My Take on Why We [uck fay]ing Suck Defensively

Discussion in 'Vols Football' started by LawVol13, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. LawVol13

    LawVol13 Chieftain

    Martin is trying to implement a half-court defense that is intuitive and relies on communication and intelligence. I watched one of his practice videos where he gives the players options on how to handle ball screens. In other words, they can choose on the fly whether to hedge, whether to switch, whether to not hedge and allow the on ball defender to dive below the screen. Tennessee's players are not used to this; I think most really, really good defensive teams most likely run their defense this way; however, those teams haven't spent their entire college career playing Pearl style half-court defense, which goes against normal fundamental principles and doesn't allow for any intuitive decision-making. With him, they either switched every screen or resorted to their "ice" defense which attempted to the screen not allowing the offensive player to use it and forcing him to stay on one side of the floor.

    In other words, we suck because the players are used to gimmick defense and not used to actually communicating and doing things that most fundamentally sound teams do.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  2. volfanjo

    volfanjo Chieftain

    To be fair, the defense Forbes/Pearl employed sort of worked for them the last two years, gimmick or not. The 09 season they were in the Top-60 on a lot of the defensive categories. It slipped last year, but I wouldn't consider defense the core reason for the struggles. Our problem last year was our absolute atrocious half-court sets on offense. I bet we led the nation in letting the shot clock expire. (Of course, the real struggle was inside the locker room and off the court).

    The defense this year isn't very good because they don't rebound well on the defensive end, and, quite frankly, get lazy down the stretch. McBee getting these minutes tells me Cuonzo is trying to show the team that want to is as important as athleticism. I hope the lesson doesn't fall on deaf ears, because I don't think any of us want Skylar trying to guard Doron Lamb later this year..
  3. LawVol13

    LawVol13 Chieftain

    I don't think there is any dispute that we were decent defensively the last two years with Pearl. That doesn't take away the fact that their ball screen defense was gimmicky. Going to a system that is more intuitive is a tough transition.
  4. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Well-Known Member

    It's tough to communicate about switching on screens? Who knew?

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