Monday, February 16, 2015

Hofstra - Learning From Our Mistakes

Final:  Hofstra 81, Drexel 57

Player of the Game:  Tavon Allen
Key to the game:  Not protecting this house
Next Game:  Wednesday, February 18 @ James Madison

Remember that time that Hofstra stopped taking layups and started to take threes against the Dragons in Hempstead and HU fans were losing their minds and Gary Moore said:

Yeah, that was awesome.

And so it was that Joe Mihalich and his layup line of transferring And 1 Mixtape wannabe's traveled to the DAC for the rare Sunday Evening Post performance.  Going into this game, there was one thing that you needed to know:  This Hofstra team is lazy.  Make them work on defense, you will end up meeting them at the rim.  Make them work on offense, they will live and die by the three.  They're good enough shooters that sometimes that will work out for them, but sometimes it won't.

Funny thing though, for all the laziness they bring to the table, the Pride seem to realize that layups are a higher percentage shot than threes.  So if a team such as the Dragons doesn't make them work for either layups or threes, they take the layups.  And take them they did, to the tune of a season low number of three point attempts for the Pride.  Why bother with threes against the Dragons when they give you the rim?

The argument from the coaches at DU would likely be framed in a different way.  They'll remind you of the first Elon game, of College of Charleston at home or Iona, and how this team was lit up by three pont shots.  They went to the four guard to prevent that kind of three point output, and Hofstra just took the lowest number of threes that they have taken all season!

It's apparent that the pendulum needs to swing somewhere in the middle.  Where many of us come from, is where these coaches were not long ago:  Defense starts at home.  Defend the paint first and if they outshout you from distance, then tip your hat.  They could have gone zone, or to the three guard in this game, and forced HU to hit 3's.  Instead they stuck with man to man with 4 guards, the same lineup that they played with in their first meeting with Hofstra.  Sure, they made small adjustments within that, but choose your metaphor, let it be shuffling deck chairs on the titanic, using a garden hose on a five alarm fire, or using a band-aid after getting hit by a .45,  It's some real seeing forest for the trees shit, as Bru might say.

The four guard post will come out tomorrow, but by way of quick primer, against the 4 guard:

First game against Drexel, HU puts up 1.27 points per possession on offense
Second game against DU, HU puts up 1.35 points per possession on offense

Average offensive PPP for HU against Drexel's 4 guard:  1.30

Wisconsin has the highest offensive PPP in the country at 1.25.  Hofstra has outplayed the best offense in the country against Drexel's four guard "defense".  To be clear: if HU played against the DU 4 guard defense year around the Pride would be considered one of the best offensive teams of all time.  That is factual, not hyperbole.  They are running a full .13 per possession (about 8.5 points per game) better than Kentucky is averaging this year.

The Drexel four guard defense doesn't need tweaks.  It doesn't need adjustments.  No sir.  It needs your thoughts and prayers. Much more on that tomorrow. For now, we hope that this was a good game for DU.  Because in a lot of ways, I think playing Elon/College of Charleston/ Towson lulled the staff into thinking that this was becoming a decent defense.  Their oppositions missed layups made things look better than they were, and the Pride may have just smacked some reality into the situation.  While it's disappointing that the staff didn't learn their lesson after the first game against Towson, if they learned it this time, then Drexel (Rodney Williams injury pending) will walk out of this game a much better, stronger team than they went into it.  And that's not so bad.

Four Guard Tracker:

In the 6 games since Rodney Williams return, the Dragons +/- vs opponents has been:

3 Guard:  +25
4 Guard:  -13

No comments:

Post a Comment