Film Session: Arizona

  • 12/13/2022 7:49 am in

Before the Arizona game, Tamar Bates offered this to the media when asked about his increased production.

“Putting the work in, putting the time in,” Bates said. “(There’s) not really a secret recipe or a formula to it. It’s just taking your craft seriously and putting the work in and doing it with a purpose.”

Bates sure looked serious in his craft on Saturday evening in Las Vegas. It was arguably the most mature performance of the sophomore’s Indiana career. While Bates posted a career-high 22 points against Jackson State last month and had 19 last week against Nebraska, those points came at home against lesser competition. The 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting versus Arizona came against the best team Indiana’s played this season in a high-level environment.

And it wasn’t just that Bates had a hot hand. He showed growth in high-ball-screen play, making the right reads with confidence.

We’ll take a look at Bates’ work in the latest edition of Film Session:

With Indiana starting to show signs of life in the first half, Race Thompson sets a high ball screen for Bates near the left slot. Kerr Kriisa fights over the top of the screen while Azuolas Tubelis plays drop coverage. This means Bates has space in the mid-range to operate. As Bates gets to the left elbow, he rises and hits the jumper to pull the Hoosiers within 14 points.

Nice job by Bates here to take what the defense gave him and connect.

Now in the second half, Thompson and Bates hook up again on a ball screen near the left slot, but this time Bates drives right as Kriisa again goes over the screen. As Kriisa recovers, Bates does a good job of using his body to keep Kriisa behind him as he probes Tubelis’ drop coverage. As Thompson rolls through the left elbow, Bates drives through the same area as he gets the floater up and over Tubelis for the bucket.

High-level pick-and-roll play from the sophomore here.

On our next play, it’s Xavier Johnson and Malik Reneau teaming up for the left slot ball screen. Bates is on the weak-side wing. As Kriisa slides over from Bates to the nail area to stop Johson’s drive, Johnson dishes it to him.

Bates rises and hits the 3-pointer on a recovering Kriisa.

This shows that Bates doesn’t need to be the ballhandler in ball-screen action. His improved 3-point shooting makes him a threat if the defense helps off him to stop the ball.

Here, Arizona does to Reneau what it did to Trayce Jackson-Davis, throwing a double-team at him with Courtney Ramey, who is guarding Trey Galloway. Galloway then cuts to the basket and Kriisa rotates over to ward off the pass. From there, Adama Bal rotates from the weak-side corner to Bates up top, leaving Miller Kopp with space.

Reneau works his way out of the double team and finds Bates up top.

From here, Bates surveys the scene. He ball fakes and Bal, weary of the pass to his man (Kopp) in the corner, jumps up at an angle to fend off the pass. So Bates drives straight ahead to the left elbow, attacking all the weak-side defense.

This gives Kopp even more room. He makes the pass and Kopp knocks down the 3-pointer.

Nice decision-making from Bates here to hit the weak-side corner out of the initial double-team.

(Photo credit: IU Athletics)

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