...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
VCU and Turnovers - How to Beat the Rams
In which parallel dimension was St. Joseph's ranked #10 on March 15?
I just don't get all the confidence against VCU... First, we haven't faced too many full court press this year. And when we did (like MSU early), we didn't do that hot. You do not break full court press with a single player. Trey is going to have to give it up and THJ and Stauskas is going to have to be careful with the ball. From what I have seen this year, that could get dicey. I still think we will win, but this is not going to be easy... AT ALL.
I agree. Even Penn State gave us fits with their press both games. And the absolute keys are the secondary ball handlers, particularly Stauskas who can play too flashy with the ball.
It makes me nervous thinking about Spike, THJ, or Caris bringing the ball up against their press but my main thought is that statistically we're one of VCU's matchup nightmares: an elite PG and lots of good 3-point shooters and dunkers
the only one of the bunch you mentioned I'm really worried about is LeVert. Spike has pretty decent handles, although he needs to be careful he doesn't get too aggressive and stuck or out of control. THJ's handles are much improved from last year. LeVert seems to think his ball handling is better than it is, and I was pretty disappointed in his performance last night. He is just a freshman and maybe he was over-excited about being in his first tourney game, so perhaps he'll calm down tomorrow.
On paper this game should be a easy win for M. Who has more NBA prospects? Michigan has at least five and a POY PG to handle the press.
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I'm more worried about us making our shots. We haven't had a game with everyone "on" since Jan. UM shooting effectively will decide the game.
thanks for the data.
Here is a plot of point differential (y-axis) vs. turnover margin (x-axis).
The x-axis shows the margin of turnovers (VCU's minus opponents); the y-axis shows point difference (VCU's minus opponents).
Thus, VCU's losses are anything below the zero line on the y-axis, wins above, and games where VCU wins the turnover battle are towards the right.
As you can see, if you keep the turnover differential down, you have a much better chance of winning; specifically, in 11 games with a TO margin of +4 or less, VCU was 5-6; in 24 games with a TO margin of +5 or more, VCU was 22-2.
Also plotted is the best fit line.
You don't beat a press (at least a good one) with just your PG. Too many people here saying Burke will handle the press.
Burke is going to be passing the ball before he gets past the FT (on OUR end). Its going to be up to our 2 and 3 and probably McGary to pass their way out of it.
THAT is what should make us nervous.
I'm sure Burke will come off a few curls and will be able to sneak up court but for the most part its going to take 2 or 3 passes to get it up court for a good look.
It's going to be on Spike, Stauskas, and THjr to avoid the TOs. Burke will be fine but we won't be brining it up much. Thank God GR3 got warm...he's going to have a lot of looks once we break the press. We need to fnish with DUNKS or 3s.
You could mix it up and inbound to the 2 or 3 and then use Burke on the wing, so he's the guy that brings it across halfcourt (or makes the pass that crosses halfcourt).
Your point is correct - it's a team effort to beat the press. We did decently against it when we played Arkansas in January.
Given McGary's size and passing ability, he could be really effective flashing to the middle of the diamond and then making the diagonal pass to the cutter on the opposite side. You get worried about him getting over-excited, but his passing from other parts of the court, particularly the outlets, has been stellar.
I loved watching how active McGary was the entire game. With him down low and a better performance from Burke, Michigan will be in the sweet 16.
Anyone know the kenpom prediction for the game? Tried going to his site and I think I have to pay $20 to get it...
Brian and Dylan will both include it in their upcoming game previews.
Make sure 1/2 your team doesn't have the flu at tip off
One thing I noticed from the Akron game is how effective some shot fakes would be. VCU plays with surprising discipline but are prone to freaking out from time to time. Would be nice to pick up a couple of cheap fouls on them early, not to get them in foul trouble (going 12 deep after all) but to get some shooting fouls for Burke and Stauskas especially.
I desperately want Nik to learn to give a hard shot fake from the left corner and then just plow into whoever is leaping at him so he can get 3 free throws. Too often I see him sidestep someone who is closing out too aggressively.
When Albrecht's in, and I expect he'll see significant minutes to get another ball handler on the court, he has to remember not to overdribble, which is his tendency. Raftery even noted it during the game. It seems, from looking at the tape, that VCU really attacks any small guards they see dominanting the ball.
I don't see how UM keeps it under 15 TOs. Really.
I think the difference is UM will make them pay with just enough 3s to get the W (I hope).
I just don't see how Spike, THjr, and Stauskas won't have 12 TOs between them. Seriously. Not feeling good about that. Doesn't help that Spike and Burke are short and will have VERY long players on them.
McGary and the bigs are going to be huge. They are going to post up mid court as the safety value while Spike and Burke pass and cut to get the ball back. Frankly, I want Stauskas and THjr to touch the ball in the back court as little as possible.
I know when we break we will make them pay with the 3 ball though. There will be lots of open looks. Hopefully McGary and Horford crash the boards hard.
I think you may be selling our ballhandling abilities a little short. Remember, we have the lowest turnover average in the country. Burke obviously has been spectacular but it's not just his doing. Albrecht has only 10 turnovers all season (against 25 assists) and LeVert has just seven (vs. 22 assists). Stauskas, Robinson and Hardaway all have positive assist/turnover ratios on the year. If we really had a glaring weakness handling the ball, we'd have seen more teams try to press and trap us. Hardaway is the one guy (65 turnovers in 33 games) that is a little loose with the ball, but otherwise our perimeter guys have taken good care of it.
Their press is good, but it's a means to an end. The fact that they have 11 guys that get at least 7 minutes a game tells you what their strategy aims to do. They want to take a team's legs. The key to this game will be Beilein using a deep rotation and giving Hardaway, Burke, GRIII, and Stauskus longer blows than usual, especially in the 1st half. Spike needs to be able to bring the ball up against this press or Burke won't have much left at the end of the game.
Also, take the layups and dunks when you break the press, but don't get caught up in taking every open 3, they may fall early, but with tired legs eventually they won't fall as often and VCU lives off the fast break off from long rebounds. I want to see us run, but run smart, cannot get into a helter skelter game with these guys. The teams that beat them generally were able to slow it down some.
As a Butler Alum, I watched a lot of A10 games this year (particularly VCU, SLU, & Butler). VCU's havoc D is more an important part of their Offense.
They score well off the turnovers they generate in the press. They have good on the ball defenders, and while breaking down the full court press give opponents plenty of break opportunities, they are actually very good at rotating back and playing D in the half court.
A primariy weakness is they can struggle in their halfcourt offense. If a team doesn't turn the ball over and limits their fastbreaks, its almost a guaranteed loss for VCU if the opponent has anything resembling an efficient offense. SLU pretty much dominated VCU with solid D and efficient O.
I'll absolutely shocked if Burke and Co struggle with the pressure. The real challenge will be consistent O since lots of D rebounds gives VCU break opportunities. Also, the UM bigs will handle the ball more than usual, and do not underestimate VCU's ability to double down in the post to generate steals. They have extremely quick hands on D.
We'll know after the first 5 minutes whether or not tomorrow is a drinking early and often day....
I know Akron was short handed last night, but they blew out Penn State by 25, also beat Ohio by 14 and 7. Akron is a good basketball team. Just not sure if they were anywhere near close to full strength, regardless, VCU absolutely dismantled them like a #1 seed would do.
Like our chances, but this is going to be a tough tough game.
Yesterday, Akron's starting PG was suspended and three other guys were either out or weakened by injury/illness.
Over/Under 4 alley oops in this game. Given the way they play, it seems like there will be plenty of opportunities alley oops. Not saying it will be easy to get through, but when we do, there will be opportunities. (I almost put the over/under at 5, but that seemed excessive)