April 01, 2008

When UCLA has the ball: "You must keep Darren Collison and Russell Westbrook from penetrating. They want to run, but [coach] Ben Howland wants [them] to get across half-court and set up. If you have length, depth and speed, you can get to them -- but you have to have all three."

Attacking the Bruins: "Be physical on screens or they will run through you. They push screeners out so high that your first pass is not a scoring pass, and that gives Kevin Love time to get back [and help]. One thing they don't have is depth. If you can run a lot of athletes at them, you can beat them, the way Texas did [on Dec. 2]. Their guards like to reach, and Love will help on D, so you can get them in foul trouble."

X Factor: "Josh Shipp. He'll get open looks as teams try to stop Collison and Westbrook from driving. But can he hit them?"

When Memphis has the ball: "They'll shoot the three, but they prefer twos. They want to attack and get to the basket. And they spread you out so much, it's very hard if you're not a good help-side defensive team. Derrick Rose prefers to go to his right, and you can't let him inside for a midrange shot without contesting it. You have to keep him in front of you."

Attacking the Tigers: "You have to be able to withstand their initial pressure. Their perimeter guys are going to get after you, take some gambles, because they depend on their bigs to block shots and be a safety net. Go at Chris Douglas-Roberts. He struggles to stay in front of the ball."

X Factor: "Joey Dorsey. He's their best offensive rebounder, but you can beat him up the floor the other way. And he's foul prone."


When Carolina has the ball: "They get easy opportunities because Ty Lawson is so fast and their wings run so well. So you have to slow them down in transition, then get back and make them play half-court offense. You have to push Tyler Hansbrough off the blocks, but if he gets it low, you have to double-team him [and recover against] their shooters on the perimeter."

Attacking the Tar Heels: "They disrupt your offense by denying passes and making steals [8.2 a game]. You have to go backdoor and create movement. If you stand against them or try to dribble, they're good at slapping down and disrupting you."

X Factor: "Danny Green. He comes off the bench and he's facing tired guys, shooting a high percentage, getting steals [1.2 a game] and pushing the ball in transition."

When Kansas has the ball: "They set a ton of screens, so you have to keep them off balance. You can't show the same thing on every possession because they'll get in a rhythm and capitalize on it. And you have to take charges. If they put their heads down and drive, and you're not alert and down too, they'll get to the rim."

Attacking the Jayhawks: "They're very athletic, they blow up screens well, and they force you out of your offense. You have to set strong screens to get open shots. But they don't box out consistently, so you can get offensive rebounds if your bigs screen and then crash the glass."

X Factor: "Sasha Kaun. It's not that he makes plays every possession, but against [Davidson] he had huge offensive rebounds and post-up scores."



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