Q: Translating all of that on to the court, what do you think are the areas where this will make the most improvement?
A: It’s gotta make the most difference defensively. There’s no doubt about it. It’s gotta start with our transition defense which was good not great. In this league and against really good teams, you’re gonna have some jailbreak type run-outs at certain points. When I use the term jailbreak, guys are sprinting up the court for their life with that ball. You’re only gonna have one, maybe two guys back. For us, that was Jordan (Hulls) and Verdell (Jones) a lot and they were not very good at getting that ball stopped at all and people were able to take them on. At the same time, you lose games if you’re constantly at a disadvantage numbers wise on the break and we had too much of that. Our big man have to do a much better job of sprinting back. Our wings have gotta get back and help inside out. That’s the first area. And I think the other area is we’ve gotta guard multiple actions better, which means more athleticism, more strength allow you control the ball a little bit better. It allows you to play in a short space a little bit better, and then the big thing is where the physical strength and the awareness come in is the weakside defense, especially the weakside rebounding. We were not a good weakside rebounding team last year because we were not physical enough. Weakside rebounding comes down to who hits first. Holding your position, and you’re gonna have a lot of mismatches, because in rotation defense you’re constantly gonna be in a situation where people are gonna be matched up against people who are not at their position. Our guards have gotta be much better at being able to block out bigger people.
Filed to: Tom Crean