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Thad Matta's coaching

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Thad Matta's coaching

Unread postby jdrake10 » Mon Mar 19, 2007 12:47 pm

I was not impressed with Thad Matta vs. Xavier. In the first half with both teams struggling offensively, Thad switched out of a smothering zone defense to man-to-man, presumably to change the tempo and make something happen. I think he said to himself that this game is too close and he hit the panic button.

The change forced Oden to defend on the perimeter vs. Xavier’s big men that could shoot the 3-pointer pretty well. During Xavier’s big run in the second half, several of the 3s were from the man Oden was matched up on (Cage/Duncan).

Thad should have changed what they were doing on offense not the defense. Xavier was playing straight up man-to-man and not doubling Oden. Since Oden was not successful in scoring one-on-one (hopefully not a problem in future games), this allowed Xavier to extend out on the perimeter and challenge Ohio State’s 3-point shooters. The answer was to have Lewis and Conley penetrate. They eventually did, Lewis got them back in the game by driving and Conley took over in overtime.

I am not saying Matta is a bad coach. I do not have an opinion on that yet. But I feel he coached a bad game vs. Xavier.
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Unread postby swerb » Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:38 pm

I think I read this weekend that Cage only attempted like 30 three pointers all season, so I guess I can kinda see where Thad was going with that.

Plus, against a team like Xavier, with really next to no interior presence, you almost waste Oden using him in the middle of a 2-3 zone. Now normally, he would have helped negate some of the cutting to the hoop stuff from Lavender, but Conley was doing a very nice job on him all game.

Regardless, the blueprint for how to attack this Buckeye defense was established - draw the big guy away from the hoop at all costs when they go man. If the Bucks play the 2-3, make em pay with the sharp, crisp, and constant ball movement that yields open 3's against that defense.

The potential matchup with A&M Saturday terrifies me. Game in their state, and they match up really, really well with this Buckeye team.
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Unread postby jdrake10 » Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:08 pm

I did not know Cage was not normally that proficient at 3s? He was 3-3 vs. Oden, and Duncan was 3-6. A team needs a big guy that is also a 3-point shooter though to attack this way. Oden will sag if they don't have one.

I don't agree the zone was a waste on Xavier. Having Oden clog the middle is the whole point. It lets the other 4 defenders extend out to defend the 3-point line without wasting a lot of energy. I think Zone may be their best team defense. Nobody has attacked it well since mid-season.

I like OSU vs. Tenn. They should not be able to press OSU with any success (just like Xavier's big men shouldn't be able to shoot the 3!) Texas A&M is athletic. They will be a bad match-up in San Antonio.
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Unread postby swerb » Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:17 pm

Not only is A&M athletic, but they have one of those big guys (the Euro with the long last name) that hovers around the three point line.

Acie Law has size, and is a good defender, and should be able to negate alot of the creating Conley does by dribble penetrating ... which Lavender really couldn't stop.

A&M doesn't get alot of their points in the paint, which is near impossible against OSU. And they got 2-3 guys that can really stroke it, most notably Josh Carter.

Thats a good team. They went into Lexington and beat a Rick Pitino led Louisville team that was really, really playing well and pressed them for all 40 minutes. And got like 35 from their freshman PG. That was a helluva game, and its a shame those two teams had to meet so early.

Louisville is going to be awesome next year.
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Unread postby jdrake10 » Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:50 pm

I was equally impressed with Louisville. The fact that A&M persevered vs. that pressure scares me.
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Unread postby pup » Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:12 pm

Just switch the zone to a 3-2 with Oden and Hunter on the blocks, with with whatever combo of guards you have in their at that time. The length of a Conley, Harris and Lewis 3 at the top will cause problems for anybody.
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Unread postby furls » Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:57 pm

A&M doesn't scare me much. They are good, but they are not a team with optimum OSU slaying personnel. What is a team with a good OSU slaying line up? Glad you asked.

A team with a good athletic, scoring 4. Florida, UNC, Wisconsin (before the butch injury). Ohio State does not have much at 4 this year.

That being said, teams that gun threes are always scary in the NCAA tourney because it only takes one hot night from a mere 19 feet to take down the mightiest Goliath. I guess in that respect A&M and Tennessee are a bit scary.
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Unread postby jdrake10 » Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:39 am

A 3-2 zone is an interseting idea. Oden would still need to cover the corner on his side though. I still think the 2-3 look is better and just let him camp out in the paint.

Oden's conditioning bothers me at this point. Tenn. will push the pace on the Buckeyes so this could be a problem for him. I think Conley and the rest of the Buckeyes will handle the pressure just fine though.
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