Question for those that seriously question our Defense

When you notice our defense is bad do you:

  1. Understand what is happening with our offense during that stretch
  2. Understand who the players are on the floor both defensively and offensively
  3. Understand what we need to do with tempo at that point
  4. Or do you simply say, we look better in zone than we do in man?

And my last question:

  1. Do you think Florida could have gone on a run last night with the correct offensive personnel on the floor compared to ours, during an offensive drought, if we were in zone defense?

I think a good coach doesn’t see blue vs. red. I think bad critics do. If you don’t understand that, try to learn what it means.

One of the great things about the advanced statistics like Pomeroy’s is that they are smarter than we are, when you look at the correct statistics accumulated over a long period of time. You just can’t get around “adjusted points per possession”. That statistic simply accounts for everything. Our defense this season is about as bad as it has been since 2002, even during all of these lean years. Just no way around it.

As for what I specifically think is bad … and this is more subjective and harder to “prove”:

  1. We are poor at stopping dribble penetration.
  2. The way we play defense has us in poor defensive rebounding position.

I think those are 2 of the biggest issues.

But I agree with you in that people make rash, dramatic judgments about one particular possession or sequence of possessions in one game. That approach is almost always faulty.

OK I’ll bite.

  1. Yes

  2. Yes

  3. Yes

  4. No (but we do)

  5. Sure they could have, they are a very good team. But I believe the odds of finding ourselves in that big hole would have been minimized had we started out playing zone, or had we switched to zone as soon as it was apparent they were basically scoring at will against our man defense.

And I also believe that success in our final game and any post season games will depend heavily on the amount of zone defense we play.

I’m not a coach but In man defense people shoot layups all the time against us, transition defense gives up layups, we box out very poorly and give tons of open 3’s.

Call it red or blue, but it’s the truth.


False: It doesn’t account for questions which you neglected to answer. I didn’t ask you what specially you thought was bad. I asked 5 specific questions. Questions that Pomeroy can’t account for. It doesn’t account for who’s on the floor, what the tempo is, what the coach is trying to accomplish, or what defense we are in. It also doesn’t account for how our offense improved or worsened during that stretch.

In the first 10 minutes of the game, Florida scored 1.5 points per possession. In the final 30 minutes, Florida scored 1.0 points per possession.

In the first 10 minutes of the game, Arkansas scored 0.6 point per possession. In the final 30 minutes, Arkansas scored 1.1 points per possession.

You see - the problem was concentrated in the first 10 minutes of the game. Arkansas never played great defense, but the Hogs were terrible at the beginning. The last time Arkansas had been truly bad on defense to begin games was the Missouri-Vanderbilt-LSU stretch. Whatever the Porkers had been doing to open those games, I’d hoped they had sealed it in a can and sent it to the Marianas Trench. Behold, it reappeared last night.

It’s not solely defense, though from watching my observation is that the Hogs’ offense thrives on stops + struggles when they’re not getting any.

Red (hog) Blue (gator) was the point. He looks at individually player match ups. Our defense changes based upon who is on the floor, who needs a rest, and who the other team has on the floor. It also changes if we need are getting killed on rebounds, from behind the line, or inside. And, lastly, it changes for tempo.

How many layups did we give up out of the zone last night vs. the man? Who scored the layup and who was the defender? Was the defender in foul trouble? Was our defense (man or zone) set on that lay up of did we bang a 3 on the other end and there was a long rebound and we just happened to be playing man on the previous possession so you say this happened while we were playing man. I don’t think people break down film like MA does to truly understand why the layups are occurring. Pomeroy can’t account for that. I will tell you one thing that we can all agree on, regardless of what defense we play, we struggle to get back quickly, and we struggle to pick up the ball dribbler.

I simply disagree with you. You refuse to accept that our .6 points per possession had a dramatic affect on our ability to set a defense. If we had opened the game in zone I believe UF would still have had 1.5 points per possession.

I would be interested in one stat, that I’m unaware of but maybe you know.

How many minutes in the second half were we in Man, and how many were we in zone? And what were the respective ppp for each team during each of those segments. Pomeroy can’t tell you, but I bet MA can. Our problem last night was our offense which prohibited us to get back on D. Watch the film and tell me if we were in zone it would have made a different. it was 2 on one fast breaks, or 3 on 2 with guys in the corner (THAT A ZONE DOESN’T COVER). I think people pick the stats they want to prove their point, but the proof is in the game film. Break it down. Write down who the defenders were. There is a pattern no doubt, but it’s about 5 things and only one of them is zone/man defense.

yes, yes, yes, no.

First, I’m not in love with a “zone defense”. In fact, if we could play an aggressive man to man defense well, I would strongly prefer that as our primary defense. Over the last 6 games, this particular team and these particular players have proven they play better when they are in this particular zone defense that Mike has constructed. Jimmy, in his post game detailed review, showed the results of these 2 defenses in the Florida game. And, clearly we played better (both offense and defense) while playing in our zone. For your requested detailed specifics, see Jimmy’s “zone vs man to man” breakdown in minutes played and their results.

Also, Mike doesn’t have this team playing a “normal” collapsing zone that dares the opponent to make long outside shots. There are zone defenses and there are zone defenses. Mike has constructed an attacking zone defense and these particular players, this year, play better in it than in Mike’s more complicated man to man.

We have 7 new players, most playing extensive minutes. These particular players on this team, clearly play Mike’s attacking zone very well. These players transition very well from this zone defense to our offense, thus improving both sides of the ball. These players have a good comfort level playing in Mike’s zone defense that they do not have in the more complicated aggressive man to man pressure defense. That comfort level results in improved offense because they are not out of defensive position when transitioning to the offense.

With an experienced group of players, plus the 3 newcomers, this team may become a really good aggressive man to man defensive team next year… They are just not there this year.

You comment is incomprehensible. I said nothing that you claim. I gave you the results. Does failure to score affect the defense? Probably. But Arkansas always struggles to score when it can’t get stops. Maybe the struggling to score has a consequent effect on the defense.

Didn’t last the whole game. Just the beginning. Both things happened. Bad defense, bad offense.

I think you have it covered well in my eyes. It is almost impossible to win a game when the other team gets an easy start and makes 75% of their early shots. Taking the ball out of bounds after a MADE basket slows you down so we had very few outlet passes off of Def Rebounds. Our offense always had to face a set defense on 75% of the possessions.

CMA has stated that our Zone is better against better Guards and that our Man defense is just fine for weak Guards. UF killed us in the open floor in the first game when our press was easy for Hill, Allen and Chiozza to slice through. CMA is the head coach and as you noted he breaks down the film.

With that being said, why would CMA break down the film yet open in Man defense against some of the best guards in the SEC??? They have speed that can blow us away and slice up our press and traps.

Why would he stay in Man Defense until we got too far behind on UF’s Senior night?

Clearly most posters on this site have far more basketball knowledge than. Whether playing zone or man to man, it all appears to be about the same to me. What I do notice is results. It seems to me that Arkansas is usually behind and often far behind after the first 5 to 10 minutes. Therefore, to me that implies at the beginning of most games until the other team has a big lead, we are playing lousy basketball and that needs to be cured.

Thanks, Hog treat. Baffles me too.

I’ll add this. To me, the crux of the matter is that we lack quickness at the guard spot. it is evident by this:

  1. Quick opposing guards easily dart around our slower guard defenders up high, setting up a 5 on 4 situation that these good guards exploit for high percentage shots.
  2. On offense, our guards lack the ability to consistently create their own shots off the dribble.

That being said, our guards are REALLY GOOD at shooting the ball. If we can make quick, crisp passes with good ball movement to an open shooter, we are GOLDEN. But it’s usually only against teams that have relatively slower guards.

Wow. Very impressive. So little information in so many words. And at the same time you are telling anyone that thinks we should be playing more zone we are uninformed.

What impresses me about CMA is that he has won this many games with:
No point guard;
No power forward;
a center that is the closet thing we have to either a point guard or power forward,
a center that is either used like a 3 or cannot be coached to play like a center and is often out of position and in foul trouble;
seems to run few if any set plays;
often telling us the team is not getting it when it took eight months for him to realize that the press was not working, the man on man often wasn’t working, finding that zone works, and then goes right back to what wasn’t working in a big road game at tournament time.
I know Nolan defends Mike by saying he never had a point guard, but that simply is not true. No guard on this team seems as comfortable passing the ball as Trey Thompson. They are all very good 2 guards.
Credit goes to CMA for putting together a good group of players and making it work against many mid-quality teams, several impressively on the road. But I believe this team could be much better by coaching for the last eight months one of these guards to play point, Moses playing center like a center and playing schemes to fit his personnel rather than forcing it the other way around.
These are purely my opinions from a life time of watching basketball and Razorback basketball. They contain specifics and suggestions for improvement, not just questions designed to make others seem uniformed.

I’ll take having no point guard and a coach that doesn’t run set plays if it means we are 2nd in ppg, 3rd in apg, and the lowest topg in the league.

I’ll take a center that is often out of position that is 1st in the league in blocks, and 3rd in the league in rebounds.

Sometime everyone should take a step back and quit looking at the bad and start looking at the good, such as our record.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks for using information instead of weird questions.

that good record was NOT good UNTIL we used more of an active Zone defense while reducing use of the Trapping Man and Press defenses. We won 5 straight games to make the record good.

Hursthawg said it well, if MK would stop running after guards on switches and stayed around the paint he would probably lead the nation in blocked shots. If opposing guards are bombing in the three from all over you’re probably going to lose regardless of the defense. MK in the paint does alter the game inside and changes the way teams can play us. Layups/dunks by 6-9 centers/power forwards will skew defensive stats rather rapidly.

You’re overthinking it. It is really pretty simple. Defense = not letting the other team score. Offense = scoring points. It doesn’t matter what game you’re playing that’s what it boils down to. If the other team is scoring more than you than your defense is bad for that situation, whether it be because of scheme, personnel grouping, or whatever. You let a player continually drive to the whole on you, then your penetration defense is bad. You let one sit out there on the perimeter and bury 3 after 3, then your perimeter defense is bad. For a variety of reasons this year, our defense has been bad in certain games or certain times in the games.

I can tell you that if you let MK get caught out on the perimeter on a guard, the defense in that situation is bad. I can tell you that when the other team has a wide open 3 with nobody in the zip code to contest the shot, someone didn’t do what they were supposed to do and that was a bad defensive possession.

You don’t have to have a doctorate in basketball to see what is bad. I can’t tell you exactly what caused the space shuttle Challenger to blow up, but I can tell you that was BAD!