Question for those who watch LV offense closely

#1

lvocd

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#1
I'm the kind of person who probably would have been an excellent teacher of basketball skills as a coach, but I would NOT have been able to provide the type of analytical thinking that I imagine the best offensive/defensive strategists possess. I admire coaches who can implement new offenses and draw up brilliant plays in key situation. Sadly, my brain simply doesn't work like that.

What I want to know from the folks here who DO think like that is:

Based on the games Tennessee has played so far, does it look to you like the Lady Vols have learned anything new this season? I feel like they have improved lately, but I'm honestly not sure if what I'm seeing is incremental improvements due to changes the staff has made strategy-wise, or if it's just that individual players (like Westbrook) have gone the extra mile on their own to improve their game.

Will the Lady Vols' offense stall against opponents with extremely good defense? Or has the offense evolved/improved enough to avoid any of those games where our players look completely clueless about how to score against a tenacious defense?
 
#2
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#2
I'm the kind of person who probably would have been an excellent teacher of basketball skills as a coach, but I would NOT have been able to provide the type of analytical thinking that I imagine the best offensive/defensive strategists possess. I admire coaches who can implement new offenses and draw up brilliant plays in key situation. Sadly, my brain simply doesn't work like that.

What I want to know from the folks here who DO think like that is:

Based on the games Tennessee has played so far, does it look to you like the Lady Vols have learned anything new this season? I feel like they have improved lately, but I'm honestly not sure if what I'm seeing is incremental improvements due to changes the staff has made strategy-wise, or if it's just that individual players (like Westbrook) have gone the extra mile on their own to improve their game.

Will the Lady Vols' offense stall against opponents with extremely good defense? Or has the offense evolved/improved enough to avoid any of those games where our players look completely clueless about how to score against a tenacious defense?

I believe the growth is from a combination of personnel changes. CHW needed a staff that could follow her vision fully. ..and the staff, as a whole, needed self-motivated athletes with introverted personalities. Selfless players who could gel as a group.

The offense is less structured this season and that has made it more creative. Last year I watched them go through that "motion" that ended up in a post picknroll or a off the curl jumper till I saw it in my sleep. This year there is less structure and more fluidity. The mood is less stressful on misses, so there are less of them. The only thing they have stressed about is foulshots and . . There's your sign.

This team is built for dribble-drive/and/dishes.
The weakside cuts are there for the assists on nearly every play
BTW ((If they are weakside cutting on shots and drives, then by proxy, they are moving in a way to weakside rebound as well)).
And now they are trying to drop-feed the post instead of force feed into it..

The offense will stall, but only until they figure out who the goto player is for that game.

You attack the teeth of the defense...In zone you either shoot over it, penetrate into its crevices or make them extend the zone and hit it in the back door.

With man you attack the mismatches with isolation and misdirection

Zone you attack by area, man you attack by movement and individuals
 
#3

Jax_Vol

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#3
The rambling thoughts:

Looks like we have our best team chemistry in the Holly era. The freshmen are helpful. D. Green is in better shape. Westbrooks is a star. We will still struggle when the outside shots aren't falling. Good quickness on this team. We will pick up more transition baskets without Mercedes.
For the most part, we are still playing a variation of street ball. But, we are decent at it and that will fluster some good teams.

I'm old school, but Holly is still the player's buddy too often vs chewing them out at times. With that said, she seems to understand her strengths and for the most part, simply lets them play ball. We certainly aren't overthinking anything.
 
#4

madtownvol

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#4
The offense is different. Without Mercedes, there is less emphasis on forcing the ball into the paint and there is more room for slash and drives.

But last season, the offense worked to the extent that the LVs generate a lot of open shots in every single game but they had far too many games where they collectively could not find the ocean, particularly down the stretch.

This season, Evina has been shooting lights out; Meme has been stroking and so has Davis (up until Texas). The LVs achilles heel over the last several seasons has been an inability to make jump shots with game in; game out consistency. The season will turn (I believe) on whether they have become a better shooting team for the long haul.

I would like to see the LVs create more points off of turnovers. The ability to press teams into TOs and get transitions buckets is a good insurance policy for bad shooting nights. This team has the personnel to be a good pressing team but the freshmen will have to fasttrack in learning how to effectively press without fouling or losing an assignment (things that almost cost them against Texas).
 
#6

Rickster

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#6
A lot of good observations. I would have to agree that this team shoots better from outside. They also do not appear to force the ball into the triple-teamed post as they have done the past three years or so. That futility is what irked a lot of fans. They appear to have made an adjustment.....ptobably on the coaching side. It could be change driven by better shooters. We also are much deeper with scorers than in the past. Those scorers are not bashful.

Man defense needs work.
 
#7

MsSportsGuy

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#7
I've never know the LVs to have great offensive schemes even when Pat was coaching. Their emphasis on "defense and rebounding" won a ton of games but was less effective as teams developed better offensive strategies related to ball movement, execution and greater utilization of the three point shot. My two viewings of this team so far is there does seem to be more accuracy from some key players and they haven't seemed as bottled up in the half court game. A zone defense has flustered the LVs for several seasons and while I'm not convinced they've learned how to beat it, they don't have the same deer in headlights look. They walked the line between fearless and reckless during the TX game and it wasn't the prettiest game but still a good road win over a ranked opponent.
 
#8

Volfan2012

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#8
I think the way the offense has changed is we have players that are driving the ball taking it to the rim and not settling for jump shots. Were getting inside the paint for short jumpers and this strategy has also worked to get us to the line. If you want to see a successful offense this is how it works. The successful offense is to swing the ball quickly find and opening and drive to the rim. Of course you should have players that are consistent shoot the open three because making those is a bonus possession. 40 percent from the three is 60 percent of two point shots. Still only competent shooters need to be shooting these shots on our team that seems to be Westbrook, Davis, Jackson, and maybe Burrell. Green takes several but she was never a great three point shooter in high school and hasn't proven she can be consistent now.
Our offense has shown patience in the half court more than previous seasons. We also show the ability to run if the other team has the personnel in the game where we can do so.
Also not keying on one player like an inside player has totally lowered the bad turnovers. Of course we've had high turnovers in some games but most have been made by trying to make a play not trying to force a play. Turnovers only matter if you are losing the turnover battle. As long as you force more turnovers than you commit you are in a positive position because a huge key to winning any game is getting more shots at the basket that the opposition. If you can build up a positive 20 plus shot total while keeping the free throw line even you are almost certain to win. You can shoot 40 percent while the other team shoots 50 and the additional shots still give you the advantage to win.
Say a team hit 20 of 40 shots and you hit 23 of 60 they shoot 50 percent and still lose while you shoot 38 percent and win. This is where defense comes in and winning the turnover and offensive boards. This was the Pat Summit strategy and it won 8 National championships.
 
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#10

JFP

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#10
Playing full court "hero" ball in practice scrimmage works well to get everyone going offensively. Each 5 plays on each side one player is made the "hero." Only that one player on each end allowed to shoot. Even rebounds go back to
that player. Not a thing you want to do all the time but it sure makes things "real" for the hard working hero. Gives them a new outlook on their offensive responsibility.
 
#12

Undercovervol

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#12
Our offense is still below average, but I think it has improved from last year. Without Russell clogging the paint, there's more room for dribble drives that takes advantage of our athletic guards.
Evina is playing lights out, minus a few turnovers. She should shoot AT LEAST 15 shots per game, and I wouldn't mind if she went for 30 points every night, because she can get that. Her step back three is really great and nearly unguardable at her size at the PG position.
Rennia Davis must become our third go to scorer for us to take the next step. She either needs a better post up game or involve her more in ball screens. She should shoot without hesitation coming off a screen. Staff really needs to work on her confidence and "mamba" mentality.
Defense: we can't play man to man defense.
 
#13

37620VOL

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#13
Based on the Texas game, I agree with a lot of what @Coach Jumper said. Meme and Evina are effective against man-to-man and getting into the paint. I do expect adjustments in the future by other teams because that criss-cross action at the top of the key worked almost every time against Texas. Against the zone, Evina did a great job drawing two defenders and passing to create offensive opportunities for Meme and others. Meme and Evina also shoot well enough to stretch zones past 20 ft, combine this with their speed and we should be able to give zones more trouble than we have in the past.

I've long said you beat man to man with execution and athleticism; you beat zone with shooting and intelligence.
 
#14

37620VOL

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#14
Our offense is still below average, but I think it has improved from last year. Without Russell clogging the paint, there's more room for dribble drives that takes advantage of our athletic guards.
Evina is playing lights out, minus a few turnovers. She should shoot AT LEAST 15 shots per game, and I wouldn't mind if she went for 30 points every night, because she can get that. Her step back three is really great and nearly unguardable at her size at the PG position.
Rennia Davis must become our third go to scorer for us to take the next step. She either needs a better post up game or involve her more in ball screens. She should shoot without hesitation coming off a screen. Staff really needs to work on her confidence and "mamba" mentality.
Defense: we can't play man to man defense.
Davis is not a post, never will be. She needs to be a glue type player for this team. She needs to do the little things that no one sees. She needs to rebound on O and D, play lockdown defense, create TOs, hit open shots, don't try to do too much on offense, take what comes to her. Oh, and don't get into foul trouble.
 
#15

VA_VOLFAN

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#15
Davis is not a post, never will be. She needs to be a glue type player for this team. She needs to do the little things that no one sees. She needs to rebound on O and D, play lockdown defense, create TOs, hit open shots, don't try to do too much on offense, take what comes to her. Oh, and don't get into foul trouble.
I don’t think she is gonna be a post player but I think she can take advantage of her skill set in the post. So when she takes her defender into the post she can be more versatile .
 
#17

Undercovervol

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#17
Davis is not a post, never will be. She needs to be a glue type player for this team. She needs to do the little things that no one sees. She needs to rebound on O and D, play lockdown defense, create TOs, hit open shots, don't try to do too much on offense, take what comes to her. Oh, and don't get into foul trouble.
Davis isn’t a post per se, but she can develop a post game. Katie Lou Samuelson posts up smaller guards, heck even Maya Moore posts up sometimes to get a good shot. Rennia has length she should take advantage of.
 
#20
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#20
Thanks for the great insights. Some of the best analysis I have read in this forum in a while. Hard skills are essential, but so so are intangibles like personality and team chemistry. This current LV team has more potential than we have seen in a while, and some of it is because of the introverted, selfless personalities of the players, as a poster mentioned previously.
 
#21

37620VOL

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#21
Davis isn’t a post per se, but she can develop a post game. Katie Lou Samuelson posts up smaller guards, heck even Maya Moore posts up sometimes to get a good shot. Rennia has length she should take advantage of.
Still don't like it. Davis looks like a fish out of water posting up. If you've never been a "back to the basket" player, it's going to take a good two years to become proficient. Forcing the issue before she's ready will just make her frustrated. It would be like trying to turn Admiral Schofield into Grant Williams just because he has the size for it.
 
#22
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#22
Still don't like it. Davis looks like a fish out of water posting up. If you've never been a "back to the basket" player, it's going to take a good two years to become proficient. Forcing the issue before she's ready will just make her frustrated. It would be like trying to turn Admiral Schofield into Grant Williams just because he has the size for it.

She only has to do it this year....two 6'5"s coming in next year.

Posting up against bigs now ,,will be invaluable to her against shorter guards in the future.

(((You've just got to push the right button)))
 
#23

VolBall09

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#23
Still don't like it. Davis looks like a fish out of water posting up. If you've never been a "back to the basket" player, it's going to take a good two years to become proficient. Forcing the issue before she's ready will just make her frustrated. It would be like trying to turn Admiral Schofield into Grant Williams just because he has the size for it.
I agree, she is obviously not comfortable there so I see no reason to force the issue, we can run other line-ups and use her where she is comfortable. Katie Lous Samuelson just started (seriously) posting up toward the end of last year. I'm sure she worked on it in practice for a couple years before they ever ran it in a game. They rarely have her do it too, mostly on a set play to get her isolated with a smaller defender or a cut to the basket, she isn't starting the possession in the post. Would be nice if Rennia could develop it a little so we have the same option, but I see no need to force it, our offense doesn't need it. I'd much rather see us run a 4 out offense than force her down on the block.
 
#24

37620VOL

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#24
She only has to do it this year....two 6'5"s coming in next year.

Posting up against bigs now ,,will be invaluable to her against shorter guards in the future.

(((You've just got to push the right button)))
I know you cannot just push a button and become comfortable posting up. I've been asked to do that and it wasn't pretty. There is a lot of tradecraft in post moves. If this was the plan, Davis should have been working on it since at least April 2018.
 
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#25
I know you cannot just push a button and become comfortable posting up. I've been asked to do that and it wasn't pretty. There is a lot of tradecraft in post moves. If this was the plan, Davis should have been working on it since at least April 2018.
You can push the right button to motivate anyone.
They've just got to see the potential good it could bring to them.

That's what I mean,,,
No there is no learning push-button...but there is definitely a coaching button that you push to get players to understand why they are doing something that may be out of their wheelhouse.
 

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