Friday, November 8, 2013

St John's

Some quick thoughts on the St John's game. I'll see if I can post something more after taking a 2nd look at the game. There may too much football for that to happen.
There was not much in the way of surprises when it came to the rotation. In the first half the top 6 returning players got the bulk of the playing time and the 3 guard lineup they featured in Canada started. Marshall is the 6th man in the guard heavy lineup. Hayes came in every time that Kaminsky came out in a center rotation like what Bo used last year with Berggren and Kaminsky. Koenig played just one first half minute. He will be the 5th guard but like most freshman his minutes will come and go. In a tough first game it's no surprise that Bo tightened the rotation. The question going into the year was who will be the 4th front court player, as Dekker can't play every single minute.
To those who followed the Canada trip the minutes earned by Dukan tonight won't come as a complete surprise. He played a great deal in Canada, but those games had a lot of players rotating in so it was hard to tell if his minutes would translate into the regular season. He got 6 minutes in the first half and was productive after a shaky start. He jacked up an ill advised 3 on his first possession, and missed a challenged layup on his next attempt. In years past that would have sent him to the bench, but he stayed in. He then made consecutive plays on defense tipping a pass and creating a turnover, then drawing an offensive foul. Dukan shined in the 2nd half when foul trouble sent Hayes to the bench early and Kaminsky was ineffective. The other front court options of Vitto Brown, Evan Anderson, Zach Bohannon aren't exactly overwhelming, so Dukan could be in for many more regular minutes this season.
I didn't check the numbers but it was obvious that the Badgers are playing at a faster pace. They will never be VCU, but with the small lineup heavy with shooters and ball handlers it makes sense. I expect this trend to continue all season and not just be a one game wonder.  
Why is it that if there is an NBA or international 3 point line on the court in addition to the college line, the players can't help themselves from shooting from it? Brust did this to open the game, and the Badgers didn't do it so it much afterwards, but I see this all the time and it's weird.
My obsession with ball screen defense continues. In the first half UW started mostly fighting over the top of screens, as opposed to the switching they have done most of the past couple years. Given St. John's lack of perimeter shooting I thought they may even go under screens, but the change makes sense. With 3 guards you can fight over screens easier, and there is a bigger downside to switching when they don't have a bunch of players of similar size. UW just had better individual defenders last year too, which made more sense for switching. In the 2nd half they did much more switching so we'll have to see what happens against Florida. 

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