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Posts of the Day

Posted: Yesterday 11:26 PM

Hey Chris Jones Post Rating (15 votes)

anything bad that was ever said about you is wrong. you are a  freaking beast. we are lucky to have you on this team.
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Posted: Yesterday 11:03 PM

the announcers tonight were perfect Post Rating (5 votes)

they seemed to enjoy the game for what it was. no hyperbole for either side, no UK talk ... they remarked evenly for each side. they surely appreciated the talent of rozier and jones a lot

id take that low key great announcing any any of the week

Last edited Yesterday 11:09 PM by metrodayze

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Posted: Yesterday 11:12 AM

Re: CRP and his "defense first" philosophy Post Rating (11 votes)

Yes, Rick has always been a defense first coach. The difference today is that some coaches are beginning to catch up to the huge advantage a strong defensive team has in the day of the clock and the 3-point line. The game has changed in somewhat predictable ways ever since those rules came into play. Before them, the offense dictated tempo. Now, the defense dictates tempo, which changes the values of various parts of the game--and Rick has been on the forefront of all those changes.

Early in the era od these rule changes, however, most coaches didn't understand the offensive advantage of the shot--in fact the old guard (of which Denny was one) pretty much made zero strategic changes as a result of it. Pitino took full advantage of that, guarded the heck out of the line, and shot a ton of threes, and over achieved. Note, though, that at that time the shot clock was 45 seconds. Intense defense was not yet _the_ major game changer.

Eventually, other coaches started pressing the 3-button more, and Pitino's strategic advantage decreased. Then the clock went to 35 seconds, and everyone's offensive strategies were essentially thrown into the can. You got 15 seconds to run a real offense, then had to break down and find a whatever shot you could. Sure, if you happened to have great shooters, shooting a ton of threes was big advantage, but Pitino was among the first to understand that at 35 seconds, the clock is your sixth defender.

Very few people seem to really get this, even today...though some coaches are catching up, Pitino is still ahead of the game. He understood that referees are only going to call a certain number of fouls per game. He understood that if you make a college team take 15 seconds just to get the ball up the court, you essentially toss out the opponent's offensive strategy and make them go 1-on-1 (hence giving your athletic team a major advantage), and he understood that the emotional energy it takes to deal with physical defenses is alone enough to destroy most college opponents in the last 10 minutes of a game.

You see this in his concept of a press. In the old days, a press was about speeding up the _game_ (creating shorter possessions) and causing turnovers. Today, a press is actually about slowing down the game (creating longer possessions), and speeding up a player in the moment so they don't attack the basket. Sure, you're happy with a turnover, too, but your real purpose in a press is to get a guy going out of control so that it takes several seconds of shot clock to get their offense back into some form of synch. In the old days, your goal was to entice a team into a quick shot, whereas Pitino was the first to get that today's defense is really _designed_ to drive the other team to shoot deep in the clock (because most shots deep in the clock are forced and contested...hence not as likely to go in). The whole goal is to degrade the opponent's shooting percentage by forcing bad and contested shots by giving them less time to find them.

He also seems to understand that great defense rarely takes a night off, whereas even the best shooters will have 5-10 nights a year where they don't fall. If you are an elite defensive team, you're in 100% of the games you play.

I note, also, that the value of defense was increased silently a couple years ago when the three-point line was moved back. Pitino publicly said it wouldn't change anything, but it's clear that pushing that line back has greatly added value to his approach.

All this is a natural result of the three and the clock (with the added social affect of refs not calling fouls). Rick has just always been on the leading edge of the concepts that drive the most success.
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