: Our offense is much more active than given credit and uses a variety of screens, cuts, pick n rolls, and penetrations. It's not all just standing around and shooting threes.
LSU’s current offense is a much faster, high scoring offense compared to previous years. So far, it has managed to average 9 more points per game, shoot a higher 3 point percentage, shoot better from the field and create more assist.
However, since going on a recent skid, some have begun to question the half court offense with quotes such as these:
What screens, cuts, and dribble penetration? The half court offense still looks mostly like last year; teams packing the lane leading to lots of dribbling and passing around the perimeter, then jack up a 3
This team runs no offense just like trent. All we do is shoot 3 after 3.
Not impressed with CJJ at all.
So, I took a notepad to the South Carolina game to take notes on just how active our half court offense was. Note: “Screens” denotes the player coming off a screen, with or without ball. “Cuts” denotes the player cutting to or away from the basket in an attempt to get open. "Penetrations" denote a player successfully driving toward the basket, causing the opponents help defense to rotate over. I only noted our activity in the half court, disregarding fast breaks. Also, I only noted regulation to give a more realistic picture of the typical game.
LSU’s Half-Court Offense Penetrations
– 19 Cuts
- 15 Screens
Activity by Player Penetrations
Stringer – 5
Hickey – 6
JOB – 2
Coleman – 2
Carmouche 3 Screens
Hickey – 4
Carmouche – 2
Collins – 1
JOB – 1 Cuts
Morgan – 6
Stringer - 3
Carmouche – 1
Hickey – 3
JOB – 2
Note: These numbers are slightly lower than reality as I'm not able to benefit from re-watching the entire game on Geaux Zone, and these observations were during live action. It is quite possible I missed some half-court activity.
When you look at this number in light of our fast break attempts and semi-fast break possessions where we took early open shots, and our turnover numbers, we really only had about 25 or so half court possesions. With that in mind it appears that our half-court is fairly active. In my observations, the only time we would simply pass the ball around the perimeter was against the zone when looking to break it with an open three, which is textbook basketball. Not surprisingly, the two most active players on the court were Hickey and Stringer, with the offense running through them. I also saw play rotations, such as Morgan and Stringer making dual cuts to either wing) but decided not to add these for the sake of clarity.
There was a moment late in the 2nd half when CJJ seemed to go to an iso offense, leaving the ball in the hands of his best player (Hickey) who was putting up the team high in points. Whether it was the best move is debatable, but until that point the half-court offense had been active. It will be interesting to see how much more active we become next season when have more depth.
In my opinion, the problem is not the half-court strategy but rather the execution at times. Not having players that can finish at the rim in crucial situations, not having the post presence (with JOB usually in foul trouble) to get those high percentage shots, and not knocking down open threes when it counts much bigger issues than the half court sets we run. We are in a situation where we HAVE to attempt to play fast, and take the first open shot or penetration, because realistically there isn't much else there.
This post was edited on 1/17 at 6:17 pm