Film Session: The Sullinger effect

Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger scored 19 points (5-of-6 from the field, 11-of-12 from the line) on Friday night, scoring over 20 percent of the Buckeyes’ 87 points.

But often, it was his ability to attract the defense and pass out of double teams that allowed his teammates to get some solid looks.

A look at three first-half plays displaying this in the latest addition of Film Session:

No. 1:

1) Ohio State wins the tip and initiates their offense with a pass from William Buford to David Lighty, as Indiana starts the game in their matchup zone with Christian Watford at the top of the key:

Lighty kicks to Jon Diebler as Buford starts his cut to the strong-side corner. Sullinger is down near the block:

Diebler kicks to Buford over near the corner as Sullinger moves up to the strong-side elbow:

Sullinger gets the ball and faces the basket, as almost the whole Indiana defense swarms him. Lighty calls for the ball on the weak side of the court:

Sullinger turns and spies Lighty:

Sullinger moves towards and eventually kicks to Lighty who moves farther down toward the corner. Derek Elston sprints out and is able to get a hand in Lighty’s face, resulting in a rare miss for the Buckeyes beyond the arc:

No. 2:

Watford and Tom Pritchard double team Sullinger, which leaves DeShaun Thomas open under the basket:

Hulls tries to sneak in for a steal, but ends up fouling Thomas, who converted two free throws at the line:

No. 3:

Maurice Creek plays some tough on-ball defense against Diebler, as Bobby Capobianco fronts Sullinger and denies an entry pass:

Sullinger moves around and Diebler is eventually able to work a pass into him over Bobby C.:

With Watford coming up to meet Sullinger, Thomas again is open under the hoop, and Verdell Jones and Victor Oladipo charge down to the rim anticipating a pass to him:

Sullinger instead passes to Aaron Craft at the top of the key:

Craft quickly kicks to Jordan Sibert on the weak-side wing:

Oladipo chases to the wing, but is a little too late:

Nothing but net for Sibert:

  • SeattleHoosier

    I love the analysis here, although it is painful to re-live these defensive breakdowns.

    Next year, I’m sure you’ll feature the Hoosiers creating space and/or avoiding these situations.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t profess to know more than Crean about any aspect of bball but it just seems like a waste to have CW on the top of the zone. Now if we had seen several deflected passes and the other teams’s guards having trouble being able to shoot over him or him being able to consistently fight through the screen and apply in your face D then it might be different but I have not seen that.

    Is it just me or am I missing something. It seems like with CW at the top of the zone he is just not fast enough to put himself in position to cause the other team problems. Also with him at the top it leaves us in a bad situation when it comes to rebounding with, what should be but a lot of nights isn’t, one of our best rebounders having to come from that far away from the rim to try and rebound and of course puts someone who would normally be at the top of the key at the back of the zone trying to block out and rebound against someone a lot bigger, taller and able to just plain jump higher than them. While CW is one our best rebounders on this team that is not saying a lot. We need him to be the top rebounder or at least in the top two or three EVERY game. Against O$U VO was our leading rebounder with I believe 6 which was more than DE, TP & BC put together thus my point that we have to put him in a position to get more rebounds.

    I know a lot of people will say that Crean is putting the smaller player on the back of the zone due to our guards not being able to play D well enough but it seems like, judging from the results thus far, we are better off taking our chances with the guards on the top and hoping for good enough D that the other team doesn’t have a record setting night, like what has been happening. Then when the other team does miss from the perimeter maybe it doesn’t turn into a case of them getting the offensive rebound and putting it back up right under the basket or throwing down a dunk after the miss.

  • Kelin Oladipo

    IU’s best option to defending Sullinger required alot of ball pressure which we just don’t have and our post guys working hard to play on his side, deny the ball to an extent, and not letting him get the spot he wants….you CANNOT play behind him he is too too skilled.

  • JerryCT

    No 1. A real good example of poor positioning and “over help” on D . This “over help” tendency is seen in every IU game you care to watch.

    No 2. TP is assigned Sullinger and broke thru the screen by Thomas . Not sure why CW switched off Thomas but the switch killed us again

    No 3. Actually this play was a nice and very difficult pass into Sullinger. Capo not in great position but good enough along w Creek. The “over help” by VO then costs us

    To me 2 lessons here again and some more ………..1) switching and 2 ) over help hurting us big time.

    I think the answer is Man D w no switching strategy and tons of ball denial

  • Anonymous

    How about a Film Session on something IU is doing correctly? Maybe a time when the “offense” is being run efficiently or maybe a nice out of bounds play?

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