Film Session: Kansas

  • 12/19/2022 8:53 am in

Indiana’s first-half offense against Kansas scored a measly .76 points per possession. The Jayhawks busted out the all-too-familiar playbook of sending extra defenders at Trayce Jackson-Davis. They also did a good job blowing up IU’s high-ball screens with ice coverage to keep Indiana’s guards from getting to the middle.

While Indiana still ended the game at just .82 points per possession and lost by 22, there was a concerted effort to run some different actions right out of halftime to try and mix things up. This included getting Jackson-Davis out of the post on the perimeter in more open space and running a set to get Miller Kopp a 3-pointer. It led to Indiana’s best stretch of the game with the Hoosiers having a couple of chances to bring a 10-point deficit down to single digits if shots had fallen. Instead, Kansas went on a quick 8-0 run to push the lead back out to 18 and Indiana never recovered.

We’ll take a look at Indiana’s attempt to counter Kansas’ defense in the latest edition of Film Session:

On Indiana’s second possession of the second half, the Hoosiers space out, going four out with Race Thompson posting on the left low block. Jackson-Davis receives the ball at the left slot from Jalen Hood-Schifino. From here, it’s just a simple entry pass to Thompson. The Jayhawks weren’t just doubling Jackson-Davis, but all of Indiana’s post players. So Kevin McCullar comes off Tamar Bates in the right corner to double. But as Thompson moves right, McCullar backs off, perhaps anticipating a pass to Bates in the corner. Dajuan Harris also moves to help in the corner. But Thompson opts to spin back and shoot the lefty hook over 1-on-1 coverage for the bucket.

Nothing special from IU here. But by spacing out wide around the perimeter and Thompson simply implying a possible pass, it allowed for some breathing room and 1-on-1 coverage. He delivered with a bucket.

On our second play, we see a near identical setup from the Hoosiers with Jackson-Davis again setting a bit of a ghost screen and popping to the left slot to receive the ball from Hood-Schifino. But this time around, Jalen Wilson fronts Thompson, so the entry pass isn’t going to work. Jackson-Davis opts to swing the ball to Bates in the left corner instead and Thompson re-positions and receives the entry pass.

This time, it’s KJ Adams leaving Jackson-Davis to send a hard double at Thompson. So Jackson-Davis uses the opportunity to cut down the paint. Both Harris and McCullar help on Jackson-Davis’ cut. And Gradey Dick is also helping off the right corner. With two Jayhawks on the ball and three on Jackson-Davis, this leaves a ton of room for both Bates and Kopp on the perimeter, Indiana’s best two 3-point shooters.

Thompson finds Bates and he connects on the 3-pointer.

This was a pretty over-the-top sellout from the Jayhawks to pressure the ball down low and take away Jackson-Davis. It’s the type of open look Indiana shooters simply need to knock down if teams are going to continue to defend in such a manner.

Jackson-Davis sets a pindown screen for Bates on the right wing to free him. As Bates receives the ball, he hands it back to Hood-Schifino as Jackson-Davis flips right back around to set a ball screen for Indiana’s freshman. This means Adams has to leave Jackson-Davis to stop the ball and there’s a nice pocket to pass him the ball on the roll.

From there, he’ll have a lane to drive left and can either dump off to Thompson or hit Kopp in the corner if any help comes. But Hood-Schifino’s pass is too low and results in a turnover for IU.

Good play design here from IU to get an advantage on a ball screen and have Jackson-Davis on the move with no defender on him. But as was the case all game, a turnover cost the Hoosiers.

On our last play, Indiana runs a set out of sideline inbounds. Kopp heads to the paint off the inbounds pass and then cuts up and receives a pindown screen from Jackson-Davis. As Dick gets a little lost on the coverage, this gives Kopp a good opportunity to get off a 3-pointer.

Another good design here, one some fans have been clamoring for in terms of getting more stuff run for Kopp. But his shot to cut the lead to seven just didn’t fall and this was as close as Indiana would be for the rest of the contest.

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