“I’m gonna coach it this week. It’s going to be drive in … I’m gonna put on football pads again. Not to rebound. Offensively. Just klunk. Go in there, fullback dive. Three yards and a cloud of dust.”
– Bill Parcells on the poor officiating of Gene Steratore and his NFL referee buddies
– Tom Izzo on Gene Steratore and his NCAA officiating buddies.
Tom Izzo is a pretty good coach. Izzo also told Keith Appling if he took a jump shot “he’d kill him.” The best coaches are making adjustments for the new rules, and they aren’t small ones. Below we look at the adjustments to guard play to look for from the Dragons coaching staff:
Damion is the player that could be most helped by the new rules. He has the strength to get to the cup already, as over his first two years in a DU jersey he has shot 51% on two point shots. To put that in perspective, in the last eight seasons, the only DU guard to break 50% from two in a single season is Bashir Mason, and no one has done it for their career. While Damion can play out of control at times, the shot selection usually consist of three’s or getting to the rim, which is exactly what the team should be targeting. With a career FT% in the 80% area, he’s exactly the type of guy who should be putting on that helmet and pads and running at the rim.
Dragons Speak’s Adjustment: Don’t pass up the open 3, but get the helmet and pads ready for game day
In his last full season, Fouch shot 37% from downtown. In the four road games to date this year, Chris has shot 36% from distance. This from a guy who has shown significant home/road splits in his career. As mentioned in the previous blog, he’ll be hurt comparatively if he doesn’t drive and others do, but he still hits well enough from the perimeter to perform on the level of the guys who will take it to the cup. The staff could ask him to drive more, and the early returns this year say he is driving a bit more, but at what point does risk of injury exceed the need to draw the contact? Especially for a guy who hasn’t been a great slasher in his career.
Dragons Speak’s Adjustment: None
Know going in that the two point jump shot is the worst shot in college basketball. It’s not that much more consistently hit than a three, is only worth 2/3’s as much and generally just drives me crazy. Tavon Allen has not only taken this shot in the flow of the offense regularly, he’s pulled up and taken it on fast breaks. The result? A Gerald Colds-ian 38% from two point range last season. Pomeroy ranked him behind Daryl McCoy at the offensive end of the floor last year. He shot 36% from three which is phenomenal, the fact that his offense still managed to hurt the team is staggering.
Lil KG (tell me we can pickup this nickname… or maybe the Lil Ticket) loves his jumper and has been hitting it this year, but this feels much more like a hot streak then a ticket to sustained success. Tavon has to start being willing to take contact if he wants to help this team succeed all year long. He’s certainly long and athletic enough to be playing near the basket. When he has that off night, would you rather see: 2/9 fg, 0/0 ft, 4pts or 2/7 fg, 3-4 ft’s, 7 pts? That’s the difference between an off night handicapping the team, and an off night significantly hurting the team, and it’s the difference between driving and jump shots. For this season, amongst the four major guards on this team he’s a distant fourth in free throw attempts.
Dragons Speak’s Adjustment: More importantly than anyone else, he needs to go at contact and stop settling for jumpers
The dirty little secret with Frantz is that his inside game isn’t any better than Fouch’s. And he’s shot, wait for it, about the same as Fouch from downtown for his career. It may be a bit of a clusterf— in your mind if you think of Frantz more as a Fouch than as a Lee, but that’s what he is. He’s a Fouch who can move a little better and pass a little better. Frantz should still drive, it may get that foul called. His passing is creating a lot for his teammates thus far this year (assist rate up into the top 100 nationally) and breaking down the defense can create more of that. The answer for Massenat may be an increased penetrate and kick game. It will help himself, and his teammates.
Dragons Speak’s Adjustment: Keep shooting from deep, trade some floaters in the lane for some penetrate and kick
There’s a layer of comfort that each player has in his game, and it’s easy to keep doing what they do especially with the offense beening effective this year. There’s has never been more talent on a Flint era Drexel team, but that doesn’t mean they can’t work to be even better. The coaches jobs are to take the players from their comfort zone and make them better, and if they can help any of these guys in adjusting to the new rules, much like Tom Izzo with Keith Appling, they will make a good team a great team.