Let’s analyze the two thinks VT struggled with the most in their loss to gsu (and in their two losses):
- 3-Point Defense
- Defensive Rebounding
First, let’s look at 3-point shooting by the eagles. You give up 3-pointers for a few reasons:
- You give it to them: This is where you collapse your defense and basically allow the opponent to shoot from deep because you don’t think they’ll make it. This was the case against wvu so that Tech could have more defenders near the paint to help with rebounding. It didn’t work in either case – wvu was 10/24 (42%) from deep and snagged 23 offensive rebounds (in 48 opportunities)
- Drive and Kick: The man with the ball penetrates inside the arc, the perimeter help defense collapses to support the on-ball defender, and the man with the ball can kick it out to a teammate who is usually sliding along the 3-point line to an open spot (or stationary if wide open). This was the case in a lot of the 3s yesterday especially in the first half as you’ll see.
- Ball Screens: Lots of teams, including VT, set picks out at the top of the key. If the on-ball defender gets caught up in the screen, or goes underneath the screen, the man with the ball can get a shot off if the other defender doesn’t flash out. You’ll see this in a few of the highlights, too.
- Laziness: The defense either doesn’t get back and gives up a transition three, or does a poor job of rotating as a team runs their offense. This can be combined with the three above.
Here are the 3-pointers from yesterday (from the start of the highlights up to the 1:14 mark):
Giving up offensive rebounds usually comes down to positioning (boxing out) and effort (do you WANT it?). Sometimes there’s not much you can do in the case of long rebounds on 3-point misses or when the help defender went for the block leaving his man alone (because a guard got beaten off the dribble), but again, effort comes into play there, too. And sometimes it is just simply not squeezing the orange (ball) and the ball goes out of bounds, leading to the dreaded Team Rebound for the other team.
If you go back to the video from above and pick it up at the 1:15 mark, you’ll see some of the offensive rebounds Tech allowed yesterday. Most fall into the effort category – gsu wanted it more than VT. Look at the one where Raines gets tied up by a guy weighing 30 pounds less than him.
Offensive Rebounds Allowed (Jump to the 1:15 mark):
Here’s where JJ starts to earn his money. Some adjustments, and these are very correctable things for the most part (effort being the hardest to change), can be made. Fighting through ball screens, better help rotation on the perimeter, and effort will help in both areas. Also, not drifting your perimeter defenders out as much will help with defensive rebounding (getting your bigs too far from the hoop).
The good news is JJ knows what we have to get better at now and can start to address it and hopefully be ready for it in time for ACC play. Here’s hoping we get it cleaned up and have a kick-[fanny] ACC season, because this team does have some talent and can compete in this league this year (every other team has glaring weaknesses, too, except for duke).