The team is going through a "mini-camp" right now to address this issue. Hopefully the combination of this renewed emphasis, the players getting their legs back and Morgan recovering will pay off.
How does MBB right the ship on defense?
I really thought JB was known for a 1-3-1 zone, why haven't we seen it much? Is it worse than our man defense? Is he saving it for the tourney to really surprise teams?
I don't know the answer, I just know I haven't seen much zone defense at all, and I thought that was JB's specialty. Then again, there's a reason he's coaching and I'm not, so if he's not running it as much there must be a reason, I'm just curious as to what it is.
That said, scheme is only so much of it. We should probably mix the looks up to throw off the opposing team's offense, especially if they are starting to run, but it seems to me we're getting beat badly inside, so switch to a zone and force teams to make jumpshots, then if they start making them switch back to man. A lot of this is probably because we're relying on lots of production from true freshman in GRIII, Stauskas, and McGary. They're phenomenal athletes, but their technique and execution needs development.
The 1-3-1 is not an easy defense to teach. You've got to really, really work at it in practice to master it. Beilein used it frequently at West Virginia, but it's not the only defense he knows, or anything like that. Ignore what the TV talking heads say - Beilein is a very adaptable coach and will change both his offensive and defensive schemes to fit his personnel. We don't look much like his WVU teams at either end of the court.
and get an Addapairtome.
Don't have enough points to start a thread and I know it's OT but the voting has reopened for the cover of NCAA Football
Lavert or Stauskas at the head with those long arms. Get them to play aggressive, rotate fast with their damn hands up! They need to start games in this defense as far as I'm concerned to at least set the tone. If they get beat, at least they were being aggressive.
We need to do a much better job defending ball screens. Lately it seems like we are getting all discombobulated virtually every time. Losing the screener on cuts to the basket or letting the ball penetrate past the double team. We may need to change our philosophy because we had the same problem a lot last year. We also need to get more bodies crashing the defensive glass.
I know nothing about basketball so my opinion isnt going to mean much. However, I think a little rest might do more good than anything. Not sceintific, but it's safe to say the average starter on this team is running about 3 - 5 miles per game. You try running 5 miles every 3 days and also add practice in there. Your body can only take so much, no matter how good a shape your in.
But, I hope they figure it out, what ever they are playing right now is concerning.
The regular season big ten championship is out of our hands. I'd say, keep playing how we are playing and let the season ride out. Hopefully JB is working with the team on the 1-3-1 and will run it only during a game in the tournament. That's exactly what he did during WVU's Elite Eight run. He didn't really run it all season, so teams on short notice weren't expecting it, and it worked.
There are a few obvioius things: better overall effort, better technique at staying in front of your man, being 'ball-strong' in rebound/loose ball scenarios so as to not get it stripped away.
But I also don't like the way Michigan defends ball screens. Michigan has their bigs show hard, often staying out there to force a trap. But I think we are helping too hard and for too long even past the point that the ball handler is not a threat. And our weak side defenders need to be better at crashing early to prevent the roll man from scoring in the paint. In short, we give up way too many 4 on 3's.
To be good at defense you need to do 3 main things:
1 Limit the amount of times you have to help.
2 Be disciplined and smart to know when, where and how much to help.
3 Keep your defense from becoming too out of position to rebound the miss.
Michigan's trapping style increases #1, which is a problem because they're not good at #2, and then its hard to do #3, because most guys aren't on their original matchup or in box out position.
Michigan can play harder and everything and that will help, but I'd like to see Beilein tone down the aggresiveness of his bigs on the perimter because it puts a lot of stress on the rest of the defense to compensate.
Rebound the ball! It should be a goal that no team gets a second shot. More rebounds equals less defense.
But in Big 10 play we are seeing better guard play. I know we have our big guys hedgining on ball screens up top but why do we overextend that pressed until the offense passes the ball? If you notice the other team has been gettig the ball to the middle, or defense sags and then it's back doors or wide open looks on the outside. I just think we end up playing 4 on three everytime we over hedge because our big guys end up 5 feet past the arc with our on ball defender out there as well. We scramble every time our bigs hedge that log and that far out. Michgan State does a better job hedging. They have a quick hedge hard and they sprint back down to the block where as we hedge hedge hedge.
We need to come out with more fire and intensity! Throw a lob to GR3 or something to ignite the fire...we come out flat a lot.
I think after the MSU game we would of came out nice and pissed off and we came out slow again. Makes no sense to me.
I had a younger cousin living in a very tough part of Detroit as a youth. The area was gang infested and he was the oldest of three siblings. I was four years older, but I lived too far away to help him. An older, larger kid, a true bully, took to terrorizing him at around age 11. This kid was evil incarnate. He was around 14 years old. He was known by the precinct cops. His entire family was comprised of generations of thugs. He beat my cousin like a grown man. Sent him home bloodied and eviscerated. My cousin's mom (single parent) went and spoke to the kid's family. The mom threw up her hands and said she couldn't handle him. She then went to the police. This just made the kid angrier. My cousin was reduced to finding new routes home from school and improving his footspeed.
Then one day, his mom had enough. When my cousin came running home from school with the bully in hot pursuit, she watched from the window. As her son neared the house, instead of rushing out to intervene, she locked the door. To my cousin's utter horror, as he rushed up the porch and tried the door, he hollered for his mother. And he saw her sitting there in the window as if she didn't care at all. By now the bully was making his way across the lawn. My cousin turned to consider jumping off the porch and running. But then he saw it. A large, fresh brick. Just sitting there by the door. As the bully leapt up onto the porch, he met that brick. Full on in the face. When he got released from the hospital, he wanted to be friends.
To expand on something Lordfoul mentioned in the opener to the thread, I looked at unblocked 2-point shots for both our opponents and Michigan. I was curious to see just how much more we were giving up as opposed to earlier in the season. These numbers are averaged through the whole season, but I focused on conference play just to see the trend in the past six weeks:
Again, these are from whole-season totals, but you can see that the overall defense has taken a slide which bears out what we have seen - the easy shots given up. Furthermore, our own number has taken a dip, mainly because we've played the tougher defenses and aren't getting those same easy shots. Over the course of the entire season, I think this is significant enough that it warrants concern. In support of that, as we have noted here, this month has seen our opponent FG% jump about 7%.
As others have mentioned, getting Morgan back helps us greatly on intererior defense. He's only played for short, sporadic moments since his injury (or it seems like that anyway), and still accounts for about 10% of the team's total rebounding at last check, which says something about his contribution on defense, I would think.
What makes us think we're ever going to get back Morgan 100% healthy (this season)? We keep playing him and not resting him, it was a bad sprain....we're all hoping he'll come back and "fix" our defense, but I'm not sure we're going to see him back healthy this season.
The great thing about playing defense in basketball: working your ass off will get you further than anything. They obviously have the physical tools to guard guys, they just need to make an effort to be a bit more physical.