allignment offers the best spacing, so even if Olander had to pass it back out to a guard, they'd have plenty of room to penetrate.

3. Off-ball screens for Giffey, Daniels, and Lamb. We've seen this a lot with Lamb, but not as much with the other two. A lot of times I'll see Lamb moving to try to free himself, but nobody else. That allows defenses to key on Lamb, making it more difficult to get him the ball in a good scoring position. If you add Giffey or Daniels to the mix, that gives defenses two shooters to think about, which changes the whole dynamic. With a guy like Roscoe on the floor, it would be easy for his defender to cheat and help with Lamb, leaving Roscoe open for a jumper that he will inevitably clank. With Giffey/Daniels and Lamb both running off screens, it leaves the defense with less margin for error. Of course, for this to happen, the big men need to set good, solid screens (something they have not been doing effectively).

Overall, our best offensive lineup at the moment likely consists of something like Bazz, Lamb, Giffey, Olander, and Drummond. You need Drummond out there, if only for the fact that we get 2-3 buckets a game off alley-oops. If nothing else, defenses have no choice but to stick with him, because if you leave him for a second, the next thing you know you're watching him throw the ball down. I put Giffey out there, because I think he's a little bit better offensively than Daniels right now, but if Daniels can get comfortable, he'll be a dangerous weapon as well. I put those two in there ahead of Boatright, because I feel him and Shabazz can be kind of counter productive at times, and plus, Boatright is unreliable from beyond the arch.
 
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