What will be the Defensive approach this year? | The Boneyard

What will be the Defensive approach this year?

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Hey everyone, love the layout of the new board. Curious to see what everyone might think regarding what we'll be seeing on the defensive end this year. Thinking about the length/speed/athleticism coupled with the depth at each position has me pretty excited about the ability of this team to really lock down on and wear out the opposition. Any thoughts on what you're all expecting to see?
 
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Hey everyone, love the layout of the new board. Curious to see what everyone might think regarding what we'll be seeing on the defensive end this year. Thinking about the length/speed/athleticism coupled with the depth at each position has me pretty excited about the ability of this team to really lock down on and wear out the opposition. Any thoughts on what you're all expecting to see?
Depends on the match up. Make no mistake though this is where the addition of Andre Drummond gives UConn tremendous leverage and flexibility that they didn't have pre AD.
 
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Hey everyone, love the layout of the new board. Curious to see what everyone might think regarding what we'll be seeing on the defensive end this year. Thinking about the length/speed/athleticism coupled with the depth at each position has me pretty excited about the ability of this team to really lock down on and wear out the opposition. Any thoughts on what you're all expecting to see?

Drummond gives some added frontcourt depth and shotblocking. Play up tight outside and funnel everything into the paint for the block party?
 
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I hope they don't try to rely on bigs too much and funnel the guards to the trees. It's a lazy and sloppy way to play defense and will hurt us anytime AD is on the bench.
 

mets1090

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I hope they don't try to rely on bigs too much and funnel the guards to the trees. It's a lazy and sloppy way to play defense and will hurt us anytime AD is on the bench.

Nothing about this team is lazy
 
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They will play the exact same defense as they have previously: aggressive on the outside looking to funnel middle.

With our absurd depth and length, it does seem like this is the year to press (even though we generally stop pressing post-cupcake schedule). To run a 1 -2-2 press could be lethal with Lamb/Roscoe/DD's long arms in the front setting the trap. If down at the end of the game, I can see an insane amount of steals coming back.

In addition, if teams beat the press, AO and AD would be back and ready to block shots and help slow a fast break.
 
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I found this to be remarkable. In a sport with so much roster turnover, it's incredible how consistent Calhoun's teams have been from a statistical standpoint. Year after year, we're one of the best teams in the country at offensive rebounding, defensive FG% (especially inside the arc), blocked shots, and not fouling. Also not surprising is that we always rank very low in 3 point shooting and forcing turnovers.

So to answer the question posed by the OP, I think it's safe to say that we already know what the defensive approach will be. We won't foul a lot and we won't take many chances going for steals (Napier excluded) because with our length and athleticism, we can block or alter a good percentage of the shots that our opponents take.
 

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we will contest the perimeter when we have to, Bazz, Lamb and Smith can be aggressive knowing that AO, AD & DD will be waiting in the paint

it has the potential to be our best defensive team ever
 
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Between the shot blocking ability of AO, RS, DD, AD, JL, and, hopefully, Bradley, coupled with the defensive instincts of Shabbaz & Jeremy, I don't see the opposition scoring a whole lot of points against us.
 

tykurez

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I hope they don't try to rely on bigs too much and funnel the guards to the trees. It's a lazy and sloppy way to play defense and will hurt us anytime AD is on the bench.

Perhaps last year made people forget that this was a problem that the '09-'10 team had ... and I think partly as a result of all the success they had in the blocking years of EO/Thabeet.

Last year they switched gears a bit and focused on stoping the point of attack around the perimeter ... and their collective length proved to be beneficial. With the addition of Drummond, I see this defense as one of the best in the nation again. The quickness of Shabazz up top coupled with the length and athleticism of Lamb, Smith, and Oriakhi is a lethal combination. Add in Andre, who from what we've seen looks to be a decent help defender and blocking force, and it's going to be a tough year for opponents to score.
 
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willie99

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I hope they don't try to rely on bigs too much and funnel the guards to the trees. It's a lazy and sloppy way to play defense and will hurt us anytime AD is on the bench.

when has a Jim Calhoun team ever been lazy on D?
 
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I think we'll be a little more dominant around the rim. But on the flip side of that, we run the risk of bad matchups at the 4.

Next year will see a return to the traditional 2-big lineup that we'd had over the previous decade. During that time, we routinely struggled to guard the 6-8, 6-9 wing player who played the 4 on their team and matched up against the 4 on our team who played like a traditional big (Boone, Adrien, Edwards, AO). Last year we had big problems with both Chuck and AO on the floor at the same time, with one of them having to guard a semi-perimeter player.

In my opinion, one of the biggest reasons we were successful last year is that Calhoun adapted and played Roscoe at the 4 against that sort of opponent. If he reverts to the traditional lineup, we're going to have problems against guys in the Terrence Jones (formerly Joe Alexander, Hakim Warrick, etc.) mold.
 
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when has a Jim Calhoun team ever been lazy on D?

From 2006-2007 to 2008-2009, UConn's 3rd final four came on the back of Thabeet's defense. Guards would funnel everything inside to be swatted or altered by Thabeet. Than next season with Thabeet gone, they still played that style only to get AO into foul trouble. That got them all the way to the NIT with the team seemingly unable to get stops late in the game.

Finally last year with a whole new roster they were playing real team defense with no one taking plays off. The bigs were still there as a safety valve, but not as a focal point of the defense. This culminated in a national championship.

All I hope for is that with inclusion of AD they don't come back to the form of defense employed by the 2008-2009 squad. I don't think they will, but you never know. If they do it, hopefully Calhoun will see it happening and nip it in the bud. Don't mess with what worked on defense last year.
 
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Allow less points than than what they themselves score. I think that strategy should work well for them. :)
 
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Keep Bazz from getting stupid fouls from risky steal attempts. Can't afford that now with Kemba gone.
 

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Keep Bazz from getting stupid fouls from risky steal attempts. Can't afford that now with Kemba gone.

That's a very good point. I was just thinking that Bazz will needed to play more minutes and he probably cannot sustain the full court on ball defense for long periods. Also, we can't afford cheap fouls and have him on the bench for long stretches. That was another thing that Kemba was really good at--avoiding foul trouble (I know he sat quite a while in what, the WSU game?).
 

willie99

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From 2006-2007 to 2008-2009, UConn's 3rd final four came on the back of Thabeet's defense. Guards would funnel everything inside to be swatted or altered by Thabeet. Than next season with Thabeet gone, they still played that style only to get AO into foul trouble. That got them all the way to the NIT with the team seemingly unable to get stops late in the game.

Finally last year with a whole new roster they were playing real team defense with no one taking plays off. The bigs were still there as a safety valve, but not as a focal point of the defense. This culminated in a national championship.

All I hope for is that with inclusion of AD they don't come back to the form of defense employed by the 2008-2009 squad. I don't think they will, but you never know. If they do it, hopefully Calhoun will see it happening and nip it in the bud. Don't mess with what worked on defense last year.

so you want to blame the disastrous 09/10 season on getting a freshmen in foul trouble? because they played the same lazy defense that got them to the final four the year before? that's your argument?

well I couldn't disagree more. That team had lots of issues, starting with a 1-9 record in games decided in the final seconds. Poor execution down the stretch, too many turnovers, no go to guy, one bad decision after another, and a very bad rebounding team by JC standards. It was not about some "lazy defense". Their defensive FG% was 39.5, which ranked 17th in the nation. That team couldn't score when they needed to, didn't get the big rebound when they needed to, and turned the ball over at the worst possible time. They were not lazy on defense
 
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so you want to blame the disastrous 09/10 season on getting a freshmen in foul trouble? because they played the same lazy defense that got them to the final four the year before? that's your argument?

well I couldn't disagree more.... They were not lazy on defense

You're wrong. They played the same defense overplaying the perimeter with idea that if the guard blows by them, the big guys will bail them out. The problem with that was that Thabeet and Adrien on the FF team were replaced with Oriakhi and Edwards. Our best big guys replaced with a freshman and a senior who couldn't get on the court the first 3 years of his career. No wonder we couldn't get any stops.

Last year the guards stayed in front of opposing guards as best as they could and the big guys could focus on defending the pass into the lane instead of worrying about guard penetration and dish to an open big. Maybe you don't call it lazy but the only reason we got to the final four in 2009 was Thabeet shutting down the paint. The team paid for that mindset with an NIT trip in 2010.
 
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