To score 58 points with Erick Green being absent for most of the game and Eddie only getting 12 minutes before fouling out shows some improvement. Raines and DFS both offered some offense last night. But hard to win without similar contributions from Zo and Eddie.Tonight gave some interesting perspective on VT's offensive woes. Both teams, instead of running their base offense relied pretty heavily on called entries tonight - I don't know enough about State to know what percentage they usually do that but for VT they did it a much higher amount than they had for most of the season.
So with the head coach directing the plays and calls (fwiw I think VT ran 4 different entries at least twice with a few others we saw once) for each team you'd think it would be a great test of which guy could scheme his way to victory. Tonight, however, was different. VT and NC State both were trying to get the ball inside and used almost the exact same actions to do it.
I won't bore people with what each call was but for the most part both teams were setting staggered screens (NC State mostly staggered across, while VT mixed it up with the common action being that "wheel" play where they stagger across then stagger down into a post-iso on the comeback pass). But from an X's and O's perspective we're seeing some very similar things - State, because they were staggering across more created bigger gaps at the top of the key at times for Brown and others to drive, but that's nitpicking for this example.
What tonight showed me was how much personnel can matter - VT's plays actually were more advanced and had more options but the guys running through them were limited (with the end of just about every entry being a post-iso for Raines), with Finney-Smith State had no problem w/ the screens because they didn't have to close-out hard. With Brown his recognition has a LONG way to go and the more involved in any play he was tonight the more jumbled it became, Hudson was off shooting the ball, Raines is almost exclusively a left-shoulder guy still etc etc etc while State didn't have that problem but offensively and in terms of execution you saw almost a mirror image on both ends of the court.
One area where things weren't identical were the zone offenses for each squad, despite what some of the complaints on here would have you believe at times - VT's problems with zone offense are rarely that the guys stand and hold the ball, it's actually that they're swinging the ball too quickly, not letting the high post guy set-up or post outside, or letting the defense "bump down" so that once a reversal comes you can get a wing tied up high on a guard. State did a good job occupying defenders, making VT's wings come up on the perimter and then hitting the short corner with the middle man then out of position or at least isolated.
I'm not trying to pass or differ blame (though tonight was older players going through the motions and younger players - specifically Brown and Rankin just playing like freshman imo) but more to comment that if you're upset about the X's and O's I thought Greenberg was right to rely on entries as much as ahe did and despite the plays being identical to the team scoring at the other end VT just couldn't do much due to their personnel (and yes, once again, you can point plenty of places on that).
I'll gladly get more detailed if someone wants to argue with me that the offensive sets were a failure et c etc etc but I thought VT did some good stuff out there it's just a young and limited offensive squad for the time being. In an ideal situation Greenberg wouldn't have had to play Rankin or Brown tonight which would've improved the offense significantly.
Also, fwiw, the best play VT might've run may have been the most disastrous all night. At the end of the 1st half most teams there just run wings to the corner and either go 4-low to iso or come set some sort of ball-screen to attack. VT's play was a ball screen rolling into a flare-screen which in a quick change situation is an excellent excellent play. If Rankin reads the play correctly after Eddie flares and State jumps it he would've had the flare-screener (Raines or Barksdale I think) open on the slip for an easy dunk to close the half - as it was he panicked and made a freshman play that went for two the other way.
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Thread: Offense and playcalling tonight
Mon Mar 05 2012, 08:45 AM #5
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