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Username Post: Offensive Flow Concern        (Topic#13158)
SDQ 
Freshman
Posts: 24

Age: 57
Reg: 12-07-09
02-24-12 11:05 AM - Post#121923    

I am experiencing some concern about our offensive flow. The last game with good flow throughout was the Lafayette game at home. We had decent flow/movement in the Lehigh game, but it was inconsistent. In HC & American games, there was an excess of standing & looking to force the ball into Mike.
To win the PL tourny & have any chance in postseason play, we have to get back to a more ball movement & flow. Otherwise, we're too predicatble & easy to defend.

 
Bison137 
Professor
Posts: 9990
Bison137
Reg: 01-23-06
02-24-12 12:00 PM - Post#121929    
    In response to SDQ

Beyond offensive flow, I'd add a few other things:

- Need BC to generate some offense. When he was hitting his outside shots and effectively penetrating - which lasted from the first Colgate game (PL game 2) through the Lafayette game you mention (PL game 10) - that may have been BU's best offensive run of the season - and BC had a lot to do with it.

- Cameron Ayers, imo, needs to be more aggressive in seeking out shots. He is capable of creating his own offense but at times, particularly lately, he seems to be too unselfish - just trying to fit in as opposed to creating. He has only taken more than 10 shots three times this year - and two of those were in November.

- I'd like to see more use of Willman on offense. JW has good post moves and almost never draws a double team, both because of his passing skills and because teams don't dare leave Muscala in a position where he might end up cutting to the baskeet without a help defender nearby.

- In rexcent games, we've seen very little of Hill or Kaspar penetrating and either scoring, drawing a foul, or dishing off to a big man. I almost wonder if Kaspar is reluctant to drive for fear of having to go to the line.

In any event, I agree that the offense - other than MM - has not been playing at the level that it was for several periods of time earlier in the year.




 
Doktore K 
Senior
Posts: 323

Reg: 11-11-09
02-24-12 01:48 PM - Post#121938    
    In response to Bison137

Agreed.

Our point guards had 0 points vs. AU, not counting anything CA did while at the point. Our PG's need to be somewhat of a threat from the outside or drive to the hoop. One or the other would help open up the offense.

Several players seem to be playing it too safe.




 
mattie g 
Masters Student
Posts: 430

Reg: 03-21-06
02-25-12 10:45 AM - Post#122161    
    In response to Doktore K

  • Doktore K Said:
Agreed.

Our point guards had 0 points vs. AU, not counting anything CA did while at the point. Our PG's need to be somewhat of a threat from the outside or drive to the hoop. One or the other would help open up the offense.

Several players seem to be playing it too safe.




I mentioned something similar in the American game thread. There were times when the guards had a chance to drive to the basket or - more regularly - take a pretty open mid-range jumper. But they seem to lack confidence, or are instructed to get the ball down low before anything else.

If the ball handlers could pop a few mid-ranger jumpers off the dribble, it would really open things up. And if they were confident enough to take the ball to the basket (as Kaspar has proven he can do), then our offensive options would be that much greater.


 
MrPhillie 
PhD Student
Posts: 1007
MrPhillie
Loc: NE PA
Reg: 07-14-08
02-25-12 11:27 AM - Post#122165    
    In response to mattie g

Just my three cents, but it seems that Bucknell has had nearly as many "ugly" wins as "pretty" wins, with many of their losses being the "ugly" type as well. Perhaps this is just the kind of offense we have.

I suggested earlier in the season that Bryan Cohen has to be a bigger and more consistent offensive threat for this team to be its best. Many replied that any offense BC generates is "gravy" because his role is to play tough defense on the opponent's best player. It was said that we have enough offense to allow Bryan to concentrate on his defense. My thought then, as it is now, is that yes, defense is his biggest contribution, but that he also has to provide offense. Other than Mike, this team does not have consistent 15-20+ point threats. We need contribution from all players. I do not think it was simply coincidence that some of the best offense this team played all season was when BC was shooting a higher % and scoring points.

Now, I am in now way saying the offensive struggles lie totally at the feet of Bryan. Certainly there are other factors such as inconsistent shooting, inconsistent PG play, lack of ability to penetrate and create consistently, and perhaps even confidence issues. But I also agree that Willman is not used enough in the low post. He has some decent moves but he is almost exclusively a mid-range jump shooter, as evidenced by his 39 FT attempts, the lowest number of the top six scorers. Also, Fitz could be used more on offense. He is shooting 61% from the floor and 81% from the line. Yes it is a smaller sample size, but he is effective when given a chance.

 
HuskyColonial 
Senior
Posts: 367

Age: 41
Reg: 02-17-12
02-26-12 07:37 AM - Post#122483    
    In response to MrPhillie

One of my concerns with the offense is exhaustion from playing man defense so much. Firstly, while playing man will keep us competitive with low and mid major programs, this team already has some key offensive players who can't play defense well. More athletic teams would have to have a very poor shooting night for us to be competitive. Secondly, as I started this post, man defense wears on players especially when this team does not play as deep into the bench anymore.

I'm not certain why there is a reluctance from Paulsen to go with more zone defenses however if changes aren't made, blow outs versus top tier programs and worn out players will continue.

 
bison63 
Postdoc
Posts: 2172

Reg: 01-23-06
02-26-12 07:59 AM - Post#122489    
    In response to HuskyColonial

As a lot of us have stated before, the idea that BU cannot beat BCS teams with a m2m is pretty widespread on this board, but the more immediate concern is getting to the dance at all. Based on the play in the past 4 games, a semi-final exit in the PL tourney is a real possibility. Hopefully the Bison regain the shooting touch.


 
HuskyColonial 
Senior
Posts: 367

Age: 41
Reg: 02-17-12
02-26-12 09:38 AM - Post#122506    
    In response to bison63

Well said.

As for the PL tournament, if guys can simply start making open shots, our offense would improve dramatically. As long as other teams feel the only guy on the court who can hurt them is MM, it will be tough sledding.

 
HoleinOne 
Senior
Posts: 327

Reg: 02-15-09
02-26-12 10:20 AM - Post#122515    
    In response to HuskyColonial

63 and Husky-you both net out the current situation well. Paulsen's jump shooting scheme usually effective, but unfortunately, this is the ONLY offense. Most coaches will double Moose and take their chances on the shooters. With the refs that seem to populate Patriot League games, who knows what they will call (or not). Same to be said for defense. 99% man to man that has issues against teams that run their plays through a series of picks. Gets men open and puts additional presure on Moose. The old Ralph Willard Holy Cross offense would have been very effective against current Paulsen defense.

Based on the current players and recruits, we need to hope Moose doesn't get tired and that the 3's fall. Still believe we have best team in Patriot League but wish we weren't so predictable on both ends. Doubtful anything will change soon.

 
MrPhillie 
PhD Student
Posts: 1007
MrPhillie
Loc: NE PA
Reg: 07-14-08
02-26-12 02:06 PM - Post#122572    
    In response to HoleinOne

Judging by the last 4-5 games in particular, if MM gets injured or has a poor shooting night, it seems almost impossible for the Bison to get to The Dance. If you look around Div. I basketball, it seems to me that it is a rare occurrence for the top team in the league to have such trouble with a win less league team that is 3-25. Especially if the top team was at home....on Senior night. I've heard the expression,s "win ugly", or "not a pretty win" used far too often this season by DP. While I'm obviously glad for a win, whatever happened to looking impressive while winning? When and why did Bucknell become this ugly kind of team? Most fans and coaches seem to think that the Bison have very good talent, so why all of the ugliness?

 
SDQ 
Freshman
Posts: 24

Age: 57
Reg: 12-07-09
Re: Offensive Flow Concern
02-26-12 04:36 PM - Post#122612    
    In response to SDQ

Three recent examples of what kind of ball movement/flow we need; all came through Mike:

-first was his kickout to Bryson for the big 3 against American.
-second was his kickout/touch pass to Ben for a corner 3 against Navy.
-third was his pass out of the right mid post to Joe cutting down the middle for a layup against Navy.

We do a few of these each game & it will go a long way toward getting our movement/flow back to where it needs to be, while getting others clean looks. It will also make Mike's life a lot easier when he passes out, as it will make teams rethink how much they double him.

NB-this should be the coach's insistence.

 
HuskyColonial 
Senior
Posts: 367

Age: 41
Reg: 02-17-12
Re: Offensive Flow Concern
02-27-12 10:13 AM - Post#122684    
    In response to SDQ

To sum this up, it seems like our biggest offensive threats right now are also our biggest defensive liabilities. BB and BJ are our most effective threats right now and neither can play a lick with D any kind of consistency. However playing 99% man rather than hiding their deficiencies makes them liabilities on the other end of the court.

I offer these observations for success given Paulsen is unlikely to take advice from anyone on this board.

- Cameron has to step up in the PL tournament and beyond. He's our second best player and he disappears. In my opinion, he has the nicest mid range jumper in the PL and has shown the ability to create that shot for himself.

- Kasper needs to play PG over Hill and somehow find a way to achieve Shaq numbers at the FT line. While we are all pleased with Hill's better play, he has now reached only average status relative to other League PG's. Kasper can be above average.

- B.J. must make some early 3's to help keep teams more honest on MM. Finding his zone with 8 minutes left in the 2nd half will not cut it.

If these three things can happen, our systemic woes should be overcome enough to go to the title game.



Edited by HuskyColonial on 02-27-12 10:14 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
bison63 
Postdoc
Posts: 2172

Reg: 01-23-06
02-27-12 11:30 AM - Post#122697    
    In response to HuskyColonial

Some interesting points. It certainly IS unlikely that DP would take advice from anybody on this board, and it also would probably not be wise to make wholesale changes right now at this late juncture.

Agree about Cameron, in fact him coming back into form could turn the trick all by itself.

BJ is what he is, and is more likely than not to start out cold (though not always), so do not hold your breath waiting a hot start from him. Would be nice though.

Most on this board seem to be a lot higher on Kaspar than I am. He has strengths, but significant liabilities and I'll leave it at that.

Obviously this team has not recovered from the loss of Shazier, but I think overlooked is the impact of the loss of GW Boon. As 6th man, when games did not start out well, he came in time and again and turned the tide.

BTW, slow starts have been a hallmark of the Paulsen era going back to year 1 and ever since. I do not know what to attribute that to. It can't be the system. In year 1 we could not overcome those starts, which led to discussions on the board about playing a good second half, but having just dug too deep a hole.

This team can overcome a slow start vs much PL opposition, but not against stronger competition. And as we saw vs HC, if we dig too deep a hole we are not safe even in conference.

I am hoping for the best, I expect us to win the PL tourney, but at the same time this team is no lock to even get to the championship game.



 
BisonKid 
Sophomore
Posts: 129

Reg: 01-26-06
02-27-12 11:50 AM - Post#122709    
    In response to bison63

Muscala is a stud and the key to our success in the post season. My concern is that he gets worn out over the next few games leading to the Patriot League Championship so we'll end up loosing to Lehigh. This is not necessarily a bad thing since an NCAA bid will likely lead to another embarrassing loss to a #1 or #2 seed. We can't match up with the BCS teams given our lack of talent and Paulson refusal to play zone defense. I would much prefer an NIT game against a mid-tier Big East or ACC team that offers us a chance to win and avoids the public humiliation of the NCAA stage. Sounds wierd, I know, but just my thoughts.

 
baudolino 
Masters Student
Posts: 519
baudolino
Loc: The bubble
Reg: 10-24-07
Re: Offensive Flow Concern
02-27-12 12:03 PM - Post#122711    
    In response to HuskyColonial

  • HuskyColonial Said:
To sum this up, it seems like our biggest offensive threats right now are also our biggest defensive liabilities. BB and BJ are our most effective threats right now and neither can play a lick with D any kind of consistency. However playing 99% man rather than hiding their deficiencies makes them liabilities on the other end of the court.


I agree; I was thinking the same thing a couple of days ago. However, I resolved this "paradox" by figuring out that if they get 3 points and only allow 2, it works out. Big if, I know.

 
bison63 
Postdoc
Posts: 2172

Reg: 01-23-06
02-27-12 02:38 PM - Post#122762    
    In response to BisonKid

  • BisonKid Said:
Muscala is a stud and the key to our success in the post season. My concern is that he gets worn out over the next few games leading to the Patriot League Championship so we'll end up loosing to Lehigh. This is not necessarily a bad thing since an NCAA bid will likely lead to another embarrassing loss to a #1 or #2 seed. We can't match up with the BCS teams given our lack of talent and Paulson refusal to play zone defense. I would much prefer an NIT game against a mid-tier Big East or ACC team that offers us a chance to win and avoids the public humiliation of the NCAA stage. Sounds wierd, I know, but just my thoughts.



It's funny you say that re: the NIT. Back in the days of 2005 and 2006 I conjectured to myself that maybe an NIT bid would not be the worst thing because we would have a chance to go deep, or even think about winning.

But that was then and this is now. I suspect this team goes out in round 1 no matter which post season tourney we are in. Still beats not getting in at all. And prior to 2005, getting there was the most that anyone expected. Winning tournament games is not the norm for a PL team. But for a few years the stars aligned perfectly. Right coach, right players, right system.

 
HoleinOne 
Senior
Posts: 327

Reg: 02-15-09
02-27-12 06:46 PM - Post#122809    
    In response to bison63

Hate to say it, but before NCAA's of 2005-06, knowledge of Bucknell outside of the NE was limited. All the bracket reviews and March Madness pubs changed that. Don't see much difference in our ability to go deep in either tournament so hope for NCAA's and potential help in would provide in recruiting.

 
SDQ 
Freshman
Posts: 24

Age: 57
Reg: 12-07-09
Re: Offensive Flow Concern
03-01-12 01:17 PM - Post#123194    
    In response to SDQ

Last night showed the way to move the ball. We had good flow/movement. This was also a good confidence builder & shows we are not a one man team. This is the style we need to continue.

 
MrPhillie 
PhD Student
Posts: 1007
MrPhillie
Loc: NE PA
Reg: 07-14-08
03-01-12 03:52 PM - Post#123227    
    In response to SDQ

Definitely agree that the ball movement was better and the overall flow was much improved. Of course, shots were falling at a very high percentage, so that might skew the appearance. Was it good flow that allowed for the higher % or does the high shooting % make the flow appear better? Hill, Kaspar, and Ayers all had decent assist totals, but again, that will happen when guys are making shots.

I will say that I like the way that Kaspar is always looking to make a play, more so than the other PG's. He made some nice skip passes and kick-outs off baseline drives. He doesn't just make the obvious pass. He hit Muscala in the face with a pass that he wasn't ready for (plus, Steven may have had a bit too much speed on the pass).

And while this offensive effort showed obvious improvement, it becomes much more difficult when teams pressure the ball more and have quicker, athletic defenders. If guys cannot get a little separation from their defenders, then the flow comes to a halt.

 
SDQ 
Freshman
Posts: 24

Age: 57
Reg: 12-07-09
03-01-12 04:16 PM - Post#123233    
    In response to MrPhillie

Was it good flow that allowed for the higher % or does the high shooting % make the flow appear better? Hill, Kaspar, and Ayers all had decent assist totals, but again, that will happen when guys are making shots.
_________________________ _________________________

They're both a function of each other. If the ball moves, the results will follow.


 
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