The Huskies Men’s Basketball team concluded their exhibition schedule last night with a 70-61 win over the Seattle Pacific Falcons.
After watching the game, some familiar tendencies and traits manifested itself from last season which will need to be addressed.
Here are a few quick observations about the team…..
Turnovers Are Still An Issue
Last night, the Huskies surrendered a game high 19 turnovers and taking care of the ball was an issue last season. Often times, the Huskies would make a good stop on defense, only to come down the court and give it right back. The Huskies have a lot of athletic players on team and learning to settle down and run the offense will be important this season. Head Coach Mike Hopkins will need stable play at the point guard position so the team can get into their sets and run the offense efficiently.
Rebounding In the 2-3 Zone
One area that the Huskies want to improve upon this season is their rebounding. Last season, they ranked 12th in the Pac-12 Hopkins said earlier this week. All five guys will have to implore a gang rebound mentality and not cherry pick. When rebounding in the 2-3 zone concept, players are responsible for rebounding their area and must stay at home and help out. Finding a way to limit second chance opportunities and get out in transition will prove essential in helping the Huskies improve their rebounding this season.
The Huskies have some skilled players on offense and often times there seems to be one-on-one bail out basketball going on. Since the Huskies are athletic, opposing defenses will welcome defending one-on-one basketball and limiting the impact of all five guys. Last night, the Huskies only had 6 assists total the entire game which is extremely low. The Huskies need to move the ball around and make the extra pass. It helps open up passing and driving lanes by stretching the floor and creating space which involves all five players.
Another Outside Shooter Will Have To Emerge
In order to get those passing and driving lanes to open up, the Huskies will have to knock down open shots from the outside. By not hitting those shots, opposing defenses will pack the paint and force the Huskies to shoot all day long. Senior forward Dominic Green has been the best pure shooter on the team but who else is going to emerge this season? They need more than just him to be a threat from the perimeter. Coach Hopkins will hope that David Crisp and somebody else will emerge into that role soon and provide a consistent shooting threat.
Cut Off the Baseline
Coach Hopkins version of the 2-3 zone can really stifle opposing offenses but there are ways to attack it as well. Last night, the Huskies were being attacked on the baseline in their zone defense. Seattle Pacific was getting the ball into the paint and purposely running baseline cutters to the hoop, while dumping the ball off to them for layups. The Huskies will have to find a way to mark those baseline cutters once the ball has penetrated into the middle of the zone. It has always been a weak spot in any 2-3 zone defense, and the Huskies will want to find a way to trap and defend that open space.