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Should the Buffs switch every screen?

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by Buffnik, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    As much as the guards have struggled with perimeter defense this year and with what we saw after the halftime adjustment today, I want to go back to switching every screen like Tad's old defensive rules.

    At least as the primary defense. Got to be able to mix things up a bit for different teams and because the Buffs did start getting burned off the predictability of its defensive rules the past couple seasons, but I think that switching on all screens has to be the base defense.
     
  2. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Personally I prefer fighting through, but if the teams D doesn't improve, we don't have that as an option. Depends on the opponent. Team like CSU with lots of similar sized guys and no giant? Fine. Teams like Utah with a beast down low? No way.

    I'm also nervous about Jelly on some of the switches. We got a little lucky that Eustachy didn't realize what was going on because they had Daniels down low with Dom on him repeatedly and did nothing with it.
     
  3. JPinCO

    JPinCO VP of Quantified Self Club Member

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    Not sure - I believe we saw their guards drive more to the rim after switches, and I recall seeing a lot of missed layups by Clavell and Gillon. Can we could on those missed 'easier' shots against other teams? Plus CSU had no real front court threat to dish off, so their guards ended up trying to do everything themselves in the second half. Don't get me wrong, I loved the second half D.
     
  4. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    There was actually a good discussion on Rivals regarding this.

    I'm sure some of our more casual basketball fans would be interested in this topic and what it means in terms of defensive strategy.

    Basically, motion offense like we used to see in the old days of Bobby Knight's beautiful displays at Indiana is dead in modern basketball. Every now and then we get to see some of that -- like when San Antonio won the NBA title -- but basketball has become a game where you spread the court and run pick & roll for the most part. And we rarely see the "roll" part of that unless we're watching a Princeton-style offense.

    Generally, what we see is a big guy come out, set a screen for a guard or wing who has the ball, and for that guard/wing to look for an open 3 pt shot or drive land off that screen action. It's the core of every offense.

    So for a defense, the primary concern is to be able to guard that action.

    There are two basic approaches a defense can use to combat this. We'll stick to man defense to keep it simple (and because Tad don't play no stinkin' zone):

    1. No Switching
    With this, the defenders lock onto their men and stay with them. Strategy comes down to a few other things. You can either fight over screens or go underneath them. If you fight over, it makes it tougher on 3pt shooters but since you're trailing it can open up a dribble drive on you. You've got to be a pretty great man defender to do this without help. If you fight under, you give open 3pt looks but avoid dribble penetration. So, if you're playing a team (or a man) who can't shoot but has a quickness advantage you might choose to go under the screens.

    Modifying this are a few options within not switching. The guy guarding the screener can "show". With this, he'd stay within arm's length of his guy but feather out to avoid dribble penetration while the guy guarding ball goes over the top. We see this a lot from CU. More aggressively, the guy guarding the screener can "hedge" and press out on the guy with the ball while the on-ball defender goes underneath the screen. We're seeing this less from CU, but it used to be a staple. Even more aggressive (often used on the wing and baseline when the sideline is there as an extra defender) is a "jump/trap" or "blitz" where the screen defender jumps out to cut off the guy with the ball and the on-ball defender goes over the top to trap. I don't think CU does this nearly enough, but frankly most teams in college don't run much pick & roll from the wing so there aren't a ton of opportunities for this.

    A good defense will change up its rules based on personnel matchups and to keep the offense off balance. In general, defense becomes more conservative when your team is out-athleted. And the more complicated schemes with shows, hedges and blitzes really depends upon having disciplined
    players that know where their help is coming from and can trust it.

    2. Switching
    With this, the screen defender simple takes over guarding ball while the on-ball defender switches over to guarding the screener. This can be hell against an offense that relies on jump shooting and doesn't have much of a post presence. Like in the CSU game, there wasn't really a big threat of one of their bigs posting up Dom after a switch with their guard trying to make an entry pass over Josh. Or a dribble drive risk off that where a guy like Josh or Wes was going to get beat off the dribble but are disciplined enough not to foul... would just trail or alter/block the shot.

    But where this won't work is when the Buffs are playing a UCLA, Utah or Arizona. You can't end up with Dom trying to front Welsh, Poeltl or Zeus. And it's also asking for trouble with defensive rebounding to have one of our bigs out on the perimeter while they've got at least 2 guys in the paint that can board. Taking the example of Arizona, the Buffs might switch at times but the rule would probably be to only switch when it's York with the ball. More likely, they'll show hard against him and then have the screen defender race to recover (so what if Zeus gets the ball 17 feet from the basket and has to try to drive from there -- it's a charge or other turnover waiting to happen).

    Hope this was informative for folks. Be good if others can add some flavor.
     
  5. torerobuff

    torerobuff Dancing is forbidden Club Member

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    @Buffnik you pretty much nailed it. Even when coaching middle schoolers, this is what I go through.

    Tl;dr version: Over or under screen, show on the screen, next level is a jump trap, lastly switching is an option that I (and Tad) don't like to use, but there are situations that call for it.
     
  6. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

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    Our PG defense is pretty awful right now. Yaz at least seems to get the most out of his limited arsenal.
     

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