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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Strange Championship Game

Connecticut versus Butler.
Dogs versus dogs.
Correct season(#9 in Big East standings) versus correct season(13-5 in conference play)
A #3 seed versus a #8 seed.

What can we expect from that game?

Well, for a lot of people, that was one of the most horrible National Championship Game of all time. For coaches, maybe you did not see the execution you would’ve like to. For Kemba fans, you were happy he won MOP Trophy, but he didn’t have an incredible night. But for an analyst, a hardcore hoop-junkie or a defense militant, you had a real good time watching that game, and you watched it over and over again.

Shot were definitely not falling for both of these teams, but they had the shot they wanted most of the time. From a Butler standpoint, the execution was just awesome… Now it’s too easy to say: `` Why did they feed their bigs first on most possessions? That big white guy couldn’t make a single lay-up``.

Well, I will leave that up to Coach Stevens.
However, Butler got a lot of quality looks to the rack, against a ridiculously superior team in terms of size, strength and athleticism. UConn also had way more pure talent.
When you look at the Bulldogs defense, words that come to mind are solid, physical, communication and collective effort. Every defender is on the same page. If you still don’t know what I am talking about, just look at their out-of-bounds defense. It’s perfect. They didn’t get scored of the Huskies’ first out-of-bounds (under the basket) option a single time ; UConn are known for having great stack baseline out-of-bounds plays, and scoring right away.

We thought Kemba and Lamb couldn’t be matched up: wrong.
We thought UConn would destroy Butler from the inside: wrong.

If we look at Calhoun’ squad, they had a remarkable run to the Championship, and congratulations to them. They had great defensive possessions, they ran their sets the way they wanted (except for the fact that Butler were too physical at times). They just couldn’t execute most of their out-of-bounds plays.

The offensive end:
• Butler used a lot of last year’ sets. In addition to post their big guys up, Coach S tried to get Shelvin Mack involved a lot on the perimeter. One sad thing is that Matt Howard never really got started. His refreshing perimeter pop-game could’ve made the difference, but the lack of post-ups did not help the Bulldogs. However, both thumbs up to Butler’s rebounding, winning the offensive battle 20 to 17 !
• Connecticut’s plays were versatile: at one time, they will try to give their big post-ups; at other times, they will spend all 24 seconds trying to get Kemba Walker a shot. Coming out of screens, the Huskies struggled to match Butler’s physical play, plus(+) Butler’ switching defense didn’t help them with the number of screens the Huskies set.

Finally, that game was fun to watch, and analyze. The next 26 plays are the ones both teams ran during the Final Game. They did not score on every one of them, but like I said, both Butler and UConn had good looks to the basket. Even if the defensive end was incredible, we cannot ignore the fact that the offensive performance was very poor. At times, Butler/UConn looked like they only relied on their pick-and-roll isolation game to score.  for the whole analysis.         follow us!

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