Welcome to The Film Room
In this series we’re going to cut up recent game film to take a look at what the Tigers were doing, and at times, what they weren’t. Film study is in important aspect of basketball. It’s not a matter of simply looking at film and seeing what sets produced baskets (or stops on defense), but rather, what the offense produced in terms of quality of opportunity and what the defense prevented. While most of the commentary will focus on the offensive end, the defensive end is just as important and will get some attention as well.
At the outset, I see film and statistical analysis as effectively a four step process. First, you want to look at what actions/plays a team runs. Styles and systems vary wildly in the college game. How are teams trying to generate looks? Who are the looks generated for? Second, you want to look at the efficiency of those actions/plays that are run, determining how many points per possession are gained (or prevented). Third, you look at whether the scheme, or game plan, is optimizing the actions/plays that are most efficient in a matchup. Is the offense creating looks for the right guys, shooting the right shots in the right quantity? Finally, it’s a matter of execution. Getting the shots you want on offense still requires those looks to be converted. Nothing can paper over bad offense better than elite shot-making, after all.
This series will primarily look at the first and third points. What plays are Mizzou running? What is the opponent doing on the defensive end to counter those actions? What about when Mizzou is on defense? I would suggest that while viewing offensive sets, look at what the defense is doing, no matter who has the ball. Are the defenders being forced to make decisions in leaving shooters open? Are cuts, screens, etc. causing defenders to be out of position? Are ball screens covered effectively? Those are generally hallmarks of effective offense.
Pull up a seat and let’s get started
On a rare weekday matinee, the home squad suffered another near miss. Their last three SEC tilts played in the home facility have been decided by a grand total of 5 points with an 0-3 record to show for it. The Tigers are indisputably playing better basketball over recent weeks, but the results haven’t matched. No matter, we’ll take a look at what they (and Florida) were doing schematically.
For starters, let’s view some defensive looks the Gators gave Mizzou.
Florida was on and off in terms of full court pressure. Here, they start out in a less than assertive press and immediately fall back into man. Taking notes from prior Mizzou opponents, they extend pressure out on the ball to start the possession. They both play one screening action straight up and another with a full switch. The possession ends with a familiar sight. Kobe in the paint with 5 defenders in near proximity with little deference given to spot up shooters. Credit to Kobe for finishing the tough opportunity.
On other possessions? No pressure, no on ball pressure out top and LOTS of switching out front.
I was a little intrigued Florida was pressuring as much full court as they were early on. Unsurprisingly, they dropped out of it for long stretches until the deficit necessitated pressure in the waning minutes of the game. Here, Mizzou breaks the pressure with ease. Clinical. Get the ball in. Get it to the middle of the floor. Attack until stopped. Cut to the basket on a 2 on 1.
In this instance of showing pressure, Florida fails to cut off the sideline. They appear caught in between whether to trap or contain. They did neither. Kaleb does a great job of being strong with the ball and finding his brother on a similar basket cut.
You’ll notice Florida goes back to the pressure defense near the end of the game. Once again, they never stop the ball and Coleman follows the golden rule. Get to the middle and go until they stop you.
Mizzou once again showed some efficient pushes in transition off of defensive stops. Let’s take a look at a couple of those.
I perhaps should’ve included this in the Mizzou superlatives (below), but it fits here as well. Just an outstanding defensive possession by Gordon marking Myreon Jones, who had hit approximately 467 out of his first 468 three point shots attempted Wednesday. Again, approximately. So...Gordon gets up in his grill. Outstanding. The Tigers force the live ball turnover and convert.
The Tigers were able to transition off of missed buckets as well. Davis secures the loose ball, immediately pushes up the floor to find Gordon running the right wing. The finish unfortunately evaded him. The right idea, however.
This play represents a great example of securing the board, pushing up floor and keeping your head up. Teammates should be sprinting to assigned positions. And sometimes, you do all of that and you’ll find an easy bucket. Just as Mizzou did here.
Next, we’ll take a look at some of the actions Mizzou ran in the half court. As you’d expected, we saw a steady does of “Gut” screen/re-screen actions, high ball screens and dribble weaves. We also saw some relatively unique sets.
This first set is one a regular reader is familiar with. The aforementioned “Gut” action is defended well by Florida. I share this less for the novelty of the set, but rather the execution. Mizzou reverses out of the action and a ball screen gives Coleman just enough space to penetrate. Florida learning from film study, to be sure, collapses on the ball. Coleman pivots and finds a wide open Kaleb Brown for a catch and shoot. When these shots go down, the offense becomes so much easier.
Wait. ISU film?!? Is this some sort of mistake? It’s 100% intentional. Watch ISU’s action here that we discussed earlier this week. ISU’s big comes up to the elbow to set a modified UCLA cut. It leads to an easy layup opportunity. So why is this here?
Because Mizzou runs the EXACT SAME THING! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all. As an aside, coaches lift concepts from others all the time. The coaches running entirely unique offenses are incredibly rare. Finding things that work and incorporating them are what good coaches do. Now, I don’t know whether Mizzou had this in its kitchen for some time, or what. I’m not in their practices. But man, a carbon copy. The only difference is that Mizzou sets up in a horns formation that they’ll run various sets out of from time to time. And guess what, it got the Tigers 2 quick points. Note: They ran it the next time down and ended up getting a made three off of it as well.
Continuing our trend of “new” things that Mizzou ran, consider this elbow action. This is the Chicago DHO (Dribble Hand Off) offense that Porter Moser has made a killing with (see below for proof!) This is simply a play where a man (Brazile here) is stationed at/around the elbow. An easy entry gets things started. Gordon drifts to the corner. Coleman circles around and sets a pin down screen. Gordon sprints off the pin down and then off of the DHO. Once he receives the ball, he has several options. He opts for the open jump shot and converts.
Porter Moser is one of the best offensive coaches in basketball and has brought some of what was effective at Loyola Chicago to Oklahoma. Here are some of his Chicago DHO options and then a really nice scissor action. Tough to guard. pic.twitter.com/ojxjO9ow7Y— Eric Fawcett (@Efawcett7) November 29, 2021
Returning to scenery more familiar, Florida defends Mizzou’s Gut action well. Finding some success earlier on reversals away from the action, Mizzou does it once again here. Coleman catches the defense cheating by bypassing the action altogether, jabbing to the gap to freeze DeGray’s defender and then dishing. DeGray has space to drive and draws a lot of attention. A great pass finds a wide open Kobe who is driving to the rim.
Another example of Mizzou finding success on counters from the Gut. Here, the reversal doesn’t come until DeGray is streaking to the basket. No matter, the result is the same.
In crunch time, we’ll see another variation of Gut. Here, DeGray is responsible for setting the down screen/re-screen. After completing the first screen, he slips the second one, as Florida had been jumping the ball all afternoon on these sets. And what do you know, he’s open! But, the ball doesn’t find its way to him. Instead, Kobe cuts from the nearside wing and beats his man to the elbow. A really nice impromptu curl, drive and dish gets Mizzou a big bucket.
We’ll finish up a with a few defensive sets out of the Tigers.
Tigers did a good job here of keeping Florida on the perimeter and shutting down outside looks. When Florida does get a crease, Mizzou is able to recover. Good ball movement by the Gators get the Tigers caught a bit in an over rotation, but Coleman is able to make the slick steal.
Mizzou plays every screen straight up on this possession. Not one switch. This enables their help side defense to be in a strong position and swallow up the dribble drive.
This was a great defensive possession. I share this for no schematic reason other than to show you a great team effort. A major improvement over earlier in the year.
That’s a wrap for this week.
Once again, thanks for reading.