Film Session: Kentucky

  • 03/21/2016 10:01 am in

The Kentucky Wildcats entered Saturday evening’s round of 32 matchup with the nation’s most efficient offense. By game’s end, they fell back to No. 2, as the Hoosiers held their high-powered attack to just .94 points per possession.

We’ll take a look at a number of strong defensive possessions for the Hoosiers in the latest edition of Film Session:

Marcus Lee sets a ball screen for Tyler Ulis and Max Bielfeldt hedges out on Ulis:


As Bielfeldt recovers back to Lee, Troy Williams hangs on the left block to help out a bit on Lee. Ulis dribbles left:


He makes the pass to Isaiah Briscoe and he has room left as Williams comes to close out:


Briscoe takes the drive left:


As he gets to the paint, Bielfeldt has slid over to block his path to the rim. Williams is also able to come from behind and poke the ball out from Briscoe. It’s called out on Briscoe and IU gets the ball on the turnover:


Kentucky turned the ball over 25.9 percent of its first half possessions due to defensive plays like this from the Hoosiers.


Filed to:

  • BL

    Lot of really good D by all but stating the obvious, we don’t win this one without some brilliant defensive plays by OG.

  • Arch Puddington

    His ability to guard multiple positions is simply amazing. Even Ulis was confounded by him. If he develops his ball handling and other technical skills, he could go from (nearly) unrecruited high schooler to productive NBA player.

  • BL

    Many pundits now calling him a can’t miss first round pick. Scary thing is, some suggesting you could see him on the board this year. I mean, the way the NBA plays now, he could definitely go in and make a contribution defensively and as a spot up three point shooter. If your team had say the 20th to 25th pick, chances are you’re looking at a role player or taking a chance you hit the jackpot with a kid like OG. What would you do? Could be the next Kawhi Leonard.

  • Lance76

    Deflections, help defense and making it a difficult shot for the opponent combined with offensive fire power = win. Team playing smart,hustling and learning how to win!

  • IU Cal 1809

    Ya scary! I can’t wait to see the match up of OG vs Johnson! Two players that do the somethings on the court but go about in totally different ways! And if he can get the best of Johnson the NBA well for sure be calling!

  • BL

    Probably a bit over the top to expect OG to get the best of Johnson who’s a senior. However, I doubt Brice has faced anyone that’s as good as OG defensively.

  • IU Cal 1809

    I truly believe OG’s Defense could get the better of Johnson.

  • ESPN has us as 7th best in the Sweet 16. So that’s a little bit more respect. Lots of fun (for what ESPN analysis is worth): they called out the defensive performance against KY, which is entirely valid. Love that we beat KY with excellent defense a few months after getting mauled by Duke because of historically bad defense.

  • I honestly can’t see OG going this year. So much upside, and VO demonstrated that CTC can develop a player like him into a lottery pick. I can, though, see OG going after next year. All the talk of him being a 4-year player is kind of out the window at this point. Sad for us, couldn’t be happier for him.

  • I’ve said it a hundred times before, I’ll say it again. Every time we start slow, I find myself thinking, “It’s okay. OG will be in soon.” Then he comes in, and the entire complexion of the game changes. He’s a special player, and I think we all love him so much because he’s particularly good at precisely what this team needed to become the great team that they are.

  • pcantidote

    Perhaps not get the best of him, but can he hold his own? Probably. I know he had some nice moments against Nigel Hays in Bloomington.

  • pcantidote

    It will be interesting to see how we defend UNC which historically does not shoot the 3 well. Do we forget about the hedging and pack it in and play them more straight up? Or maybe the Purdue game plan of double teaming the ball in the post? We have to have RJ, that’s all there is to it.

  • Incidentally, two other things of note. First, it really is remarkable how much better NZ has gotten on defense. Who saw that coming? He’s not elite, but he’s very good and no longer a liability. Second, TB has gotten _a lot_ better on jumping out to help on the perimeter and recovering back to the post. I used to hate seeing him do that, now it can be really effective.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Which makes it even more disappointing that JBJ got injured early on, because he may have turned things around in the defensive area, which would make this team absolutely scary.

  • Arsdale

    I remember several years ago when Duke got upset in the tourney and the players on the winning team were laughing in the locker room afterwards about all the five-star recruits on Duke’s roster. They asked the reporters, “You’re joking right? You mean THAT guy (one of the Duke players) was a McDonalds All American?” I kept thinking about this watching the game Saturday night. You’re joking right? Skal Labissiere and Isaiah Briscoe were really five-star recruits?

  • RDD#76

    What I like about OG he will make a steal then go down and dunk it he doesn’t slam his chest or jump around he just runs back gets in his defensive stance like bring it on I will steal it or block your shot. Your right it’s like whole team takes it up a notch when he checks in I do. like him and Troy in same time gives us more length and athleticism. Troy might have to play some 2 if RJ can’t go.

  • Ivy Walls

    This morning in a discussion with a big booster and someone associated with the famed “Barbershop booster club” Pizzo so well characterized in the movie ‘Hoosiers’ I said once Crean & Co emphasized defense as a pathway to winning IU turned the corner and now can and will endear himself in IU Nation lore. IU fans know defense is an identity to their program (not the Hurrien Hoosiers of McCracken era), but with defense they can and will compliment their fast paced driving and cutting offense. The booster, concurred although he is mostly concerned with ‘W’s’, agreed IU dropped UK .28 pts per possession in the game that comes out to 16 pts, though IU has average 1.02 in the last three games, so comes out to 5 pts and IU won by six.

    North Carolina matches up much like UK, big front line and good back court tandem. Yet IU has a front line that is far more mobile, much like Duke and if you want to scout UNC watch the Duke games. The only difference is that IU goes deeper on the bench, if healthy nine deep (Burton and Niego withstanding). IU used to be a team that if they hit their shots they won, against UK they did not hit their shots to the chagrin of Calipari who said they executed the plan they wanted, making IU make tough 2 pt shots. Stat heads have IU with a 37% chance, but if you talk to real BB heads they say it is a toss up. Toss ups go to the underdogs more often because an underdog has a surprise.

    If RoJo can give 10-12 to 15 minutes and Morgan 10 we will just fine and will be playing in Philly on Sunday against a former regular season opponent. Philly is a special place for many old timer fans and I think it will be special once more.

  • robmac10

    Saw a report saying RJ is full go on Friday (not 100%, but he’s playing). The thought of Troy starting off at 2 scares me. He does so many unnecessary moves that causes his turnovers when he first starts off. It’s like he’s going for the highlight reels to start the game. Then CTC or someone on the team calls him out and then he settles down and I’m okay with him.

  • Ivy Walls

    I know a coach who helps out at the COS Olympic Center when JBJ was a junior Olympian and then the knowledge that he never took defense seriously and when he missed his shots or didn’t get a pass he thought he should get, he pouted. LBJ has continued with this on court player personality at IU that is self evident. He is in a special place right now watching his team not only change their own in-game personality but do much better without him. He will have to have a deep transformation this off season—the continued old scouting report remains in tact as it was said that the seed didn’t fall far from the tree as his father had the same MO from coaches who played against him.

    To many a fan this is harsh but the game is played in public and it shows up. LBJ will have lost some of his lateral quickness and burst that once he relied upon and will have to compensate with better technique and a mental approach otherwise he will be a disappointment even though he can shoot pretty well or get to the rim from the right hand.

  • robmac10

    While UNC does have just as talented a front line as UK, the one massive difference is UNC’s is much more physical. TB could do his spins and pivots to the rim with ease against UK, I fear against UNC that will not be there. Our spacing will have to be one of the best games we’ve had and we can’t start off cold like how we did against UK. Still I like our chances as UNC has had just as many cold nights as us this year.

  • Ivy Walls

    Purdue, MD, MSU and IA experience will come into play for TB and Bief. Physical play will either be called or not but if we are able to drive with a purpose and then cut to the rim it will cause foul trouble for physical players. My guess is that Williams will focus on perimeter defense relying on his front line to defend the paint and rim just like Calipari. Getting the ball at the rim will allow perimeter spacing but I will not count on making more than .36% on threes, heck we only made .285 against UK.

  • robmac10

    Nice to hear the background on that! I noticed that sort of demeanor when he was healthy and got annoyed by it. I think the defensive aspect will be enhanced by CTC’s quicker tendencies to pull players after bad decisions/play. Sitting on the bench watching TW commit a turnover then slouch on an assignment resulting in automatically getting benched will leave a last impression/benchmark for JBJ.

  • You’re kidding me? You’re talking OG? You don’t think he’d go into the draft this year, do you? Gosh, I’d really hate to see him go.

  • Ivy Walls

    Hardest transformation is a former star to become a great role player. LBJ has to reclaim his college BB career with all these injuries, he will have to be in better shape, change his game, become a contributor without scoring points and therefore fold into a team, is he playing at IU or for IU? That will be the ultimate question. Look next year Yogi goes, but unless something drastically happens the NBA is not enamored with Bryant or Williams right now so they most likely stay. Next year RoJo will be the point guard as a junior with playing time going to Jones & Green where LBJ will have to gain the time and role that Zeis now provides. But it can’t be like UK’s star wonder stuff, there aren’t enough balls and minutes on the clock.

  • cbags05

    OG style could be compared to Kawhi Leonard. His ceiling is exactly that and scouts will drool over him if we continue winning because of his efforts. Good news is, we need to keep winning so they can see more.

  • GDILegacy

    While I can’t discount the excellent help defense and use of length by our guys, Troy is either out of position or leaving his feet on several of these instances. His ability to make big plays is an obvious plus, but making little mistakes like that is how a really, really talented and well-coached team like North Carolina could exploit and beat us.

  • BL

    No, I don’t think he’ll go. Just saying the so called experts are beginning the buzz and rightfully so. Guessing his family will want him to at least get two years into his degree (which is probably closer to three based on the way Coach runs the program), and as MC suggested, he knows Coach can help him get into the lottery. Now, this kid continues to surprise; he shuts down Johnson and who knows.

  • mdtreat

    It worked out versus Kentucky…

  • Exactly how I feel. TW starts out of control, then CTC benches him for a few minutes, then he comes back refocused and much more effective. CTC seems to have a pretty good handle on maximizing TW’s effectiveness.

  • robmac10

    In the end true it did, but TW had 4 turnovers in the game, two immediately come to mind where he was dribbling up the court and tried to do a cute between the legs move and ended up giving it to Ullis. All I was trying to get at is, I like the ball in Rojo’s hands better ha.

  • BL

    Agree. Guessing he’ll be guarding JJ. Guy is really good cutting and coming off screens. TW is going to have to stay focused like he did against PU.

  • Same as I’m hoping for TB (who’s obviously been the in the discussion for awhile). TB goes this year, he’s likely not a lottery pick. After next year, it’s almost guaranteed. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

  • BL

    Listening to DD radio show. He and Kravitz are discussing Swanigan, TB and OG draft prospects. Saying Swanigan may not be happy how he was used at PU and advisors could push him to jump early. Both said they’d take TB and OG over Swanigan. Kravitz mentioned that OG’s family will push education.

    Reality is, TB and OG are both getting more attention and rightfully so. Anything is possible. This is the way the big boy programs play these days. If were going to play in their sandbox, we better keep the recruiting carousel moving. Hey Thon, come on down!

  • 3AM Burrito

    OG defense in this game was pretty remarkable. How many cleanly blocked 3 point shot attempts do you ever see? Pretty much never and when it is attempted, it is usually a foul. (see: T. Williams vs. Ulis). OG had two in one game on a lottery pick.
    But also huge respect to Zeisloft for his work on Murray. Beginning of game I saw he was matched up with Murray and thought that was going to be trouble. Nick really held his own and was scrappy getting key rebound and steal, really impressed with his defense and ball handling against pressure in this game.

  • BL

    Statistically they are not good from three but they shoot it. Hope like hell they don’t find their range against us.

  • BL

    We’re also doing a better job of helping TB recover. Against UK, for the first time, I saw us rotate someone else onto TB’s man as he rolled to the basket, and TB recovered back onto a different player. Brilliant move by Coach.

  • BL

    I could see JN and RJ starting in the backcourt.

  • RDD#76

    You would think if Thon watched the game he would think boy that team would be fun to play for and Arizona State was mediocre this year with Thon and TB back next year Top 5 preseason pick. Let’s watch and enjoy this years run and also look forward to next year as team looks to be set up pretty solid.

  • BL

    You or the booster you refer to obviously know jack about the Branch McCracken era. First, get the brand correct – it’s Hurryin’ Hoosiers – something I’d personally like to see us bring back. Second, Branch believed in defense, rebounding and running; and in that order. Like Wooden, Branch’s teams picked up 3/4 court FOR THE ENTIRE GAME. Similar to Coach Crean, Branch’s teams were always in better shape than the opponent. Now, once they shut you down and grabbed the rebound, yes, they ran like hell. Hence, the Hurryin’ Hoosiers.

  • RDD#76

    With the way roster is set up barring anything crazy we have the players to play small or big however CTC sees matchup that day, very deep roster.

  • BL

    Yeah, NZ has been incredible filling in for RJ.

  • In fact, nothing feeds a strong transition offense like good defense. As we’ve seen in The Transformation.

  • BTW, if we aren’t already, I’d love to see us call this season The Transformation. 🙂

  • Yes, CTC isn’t full of crap, this team really does continue to improve game after game, and in some cases within a game.

  • You’re talking next year, right. Threw me for a second. 🙂

  • Conversely, if we get our shot back, then watch out.

  • I guess I’m just holding out hope that both OG’s and TB’s family will stress education. I remember TB’s mom being very influential in his decision, and really it would be best long-term for both kids to come back for at least one more year. But as you say, this is how the game is played.

  • BL


  • BL

    True IU fan 🙂 I’m with you brother.

  • HooshWin

    Works for me. To go from the D we saw against Duke to the one that held UK to .94 PPP is an unfathomably remarkable….(wait for it)…..transformation. THE TRANSFORMATION!