Keeping Kyle Wiltjer out of Pick and Roll’s
Last night, Coach Cal saw the light and figured out a way to do something to keep Kyle out of pick and roll situations.
If you’ll notice above, the O’s are Vanderbilt players, and the X’s are Kentucky players, you’ll see that the post positions are marked by who was who.
Typically, when teams go in to this kind of set (a 1-4 set), they are running a high pick and roll. It’s one of the most basic offenses you can put together out of this set, is easy to run, and is hard to defend, playing man to man. So what Vanderbilt did at the beginning of the game was whenever Kyle was in the game, his man would always set the pick, forcing Kyle to either hedge, ‘down the screen’ (force the ball-handler away from the screen), or switch. Normally these days, Kyle tries to hedge, but if the pick comes quick, he has to switch.
So what Cal did in the second half, was he decided to start keeping Kyle out of these situations. So how did he do it?
See above, and bear with me, it is MS Paint after all. What Kentucky did, was take the opposite post-player (either Willie Cauley-Stein, or Alex Poythress), and had them switch with Kyle with whatever big man went to set the high ball screen. That meant that instead of Kyle having to switch on the guard, UK gets put in a much better match-up with either Alex switching, or WCS switching, both guys who can hold their own to a degree on smaller guards, at least better than Kyle.
But that wasn’t the end of it, Vandy made an adjustment shortly after.
This one is a little more complicated to explain, because it happened in parts. Vandy would run the high screen as usual, and let Kentucky go ahead and start the process of the switch. As The switch was taking place, Vandy would run the opposite post player for a high screen, forcing Kyle to cover even more ground getting to the switch and getting to the high pick and roll. This is how Vandy got some of their open looks late in the game, with he wing player coming down and screening for the opposite wing player, who would then be open in whatever corner Kyle Wiltjer was guarding on.
The high pick and roll is a tough play to defend. Just ask Coach Cal, who ran the play to perfection with Brandon Knight and Josh Harrelson in 2011. It will be interesting to see how the Cats figure out how to play this set moving forward, since teams will be running it a whole lot between now and the end of the year, when Kyle is in the game.
Go Big Blue!
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