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Should UK's Offense Go Back To The Future?

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If you've been around awhile like me, you probably remember some of the power teams that Joe B. Hall produced in the 70s and 80s. The 78 national champs won with an imposing inside lineup that included 6-10 Mike Phillips and 6-10 Rick Robey. The 84 Final 4 team featured the "Twin Towers" of 6-11 Melvin Turpin and 7-1 Sam Bowie. Those teams focused on a power style of interior scoring and rebounding. Is that what will lead this UK team to the Promised Land?

Cal's known for his desire to run the Dribble Drive Motion Offense. But in his 4 seasons at UK, he's also shown a willingness to be flexible in his approach in order to get the best results. That may be what's required here, too. Consider the following:

--Against a very tough MSU defense, UK had its best results on the inside and suffered the most on the perimeter. UK made 60% of its 2-point FG attempts but only 20% of its 3-point FG attempts*.

--This ratio is in keeping with its (admittedly short) season to date: UK is hitting 59.5% of its shots from inside the arc, 23rd nationally. However, the Cats are hitting only 26% of their shots from 3, 246th nationally.

--In addition to shooting well inside the arc, the Cats are also hitting the offensive glass extremely well. UK ranks 7th nationally in Offensive Rebound%, grabbing 48% of their misses.

--Finally, UK is getting to the free throw line at an impressive rate. UK's ratio of FTs attempted/FGs attempted (also known as FT Rate) is 72.2%, 12th in the country.

Perhaps it's not a coincidence that when UK made its big run from down 13 to tying the game at 66, they did it without the benefit of any 3-point baskets**.

Now admittedly we're operating on a very small sample size--only 3 games. But with UK struggling from the perimeter and doing so well on the inside--not to mention having arguably the nation's best player in 6-9 250 Julius Randle--maybe going with a power-oriented offense is the way to go. Something to consider as the season progresses.

*--In spite of this disparity, the Cats took 36% of their shots from 3, which speaks to the experience level of this team, many of these players playing in only their 3rd collegiate game.

**--As the play-by-play shows, UK attempted 4 shots from 3 during the comeback, but they all missed. 3 of the 4 were rebounded by UK, with 2 of those possessions culminating in Willie Cauley-Stein shooting FTs and a made tip-in basket by Randle.

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Updated 11-15-2013 at 01:33 PM by Darrell KSR

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  1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
    Need some Joe B. Hall "don't let the guards shoot" coaching, perhaps? .

    Good article, BEvans!