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Improving our D

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by PuebloBuff, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. PuebloBuff

    PuebloBuff Club Member Club Member

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    I know most of the post-season focus has centered on our offense and what type of improvement we can expect from this year to next. And I agree with those who say to get deeper in the NCAAs we need to be better at that end of the floor.


    But this was also a much worse defensive squad than our last two teams. The board talked about our trouble defending the 3 quite a bit before Pac play and the conversation kind of faded. But it was still an issue with some notable exceptions like the Bay Area swing.


    This year our FG percentage D was .431, good for 8th in the conference while our 3-pt fg percentage D was .356 (10th place).
    Here are the prior seasons' stats with pac ranking in parentheses:
    12-'13 FG % defense .401 (3rd). 3-pt FG% defense .320 (1st)
    11-12 FG% defense .404 (1st), 3-pt FG% defense .326 (2nd)


    I think this is where Dre's loss was felt the most. Other reasons for our decline could probably include Mayor's injury and freshmen inexperience and possibly the rule changes (although the last one doesn't explain why we rank so poorly compared to the rest of the conference).


    Turning our D around, however, could be a much quicker process than expecting the offensive improvement some have talked about from our current roster (I think the freshmen can be effective on O but I think it more likely it takes them multiple seasons to get there).


    And there are some damn good pieces there. A lineup that includes hopkins, fletch and gordon could stick some people. XJ did get better on the perimeter but I think he's still better at defending the 4. About the only lineup that could be a problem for us is having Thomas and Talton on the floor at the same time.


    At any rate, I was kind of spurred on by all the talk in one of the other threads about our ability to finish in the top 3. I don't think that happens next year without turning around the numbers above.
     
    Buffnik likes this.
  2. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Great thread topic!

    Buffs did not defend this season like we are used to seeing.

    That was my biggest disappointment.

    And I do believe it led to a lot of the bad offense. If a team scores, they have time to set their defense. Also, while defensive rebounding was generally exceptional, there were games like the Arizona, UCLA and Pitt match ups where the opponent kept getting 2nd chances through the offensive glass. Even Cal was able to make some noise there and keep those games closer than they should have been.

    I had a post during the season about the problems as I saw them. There is a lot to work on for next season. But the bottom line is that this team has to discover its identity and shut opponents down if it is going to reach expectations for 2014-15. The offense is secondary to that.
     
  3. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

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    As someone mentioned on here, it seemed especially vanilla this year.
     
  4. RollTad21

    RollTad21 Club Member Club Member

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    Defensive is a lot about effort. I was really impressed with Virginia's D last night. They made Michigan st work on every pass. Made Payne and Dawson work in the post. Whenever they got a tip someone was immediately on the floor. I hate watching a lose ball and someone bending over trying to pick it up. GET ON THE FLOOR!
     
  5. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Or, in the case of the Pitt game, two instances where two of our players didn't even lift a finger for a loose ball. Stood and watched.
     
  6. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    I'll piggy-back off of both 'nik and CVille's posts here, but I do think the team struggled to find an identity. Last year's recruiting class focused on long, versatile, athletic wings, which most of us felt would lead to a high-intensity, pressure defense. Instead, we saw a very vanilla man defense that didn't apply a lot of pressure on the ball and seemed to be built around limiting penetration and daring teams to win from the 3 point line.

    The gameplan and recruiting seemed to be at odds with one another. If we're going to emphasize length and athleticism on the recruiting trail, we need to utilize that with a gameplan emphasizing pressure defense, creating turnovers and generating a transition game. On the other side, if we're content with a low-risk defense, we're going to have to improve the half-court offense, including the shooting.

    Overall, we've obviously seen this team take massive steps in the right direction. In order to take that next step to becoming a perennial contender for the conference championship and a threat to make a deep tourney run every year, I think Tad needs to decide exactly what this team is going to be and fully commit to building that team.
     
  7. Buffenuf

    Buffenuf massive tool

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    Leadership! CU needs it! SD was "okay", but not really the kind to impose his will on his young teammates.

    I'm tired of guys leading by "example". I want to see someone step up and will this team to play great "D", board and move without the ball on "O". Way too much standing around, watching "the example" do his thing.
     
  8. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    The only year we had that was when Tad's least talented team won the Pac-12 tourney. Guys like Carlon and Nate were not shy about telling teammates to get their act together.

    I think Josh is getting there as a vocal leader with his teammates. J-Hop will be a guy like that.
     
  9. PuebloBuff

    PuebloBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Yes, they were vocal leaders. But probably more important is they had the best defensive player in the pac 12 on their team.
     

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