On our last possession

…other than the “hail Mary” at the buzzer…

WHY did we go with the almost-never-works rope-a-dope with JD dribbling the ball just past the half-court line until about 7 or 8 seconds to go and then throwing up a panic sideways jumping 3 from the wing with 5 seconds left?

Not a particularly good possession IF the game were tied. But a foolhardy one when you’re behind by a point! Note that I’m not upset that JD had the ball in his hands. But when you’re down by 1, you have to go much sooner, in case you DON’T score, so you can foul and actually have enough time on the clock to get off a shot that has a reasonable chance of going in.

It didn’t look like Notae made any real attempt to penetrate and either score, get fouled, or draw attention to himself and dish to an open teammate - that’s what we needed. But whether it was him or someone else, that shot needed to go up with 10-12 seconds left to play.

I don’t know if this is a Muss thing or what…but for all the good things he has our team doing, the late-game rope-a-dope is NOT one of them. IMO we consistently wait too late. And while you don’t want - in many situations - to shoot with much time on the play clock (although, as described above, this was NOT one of those situations), when you start late and nothing is open immediately, you end up with a much worse shot than you could have had earlier in the clock. That last shot of Notae’s had maybe a 5% chance of going in given the way he shot it and the the angle we had taken .

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The answer is that he leads the SEC in scoring and should have been fresh. I disagree with 10 to 12 seconds. I’ve always heard 6-7-8 to give you a chance for a put-back. I have never heard a coach say get the shot up with 10 or 12 (your quote). Ever. I have listened to a lot of coaches describe what they want, never ahead of 10 seconds with the shot. Nolan would say 6 or 7. That’s actually a lot of time. Earlier than that and you make it, the other team has plenty of time left. But maybe I’m wrong.


Well…I’d rather have a 1 point lead and the other team have the ball with 9-10 seconds left than for us to have the ball and 1 point behind with less time than that left. And the bigger issue is that when we wait until 8 seconds to start…from just across half court…we all too often end up with a TERRIBLE shot (or turnover) as we did today.

I’m not mad - just frustrated. The team played hard and made a nice comeback against a good (if somewhat over-rated, IMO) team in a hostile environment. And they’ve had some nice wins recently. But for all the good things JD can do, this highlights how badly this team misses not having an alpha POINT GUARD for situations just like this. Shooting a sideways running 3 from a severe angle has basically NO chance of going in. And that’s the BEST shot we could get with 20+ seconds on the clock when we crossed midcourt? I’d like to think not. If you’re going to milk the game clock down and truly play for a kill shot at the end, you’d better hope you can get something better…and maybe some penetration for a foul, layup or kickout.

I’m not mad either, but I have heard a lot of coaches explain why they wait until that point. You go early and make it and the other team has still got a chance to beat you. Why do that. It’s like scoring too early against Mississippi State in football.

All I’ve ever heard at HS or watching college ball. I sure wish he would have gone into overdrive and drive in.

We are not good at having a set play for these type situations. Whether its game end or shot clock low on time. It’s like we just wing it.

I’d still rather have the pressure on THEM than on us; I’d rather be the team ahead and have the other team with very little time and having to make a shot. Your odds are better.

PLUS - if you go even 2 or 3 seconds earlier, you give yourself an opportunity IF your shot fails. As it was, we did have “a shot”. But with 3.5 seconds (or whatever it was…that’s close), pretty much all you can do is run to half court and uncork a prayer. If you shoot at 10-12, miss, you first have a chance for an offensive board. If that fails, then you play the foul game (what we did today), and instead of 3-4 seconds, you have maybe 6 or 7 and a puncher’s chance to get the ball up and make a pass to someone with a 15-20 footer to win/tie.

I just think it’s the better play…unless you have a Corliss Williamson to get the ball to, and a Corey Beck that can consistently get it to him. This team doesn’t have that kind of consistent scoring threat, and you know teams are going to double/triple JD in that situation.

I’ve never been a fan of the one dribbling 4 watching sequence at the end of the game because everybody pretty much knows who’s going to shoot the ball.I would have liked to see us run a motion weave type offense and tried to pick somebody wide open around the basket for a much higher percentage shot. I pretty much knew he was going to have to force something by the way it was looking


As to my point about having JD drive and try to score, get fouled, or dish…Muss concurs.

From his post-game presser:

“Probably something going to the basket or driving and kicking,” said Musselman. “Certainly had the leading scorer in the league with the ball in the hands. And he wasn’t tired. He only played 3.5 minutes in the first half. He’s got great confidence and just took a shot that you really don’t want to finish the game on. You try to put pressure on the defense by getting into the teeth of the defense. We’ve done such a great job all year of getting free throws attempted. So, would like a more aggressive to-the-rim play than that. Because we didn’t need a three. We were just fine getting a two or two FTAs.”

The pressure was on Bama twice and both times they went to Gurley and it worked he made the same shot twice.
There are a number of play that could have been made in this game that could have made a difference.
Free throws, not getting a layup to go or the foul called inside, the review where Deco threw the ball off the Bama player and the T that was called on Toney.
Or how about Notae being smart and not picking up 2 fouls before he broke a sweat. It’s over our hogs got humbled a bit they need to win at Missouri no east task.

Good for him. That doesn’t mean he’s going to make every shot he takes.

I still say - I’d rather be the team with the 1 point lead with 10 seconds to go than the team with the 1-point deficit. And I’d like to have a second chance (to win or tie) if my shot does not go in.

That’s the way I see it. I accept that others see it differently, but that’s my view.

We KNOW it’s not the shot you want but he did not object to when he took it. He wants the ball in his hands. The timing was not off. Muss was not taking it out of his hands, either.

Eric often instructs JD or whoever has the ball late to begin their attack with 11-12 seconds left on the shot clock/game clock. Usually provides enough time for a putback or second-chance bucket, and also another offensive possession if your shot winds up missing and you have to foul to extend the game.

Didn’t say he should have “taken it out of his hands” (in fact, if you check up above I said the opposite), so don’t know why you inserted that response…not relevant to my point. What Muss DID say is that he should have tried to penetrate, score/dish/get fouled, as I stated also above.

But I think the primary disagreement with your original post is shoot with 10-12 secs left. If you think you can make it with 10-12 secs then you should think you can make it with 5-6 secs, if missed time for a rebound. But I agree would have preferred a drive in the lane, make a shot or at least get fouled.

That was a terrible possession, not team ball at all. Bama had been defending him very well all game, it was no surprise that that didn’t work well. Fitting end to a poor offensive showing all day.


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The Tide switched a lot to cover JD in double teams.

Bama kept switching back and forth defenses from man to box 1 zone. But JD was covered man to man all the way. Box 1 allows that with dbl teams to. But leaves somebody open. JD has to recognize that.
He gonna see more of it

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There are some scenarios where you get your shot with six seconds left, but being down 1 point is not one of them. You go with 10 seconds or more! Leave yourself time for a put back opportunity or worst case scenario time to send the other team to the free throw line and still have time for a last opportunity to tie with a three. I get that you don’t want the other team to have time left to have the last shot in the game, but if you are losing it doesn’t matter. Having to play defense with a 1 or 2 point lead for 8 or 9 seconds is definitely not the worst outcome in that situation. The main thing is you attack! Put the defense on their heels. Find a path to the basket, draw a foul, find an open shooter to pass out to, or if here is absolutely nothing there on the penetration there is still time to pull it back out for a deep step back three. We could’ve done all that and still had time left to jack up our terrible fade away 30 footer in the end. We couldn’t have drawn it up any worse. Which brings up another point. Were we out of time outs? Seems like a pretty good time to draw something up. Don’t see how that could give the defense an advantage at all.

All that being said, when you’re down by 1 under 30 seconds, a lot can go wrong. And none of that was what lost us the game. Missing a billion layups just killed us. We couldn’t buy a bucket in the paint. I love Toney. I think a lot of times he is truly our glue guy, the most unsung double double machine in the conference. But today he cost us that game way more than notaes last shot


Off night for Toney. He missed 5 layups and 2 dunks.