In today's SloMo Theater, we look at an interesting sequence from the Drury game. There are a lot of things worth noticing here and that just underscores how remarkable coaches are to see it all real time.
First, though Tyler Thornton is in the game, look who's on the ball: freshman Matt Jones (this might be because Thornton picked up some fouls but even so, it underscores the versatility of the team).
Jabari Parker is defending Drury's #24, Cameron Adams, while Tyler Thornton defends Drury's best shooter, #11, Drake Patterson.
As Patterson cuts across the bottom of the court, Adams screens Thornton, who pushes through (this may have been one of the points where Coach K addressed communication, because it didn't look like Parker called it out).
Noticing that Adams has gotten inside of Parker and that Parker is off balance and leaning over Adams, Patterson shoots a pass inside, leading Adams towards the basket. By the time Adams starts to goes up, Parker is a spectator.
Fortunately, though, Amile Jefferson saw the play develop and has come down the lane to help: with both hands raised above his head, he goes up and blocks the shot, thus bailing Parker out of two mistakes: not communicating the screen and not keeping Adams out of the lane: in fact, Adams maneuvered Parker so far behind him that his only defensive options were to foul or simply watch.
Jefferson grabs the blocked shot and gives the ball to Thornton, who brings it up right side. He passes left to Rodney Hood, who goes between his legs, cuts right into the lane and finds Jones all alone in the corner for a three. Concentrating on the lane, Drury leaves young Jones open for an easy three.
It's hard to show a lot from a clip, of course, but you can see some things and what we spotted was this (and in other parts of the game as well): Parker is a tremendous talent, but his defense hasn't caught up with his offense. It's more a question of understanding what's going on than anything else, and that does take time.
What's impressed us in both the clips we've posted so far is the intelligence of Jefferson and the length of his body. You can be 6-8 and not be long, if you follow. Kyle Singler was 6-8 and not particularly long.
In this clip, what impressed us was just how quickly he realized that a scoring opportunity was developing.
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