Louisville is a defense first team and we have a talented enough team to have a great offense. Over the years Ive watched Pitino coach, and I remember his team that featured NBA star Fransisco Garcia. That team was an attack first, fast break , transition three, offense. We blew teams out by 20 pionts regularly that year. After Fransisco left Ive seen only a couple UL teams that have come close to that kind of offensive output. Those teams featured T-will and Earl Clark also both NBA stars. Since then Ive seen a couple of games that come to mind that were attack first, fast break, transition three, offenses. The last game at Freedom hall when Kyle Kuric went off, and this years game against UCONN. In both games we were attacking the basket with no fear. We were aggressive, we looked for transition baskets, players leaked out and passes zipped up court to the open man. Once teams recognized our determination to score. The three point line was open and Dieng was open. The paint wasn't crowded rebounds were easier because the opposing teams were so chaotic and scattered all over the court things just opened up. In retrospect , Syracuse handed us a similar fate with the same type of offense that was success for us.
The reasons behind our recent lack of offense may be our continued emphasize on defense. Ive watched game after game were our players missed offensive rebounds because they didn't follow there shots. The reason for this is because our guards leak back on defense. That's a good thing but not for the shooter, the shooter is the person likely to get any rebound when they are aggressive. Another example of or defense effecting our offense is , when our players stick around for the defensive rebound. UL needs to start leaking a player out for the fast break, be aggressive and quick. Siva zip the ball up court , which causes the defense to scramble toward our basket. This opens up our three point shooter and our big men coming down the lane. So a simple aggressive pass up court, for a transition basket creates a whole lot of offense. We are short on finishers so I suggest Russ or Kyle be the player that looks to finish in transition. This aggressive offense will lead to more layups and three point shots in rhythm in transition. No hesitation, no half court offense, teams being on there heals, and less aware of our next move.
Peyton Siva will benefit from our aggressive attack, but he will have to look to finish some of his drives to the basket. He will need to be the general at the end of the game. Siva looking to score will open up players. If he does teams read our offense and stay home on our perimeter players and sag off on him. My point is Louisville's offense will do good to speed up the game. UL needs to be on the attack and be aggressive to get the ball up court in transition. Leak players out for easy baskets and look for more lay ups and transition three's in rhythm. Our offensive intensity needs to match our defensive intensity. The shooter needs to follow his shot, defense is important but so are the fundamentals. Too much emphasis on defense causes a lack of emphasis on offense. So there you have it UL's issues on the offense end. What I'm looking for in this UL team and in future UL teams is balance. A good defense along with an aggressive offense.
Another point I would like to make about our over emphasis on defense and lack of emphasis on offense is that UL would benefit greatly from switching our defense from zone to man to man. Its obvious players like Chane Behanan, Russ Smith, Kevin Ware, Wayne Blackshear would benefit from this type of defense. Our talented freshman are being benched because they are not up to par with Pitino's complicated match up 2-3 zone. A simple solution would be to switch up our defense. This move will also create offense, by one surprising the other them that's prepared for Pitino Patented Defense that he has become married to over the years. The element of surprise can create offense because a opposing team would be in shock to see something that wasn't the usual UL film session. it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that it would work. in the game of chess you don't make the same moves your opponent figures you out and beats you., its really that simple. you may remember before Denny Crums retirement every and their mother new Denny was going to run the high post offense, so what happened it no longer worked, go figure. also with a man to man defense our talented athletic freshman and our scrappy guards can play the passing lanes and get steals benefiting in the open court in the open court for transition baskets and wide open Dunks. something we used to see all the time with Denny Crums man to man switch defense. The break away dunk, that doesn't happen very much with our 2-3 zone. Pitino says our players cant figure out there defense, whatever our team is made up of mostly honor roll students I seriously doubt our players cant figure simple fundamental defenses that I used to play in the boys club growing up. Basketball is not Rocket science, it mostly boils down to raw talent and that makes a team good at basketball. For me personally the 2-3 is a lazy way of playing defense , it limits a players hustle and offensive opportunities.
I'm looking for a break out game from The Cardinals its coming. It March and players are ready to step up and this bogged down UL team is ready to explode its tournament time baby. Time for the Cards to get hot and any team that's thought defense all year I can almost guaranteed find it offense. The pressure in the pot is getting high and I think this team can blow the top off. Lets,Go Cards!!!!!!! Lets steal us a championship.