# On our last possession

We made a good run to take the lead. We had our opportunity to win the game. Considering the foul trouble, it was a competitive game despite our leading scorers not shooting. good enough to win the game. Our defense and rebounding were good enough to win most games. However, when your shooting guards can not shoot 30%, then you have problems.

Inconsistent play by our players has been a weakness of this team. You never know whether Umude or Toney will have a 20/8 game or a shoot 8+

He had Jay will wide open at the top of the key and Jay will had his hands up wanting the ball and you could tell when JD shot the ball he just raised his hands up like I’m wide open man. I’m sure they will be some discussions about that

3 Likes

Team and coaching seemed understandably tired today.

Was a trap game.

Coaches were as exhausted as players that last minute and possession and it showed.

Re group and start another win streak and make 34th tourney.

Glad to see I’m not the only one who sees this.

Of course, I respect the opinions of great coaches of the past. But let’s all remember that until the last few years, the ONLY time you’d see a coach go for 4th and 2 from midfield was with 2 minutes left in the game when he was losing. We all know now that there are many other times when it is to your advantage to try and convert on 4th down - and any stage of the game.

In this case, it is pretty simple. Here is a chart/calculator that shows what your probability of winning a basketball game at any time, with any lead/deficit, with our without possession. And it shows that if you are down by 1 with 20 seconds to go in the game, and you have the ball, your chances of winning are 38.5%. At 12 seconds, it is 36.1%, and at 7 (the midpoint of “6 to 8 seconds”, as per Clay’s comment), it falls to 30.8%. Why? For all the reasons Dogen and I have explained.

IF you make a shot with 20 seconds to go that puts you up by 1 instead of down by 1, your odds of winning instantly flip from 38.5% to 61.5%. Sure, I’d like to make a buzzer beater to win the game in walk-off fashion, but the main thing when you have the ball late in the game and you are down by one is to score WHENEVER YOU CAN. You can never assume that you can score at a moment of your choosing, and so pass up an earlier chance to get the lead.

Think about a similar situation in football. You’re down by 4 (i.e., need a TD and not a FG) in the final minute. It’s a game like the Mizzou game last year where they are shredding your defense, and you know if you leave 40 seconds on the clock, they may be able to go down and recapture the lead. But it’s first and goal on their 2 yard line with 50 seconds to go. Do you take a knee a couple of times, forcing them to burn timeouts (if they have them) or running the clock down to - say - 10 seconds for 3rd and goal from the 2 (assuming you have another timeout to stop the clock if you fail to score on 3rd down)? NO - you don’t. You HAVE to try and score when you can, because you can’t be sure it won’t take all 4 downs to punch it in. You might get an illegal procedure penalty and move the ball back to the 7 from which a score is not certain. And having the lead in the final minute is ALWAYS better than being behind at that time, so you have to score if you can on first down. And if you fail, then you try again on 2nd, etc.

In similar fashion, if JD had started to penetrate with 18 seconds to go and he found a path to the basket for a lay-up with 16 seconds, would you want him to NOT take it? Of course not. Because if he failed to, there is no guarantee that we would have an equally good chance to score at any time during the remainder of the game. And - again - it’s better to have a 62.1% chance of winning (per table, with 1 point lead and 16 seconds to go) than it is to have a 37.9% chance (odds if behind at that same time).

I will, once again, acknowledge that ALL games are not the same in this regard. If the Arkansas teams involved were the Scotty/Corliss or May-Day and Big “O” teams, it’s a little different because of all the options we had on offense in which we might have a decided advantage that could skew those odds somewhat. I do get that. But, we don’t have anything like that on this team…in fact, I’d argue that with our shooting percentage as a whole being so mediocre, it would support going for it sooner than later even moreso…so you go with the table.

And the table says that the longer you wait to make your move (behind by 1, with the ball), the lower your chances of winning.

1 Like

Checking around today, Nolan’s teams started at the basket when behind by 1 with 12-15 seconds left. Tied, he wanted it later. Two head coaches who have had teams in the NCAA tournament said there plan was always to go at 10 seconds when down by 1 point. And, all said one thing that I had not heard, you prefer a shot from straight on – it has a chance to bank in. Those from the side don’t bank in nearly as much. And, a straight on shot generally comes off in a better chance for an offensive rebound. But that part is not nearly as important as the time.

Nolan’s instructions never included “this guy will shoot it.” It was always, “this guy will start with the ball, but any open man can take the last shot.” He thought your best guy was likely to be double teamed and there be an open man with a good look. Of course, if he had four good shooters on the floor like 94 and 95, it didn’t matter who took the last shot.

1 Like

I will preference my thoughts by saying - had Notae made the shot not much would have been said about the end of the game. Also my thoughts and opinions are based solely on a fan perspective.

However, I’ve seen the same play prior to halftime in many games prior with similar results. I would like to see the offense initiate motion (run a play) to throw the defense off around the 10-12 second mark. One person just dribble the ball by while the other four stand and watch. I believe this give the defense an advantage because it doesn’t take a lot of effort to cover their guy and cut off passing lanes.

That being said I’m sure there’s a itty bitty league coach out there that can explain why running a play wouldn’t make any sense.

While I concur with this, I prefer to have a defined set play, so everyone is on the same page, with a #2 guy define if #1 has a problem. I feel we give the ball to Notae asking him to make something happen - against better athletes (and at their place) it’s too easy to guard Notae. Of course, we had someone else open.

I said this in another thread. I know many probably won’t agree, but in my opinion after rewatching the game, I would have let Chris Lykes bring the ball up, and had a double or triple screen to free up Notae. I think that would have been a better plan, everyone knew Notae was getting the ball and was going to shoot no matter what, including all the Bama players

Never have been a fan of one man out front dribbling in four others around the perimeter because the defense automatically has blocked out position if they’re doing their job. I would think running motion and setting pics would get somebody open a lot easier than just sitting there watching one person dribble and then throw up a shot but amazingly a lot of teams put the ball in the hands of their best player and let the chips fall where they may.

1 Like

Thanks Clay. I appreciate your integrity, accountability and professionalism in re-thinking your response to my OP. Most with your credibility and influence would have either ignored further discussion and/or dug in their heels and doubled down on their initial response. You, however, did more objective research and reversed field when what you found out aligned with my thoughts rather than your own.

I am aware that you don’t need someone like me to tell you that you have integrity, etc…but I do appreciate and respect it, and wanted to so state.

Did you even play BB or any sport, mercy.

Maybe the typing team.

Easy, 339. You wouldn’t want to be compared to Swine for your soapbox position.

While I didn’t like the last possession the TO at mid court by Notae was more damaging ! There were so many plays and mistake that could have flipped the outcome of this game.
The most glaring thing that happened was Notae picking up 2 fouls in less than 4 minutes in the first half that sent him to the bench to watch!
Nothing else really mattered.
Our hogs lost as a team!

Had Notae made that 3 pointer, we’d all be singing his praise. He knows he blew it. Learn from it and move on. Down by 1, drive to the basket and either score, get fouled, or dish to someone else who is open, that’s what the coach wanted. Didn’t get it. Coaching moment.

2 Likes

I hope they learn from it but I see some trends with this team that I know Coach Muss is coaching otherwise and they just keep doing it.

With that said, so many other opportunities to win this game. We didn’t play well down low. Too many missed put backs.

There is a difference in going at 10 and getting a shot up at 10. Listen this spring as they are interviewed - shoot with enough time for a put-back. Note that with a TO opponents only need 3 seconds or so to get the ball past half-court for an inbound-catch, set, and shoot, maybe even with one dribble.

And I absolutely love that Muss wants his players to be coached up on how to execute down the end so that a TO doesn’t give the defense a chance to regroup.

Of course, I wanted a dribble penetration by JD and the two defenders gave him a small window to do that, but it was late in the clock by that time.

Good analysis. Thanks for posting this.

This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.