Film Session: Kennesaw State
Indiana’s offense looked stagnant for the first 30 minutes of action against Kennesaw State. But the Hoosiers switched up their strategy over the final 10 minutes of their win against the Owls to great effect. A close game became a double-digit victory (14 points) as Indiana played by far its most efficient offense of the contest down the stretch.
When Malik Reneau exited the game with 13:27 to go, Indiana went to a small-ball lineup with Race Thompson at the 5. Instead of Thompson posting down low, he played at the top of the key, allowing Indiana to go 5-out on offense and leave space for driving lanes. Thompson facilitated for Jalen Hood-Schifino up top, allowing him to cut, receive passes or a ball screen and get to the rim for several much-needed, easier buckets.
We’ll take a look at Thompson and Hood-Schifino’s work in the latest edition of Film Session:
Beyond the extra space in the paint, another reason this strategy worked well was its ability to throw a decoy at the Owls. After Thompson comes up out of the post and receives the pass from Hood-Schifino at the top of the key, it looks like he’s going to set a ball screen after his handoff to Hood-Schifino, so Kasen Jennings anticipates and goes over the top of Thompson. But it’s not a ball screen. Hood-Schifino instead cuts right and receives the pass from Thompson going downhill.
From there, the larger Desmond Robinson is unable to get in front of Indiana’s freshman and he scores at the rim unencumbered.
In our next play, Hood-Schifino is on the left side of the court instead of the right. But the action remains similar with him passing to Thompson at the top of the key. This time around, Jennings goes under the screen and falls to the floor, allowing another easy look for Hood-Schifino at the rim with no resistance.
Shots don’t get any more high-percentage than this.
Similar to our first play, Hood-Schifion starts on the right side of the court, fakes taking a ball screen from Thompson and cuts back right, receiving the ball downhill once again. This time around, though, Brandon Stroud comes off Thompson and times his trailing defense well, jumping and blocking Hood-Schifino from behind.
Good offense from IU again here, but better defense this time from the Owls.
In our last play, we get more of a traditional high-ball screen between Thompson and Hood-Schifino. With Robinson playing drop coverage, Hood-Schifino probes. As Robinson moves over in the lane back towards Thompson, this allows a lane right for Hood-Schifino to drive to the rim and score again.
If Reneau was still in the game, this amount of room for Hood-Schifino to operate in the paint might not have been there. But with the Hoosiers spreading out, Hood-Scifino went to work for another bucket.