Tue. Jan 31st, 2023

There might be numerous nuance to the wins and losses of a faculty basketball season. Field scores and analytics don’t at all times inform the complete story. Nevertheless, for the typical fan, true movie research is effectively past what even probably the most passionate are keen to do for his or her favourite staff. That’s the place the KSR Movie Room and myself, KSR’s resident basketball-nerd, can come in useful. I’ve carried out the leg give you the results you want breaking down each recreation of the Kentucky Basketball season to supply a glimpse into the effective line between successful and dropping.

It will be silly to say that the Wildcats have turned a nook. Regardless of the stark distinction in execution between the house loss to South Carolina and the street win at Tennessee there isn’t sufficient proof to contemplate the season saved. If nothing else, the primary 20 minutes of the Georgia recreation ought to have pushed that time dwelling. Nevertheless, it’s clear that Kentucky’s inventory worth is trending in the precise course. There are glimmers of hope, flashes of potential, and most significantly a few SEC wins that present tangible enchancment.

To assist show the variations between the Kentucky Basketball staff that was 10-6 general and 1-3 within the SEC with no NCAA Event resume and the Kentucky Basketball staff that’s now 12-6 general and 3-3 within the SEC with a Prime 5 street win I’ve gone again by movie breakdowns of each recreation this season to seek out some invaluable clips. We are going to check out each ends of the ground and spotlight the enhancements which have led to success. Let’s step on contained in the KSR Movie Room and take a more in-depth look.

Defensive Exercise Degree – Distinction Between Stunting & Serving to

Again in Spokane, the Wildcats allowed Gonzaga’s two greatest three-point shooters to go 7-12 from past the arc. As a staff, the Bulldogs have been an unbelievable 24-36 from two-point vary as effectively. That’s proof sufficient that Kentucky didn’t do a adequate job of taking ANYTHING away. The Cats’ protection was too flat-footed, too sluggish to react, and infrequently dedicated too early on Drew Timme within the publish.

It’s actually laborious to assist this a lot off of #45 Rasir Bolton earlier than Timme even takes a dribble. Cason Wallace ought to be two steps nearer to Bolton and easily “stunt” at Timme earlier than he dribbles. Fast little single steps in the direction of him and recovering again to Bolton will not less than make Timme know you’re there. As an alternative, Wallace is caught in no man’s land. He isn’t REALLY serving to on Timme within the publish however he additionally positively isn’t taking away the three. Nevertheless, within the final couple of video games, Kentucky has performed with a a lot larger exercise degree.

Effort and exercise degree could make or break a defensive possession. In comparison with Cason Wallace standing flat-footed midway between Bolton and Timme in opposition to Gonzaga, check out how energetic the Wildcats are on this possession in opposition to Tennessee. There was a three-way change initially of the possession that stored a man on a man. Then, you will have Adou Thiero combating like loopy fronting the publish to maintain the ball from going inside. Nevertheless, the tip of this possession is the place the development is admittedly proven. The best way that each Lance Ware and Oscar Tshiebwe closed out to shooters with urgency is what can win this Kentucky Basketball staff video games going ahead.

Current Willingness to Change Has Improved Ballscreen Protection

UCLA dominated Kentucky in ballscreen conditions again on December 17. That was probably the beginning of coaches choosing on Oscar Tshiebwe with getting him concerned in ballscreeens. After losses to Alabama and South Carolina, each coaches recognized attacking Tshiebwe in ballscreens primarily based on movie preparation. The large man simply wasn’t targeted sufficient on getting the ball stopped and performed with very heavy ft. Nevertheless, just lately, he has been extra keen to easily change the ballscreens and keep between the ball and the basket.

Tshiebwe was so energetic on this possession serving to to chop off Santiago Vescovi drives. His footwork is clearly completely different and it permits him to cease the ball whereas nonetheless recovering to his man. Coach Calipari and his employees have clearly instilled some urgency on this Kentucky Basketball staff after an unsightly loss to South Carolina. If that may proceed we could look again to the Tennessee recreation because the turning level that saved the season.


Kentucky’s struggles guarding the ballscreen this season might be traced all the way in which again to the Michigan State recreation. They have been insistent on going OVER ballscreens set for #11 AJ Hoggard regardless of his standing as a really poor three-point shooter. This might usually result in an excessive amount of assistance on the roll and opened up alternatives for the Spartans’ higher shooters to make threes. That’s precisely what occurred on this clip proven above. When Cason Wallace went over the ballscreen it made Lance Ware step as much as cease the ball. That triggered a sequence response the place Sahvir Wheeler then got here down to assist take away the roll man, but in addition left #11 Tyson Walker open on the wing for a three-pointer. Not too long ago, Kentucky has proven rather more willingness to easily change the sort of ballscreen which helps restrict the necessity to assist.

Switching extra ballscreens has actually helped out this Kentucky Basketball staff just lately. It appears easy, however conserving a man on a man always actually improves the performance of staff defensive ideas. On this clip Oscar Tshiebwe does an excellent job of staying in entrance of Georgia’s level guard after switching onto him. He strikes his ft, takes away the three-point try, after which blocks the shot on the finish of the ball handler’s drive. Being extra keen to change reduces the quantity of off-ball decision-making required by the protection.

Shifting to Cason Wallace as a 1-on-1 Playmaker

By means of the overwhelming majority of the primary half of the season the Kentucky Basketball staff was closely reliant on Sahvir Wheeler to make a play on the finish of the shot clock. Nevertheless, defenses nonetheless don’t respect his outdoors shot and an absence of general spacing on the ground made it actually laborious for him to get penetration. This play late within the second time beyond regulation in opposition to Michigan State merely by no means had an opportunity. When Jacob Toppin fakes the ballscreen his defender simply stays to plug up the lane as a result of there isn’t any must observe Toppin again to the perimeter. Wheeler finally ends up driving proper into the assistance protection and is named for a journey. The Wildcats made themselves very easy to protect in these conditions.

That is primarily the identical actual play because the earlier clip. Nevertheless, this one takes place on Tuesday night time in opposition to Georgia with Cason Wallace dealing with the ball. Oscar Tshiebwe fakes the ballscreen and Wallace assaults downhill to the rim. There are two main variations between the Wheeler turnover and the Wallace dunk. First, have a look at the defender guarding the ball within the two clips. Wheeler’s defender is enjoying six to eight ft off of him together with his ft contained in the free-throw space. Nevertheless, Wallace’s defender is all the way in which up together with his ft past the three-point line. Secondly, Georgia is rather more targeted on Tshiebwe than Michigan State was on Jacob Toppin. This newer clip created a real one-on-one situation versus Toppin primarily bringing the double staff to Wheeler.

Disorganized Offense vs. Sharp, Properly-Executed Offense

The Wildcats managed simply 53 factors in 67 possessions in opposition to UCLA. Spacing was unhealthy, the offense was disorganized, and it led to an entire lack of execution. So many occasions earlier within the season Kentucky’s guys appeared not sure on the ground. Whether or not they didn’t know the performs or didn’t get it communicated effectively sufficient they might stand round initially of too many possessions. No offense was initiated till 15 seconds on the shot clock. Then, CJ Fredrick and Cason Wallace have been standing in primarily the identical spot on the perimeter. It’s actually laborious to attain when your general construction appears like this.

Here’s a current instance of Kentucky’s higher offensive construction and execution. As an alternative of not initiating offense till 15 seconds on the shot clock on this possession the ‘Cats get a ball reversal already by the 20-second mark. Then, Antonio Reeves comes off of a staggered double-zoom motion. Reeves had loads of house to play in as effectively as a result of CJ Fredrick was noticed up on the robust aspect. The Tennessee defender wasn’t keen to assist off of Fredrick right here as a result of spacing. Significantly better execution.

Forcing the Ball to Oscar Tshiebwe

It is sensible that you just need to get the ball to the reigning Nationwide Participant of the 12 months. Nevertheless, telegraphing your passes and forcing it inside just isn’t the way in which to get Oscar Tshiebwe touches inside. There was so little house between Antonio Reeves and Tshiebwe on this go. The careless publish entry ended up as a turnover and Missouri was off to the races going the opposite manner.

Not too long ago, as a substitute of passing the ball across the perimeter making an attempt to throw it as a substitute, Coach Calipari has dialed up some half court docket set performs to get Oscar Tshiebwe the ball. Operating him off of cross screens like this actually opens up house for him to play in off of the block. Having CJ Fredrick set the cross display screen helps too as a result of his defender received’t assist off of him in any respect. Whenever you have a look at the distinction in spacing between the final clip and this one it’s straightforward to see why Kentucky has discovered extra success offensively within the final couple of video games.

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