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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Indiana vs. Duke

Indiana and Duke are very different teams. They were both in basically the same situation last night though. One team handled it perfectly and the other did not. You can blame talent and experience, but it is basic basketball knowledge.

The situation
-Both teams up give or take 8 points
-3:30 left in the game
-Both teams use up the full shot clock
-Both teams take a tough shot and get the offensive rebound
-Both teams kick the ball out to an open, good 3-point shooter at the 3-point line

Devon Dumes receives the pass and shoots a 22 foot shot immediately. This is a classic case of not understanding or being aware of time and score. If he hits the shot, it doesn't make a huge difference. If he backs it out and uses another 30 seconds then it would make a huge difference and puts Michigan in a terrible spot. Michigan would rather be down a couple more points than have less time. Time is their biggest enemy.

Dumes takes a bad shot which leads to a quick Michigan basket. It swung the game in a huge way. Indiana never really regained their poise. Indiana was rattled and didn't know how to handle the game pressure. Michigan ended up winning the game in overtime.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Jon Scheyer receives the kick out pass wide open on the 3-point line. Normally, this is an easy shot. Scheyer understands and is aware of the situation though and he backs the ball out immediately. Duke uses up more time and get a bucket after using clock. Davidson is now short on time and in a big hole. Davidson is the one that is pressing now and in a way they are rattled because they are paniced.

Little things make a big difference. Most wouldn't look at those situations as difference makers. Coaches spot those situations as a huge difference maker. It is something that you can absolutely control. Every player should know time and score situational strategy. Younger players will need to be reminded often but college players should know it like the back of their hand.

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