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Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Cutting to get open against tough defense is a fundamental of offense. Every player must be able to get open by himself. Some of the keys to getting open to receive the ball one on one are changing your pace. That means you burst or explode into your cut. A second key is change of direction. Most players will try to change direction as their only option and they will start "dancing" to get open which leads to nothing or worse a turnover. To change direction correctly you must make full cuts to the basket. Yet another option is to use angles and your body in a way that is similar to posting up but then releasing to the perimeter to catch the basketball.

To get open using a screen it takes basically the same concepts. Jodie Meeks is the best in college basketball away from the ball. He sets up his cuts while changing his pace and really exploding off the screen. Players like Reggie Miller and Richard Hamilton in the NBA have made livings off being the best at using screens. You do not need to be a great athlete to get open against a great defender. It is about being smart, reading the defender, and using all your weapons to get open.

Tourney Time

The brackets are out as everyone knows which starts the debate on who should have been included and who should have been excluded. I think there are a few better options for the tournament than the current system.

One option is to get rid of all the automatic bids. That includes regular season conference winners and tournament winners. That would let the committee pick the true 64 best teams. This would not necessarily hurt the small conference teams especially for the mid-major and smaller teams that lose in their conference tournament. Conference tournaments do not prove who the best team in the conference is. If the committee can pick the 34 best at-large selections then they should be able to pick the best 64 teams in the country. This is the argument Jay Bilas (pictured)makes for the tournament.

A second option is Bob Knight's argument. He wants to double the size of the field to 128. It is 1 extra game to win the tournament and anyone who has the smallest chance of winning the tournament is included. 128 seems a little too many to me although it does just add one game. If the 129th team is complaining then they are just being ridiculous.

I like Jay Bilas' suggestion a little bit better than Bob Knight's although I would take either over the current system. Creighton and San Diego State both need to be in this tournament. All the 16 seeds do not need to be playing in a tournament for the national championship. This tournament is to decide the national title. It is like including a D-2 team in the BCS system for football. They do not belong...period.