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A few complaints about CU's defense

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by Buffnik, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    In general, the Buffs play excellent defense. But this year has been a work in progress with such a young team (I think we're younger than all but a dozen or so D1 teams this season). It took a while for the young guys to get the principles down and there are still issues with fundamentals.

    Three things of note:

    1. Getting caught in "no man's land". Perimeter defenders crashing down against penetration to close off driving & passing lanes are part of this defense. Tad doesn't want to give up easy layups. But too often we see guys hesitate (and also ineffective help due to what I discuss in #3 below). When they do that, they don't close down the lanes and they are also unable to react quickly enough on the kick out to get back to their man and contest. There's also been some drifting into the lane from the weak side that gives no help and leaves a guy with 10-15 of space if he gets a weak side skip pass. Results in way too many open 3s.

    2. Confusion on switches. This seems to be getting better as players are doing a much better job of fighting over the top of screens and being in position to "slap hands" with a shooter if he catches coming off a screen. Earlier in the year, CU was switching too much instead of fighting through. And whether there was a switch or not, CU defenders weren't closing out well. This has definitely improved, but it's not quite where it has been in past seasons.

    3. Playing with hands down. Walton noticed this and called it out last night while UCLA was putting on a passing clinic. CU defenders are playing with their hands down. When hands are down, it creates passing lanes. Our perimeter defenders make it too easy for the guys they are on to find passing lanes. (Spencer was fantastic at this as a defender, btw.) And on the interior, hands down allows too much over the top or through traffic at shoulder level. That type of thing did not happen with Dre and Dufault on the inside as both were great technicians with having their hands up. Scott's pretty good with this now, but Dustin is really struggling at this aspect. Some of the issue may be a matter of playing timidly due to all of the hand check calls with the new rules, but you've got to use your arms & hands to make yourself big. Tad put so much of a premium on recruiting length for a reason and CU defenders are failing to take advantage of their length.
     
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  2. cubuffs85

    cubuffs85 Active Member

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    Close we're 15th, even younger without Spencer most likely (not sure about other teams injuries)
     
  3. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

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    The perimeter defenders are definitely getting stuck in no mans land, they aren't really helping in the post and they are too deep inside to close out. Chen was actually really good at this last year. The drifting into the lane from the weak side thing is new this year, at first I thought it was just one guy doing it, but it's not, it's across the board. I think this is scheme and is intended to provide weak side help (They just may be bad at it). The only thing I can think of is that they trusted Dre to be able to roam down there last year and he'd single-handedly be help side D, where this year they're hedging the weak side help D
     
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  4. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    The one other issue, largely attributable to youth, is the consistent soft fouls at the basket. Wrap the guy up or get out of the way, but we're giving up a lot of really easy 3 point plays. DT has been a frequent offender here, too.
     
  5. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Subtracting Chen and Dre from the defense is a lot to overcome. Then Spencer. Wes has done some great work on the defensive end as an equalizer and XJ has impressed me lately (I didn't think he could check a guy like Wilcox and he proved me wrong). But this is a young team that just doesn't get it yet on the defensive end every night.
     
  6. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

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    Nik touched on it, but the new rules emphasis have been a disaster. Tad talked about it in his pac12 call this week that the reffing is back to last years mentality. So these kids had to learn a fairly different style of defense for basically 6 weeks. The learning curve for frosh is already large, then you bring in the rule emphasis then basically change it up again when conf play starts, thats tough.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  7. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Yep. Unreal how it has reverted. And it's not just in the Pac
     
  8. Ruckus

    Ruckus Peep my words. Club Member

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    Basketball reffing has always been inconsistent game to game (and many times half to half), so I hate using that as an excuse or reason for defensive or offensive trouble. It was subjective before and it's subjective now.

    One thing to help our case is our response and reaction to calls. It seems like Tad has done a good job of keeping his players from talking to the refs about calls. This is very good, imo. Except for Ski, which further proves he's the leader of this team. To me it looks like he will calmly ask a ref about a call and then relay the response to his teammates and/or the coaches. I think Spence and maybe XJ have done this a few times also, but it is mainly Ski and everyone else stays away. I like that discipline.

    The problem is refs have eyes (debatable, I know) and can see facial reactions and body gestures. DT and XJ are the biggest offenders here and I do believe it hurts them. Spence was pretty bad at this also, but definitely improved this season and it didn't matter too much for him because he was good enough to get his calls anyway. I'm having a hard time thinking of a time when Scott has complained or even reacted to a call, which is great for us since we need him so badly to get to the line and stay out of foul trouble.
     
  9. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

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    XJ can get really lazy on the defense game. During UCLA he tried to walk through a screen to close on his guy and that guy hit a wide open 3. Unless it was just a terrible switch.

    I think effort is part of the problem.
     
  10. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    XJ's emotions get the best of him at times. When the game's going well, he's in it, aggressive on the glass, and active defensively. When things aren't going so well, he tends to ease up defensively, float on the perimeter offensively, and generally fall out of the rhythm of the game.
     
  11. Medford M.

    Medford M. Well-Known Member

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    I believe that was an Anderson 3, and I was wondering what the he'll XJ was doing there. Just literally leaning in to the screener like he was trying to block him into the shooter.
     
  12. BuffDog

    BuffDog Club Member Club Member

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    Having their hands down seems like the easiest thing to fix and I have been listening to the folks who sit near me complain about that all year. Walton pointed out the obvious as well. Not sure why they continue to ignore this.
     
  13. sliderNcider

    sliderNcider MacLovin Club Member

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    SIAP and not defense related... but what about in-bounds plays? Is our go-to waiting 4 seconds and then hurling the ball to a guard at the half-court line?
     
  14. Scotch

    Scotch Registered User Club Member Junta Member

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    Growing pains. Youth and inexperience hopefully account for most of the defensive struggles. Like JG said, weakside is a struggle right now. DT defending down low is painful to watch at times, but he has the height and length for it. XJ can be the best defender on the team..... when he wants to be.
     
  15. SBG

    SBG Formerly known as EFNMB Club Member Junta Member

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    Tad's teams have always had problems inbounding the ball and have gone for long, long stretches without scoring. If I was coaching against the Buffs I'd put them in a full court press the entire game.

    Then again, I don't really know much about the game.
     
  16. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Few teams have the depth to do that, especially at the Keg.
     
  17. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    Yup. Pretty much all of these things have been problems all year. Not surprising with such a young team. They are starting to get better though.
     
  18. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    I think 'Nik hit the nail on the head with a lot of this stuff. Some of it is the youth, I will give the team that, but some of it is just piss poor execution as well. The no man's land is the worst part, and the thing that I think causes most fans to gripe about our "poor perimeter D". The strategy is dead on, we're just not executing it properly. I think if we were less indecisive there, we'd look a LOT better. A lot of that will come with time. You're seeing some of the frosh start to pick it up (notably JHop who was probably our worst defender the first few games of the season and is now, well, not a flaming dumpster fire) which helps a lot.

    The good news is that other than the hands being down (come on DT), most of the flaws we're making are mental and not fundamentals. JHop was a horrible defender the first few weeks, but he is starting to get his form down and you're seeing it come in to place. I've seen DT getting lower in defensive stances lately. Then there's Fletcher who might have the best defensive "form" on the team (every time he would get low in his stance and spread his arms out, he'd look like a damn condor... the kid is going to be a defensive beast).
     
  19. torerobuff

    torerobuff Dancing is forbidden Club Member

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    I thought Fletch also was most consistently executing the defensive game plan of all the Freshmen. No doubt this team will be all around better defensively next year. When Spencer went down, as already mentioned in this thread, the three best defenders on the '12-13 team are gone.
     
  20. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

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    and in the first half they were back to calling freedom of movement fouls all over the place - seriously I have no idea how you teach or coach defense right now.
     

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