You know, West Virginia (and just about every other friggin’ team we play) will be looking for that lob pass. Why’d we get it going in the second half against the Mountaineers? Because they stopped defending it so briskly:
Kentucky’s most effective and most trusted play on offense was to lob the ball from the perimeter deep into the post, where Patrick Patterson and Josh Harrellson did most of their damage.
Patterson was 6-for-8 from the floor and Harrellson 4-for-6 and neither took too many shots that didn’t come from passes into the post. At times, it was all the Wildcats would do in half-court sets.
“Wouldn’t you?” Huggins said.
WVU, which prepared almost exclusively for Kentucky instead of Kansas State, defended the play fairly well in the first half. A second defender usually entered the play to break up the pass or complicate a shot.
Much like everything else in the second half, that plan didn’t work nearly as well as it did in the first.
“We’ve been working on that for two weeks,” WVU’s Joe Mazzulla said. “Obviously, it’s a great play, but one of the things we stressed was ball pressure to try to make it difficult for the perimeter guys. If he can’t see the rim or if he can’t see his the man, it’s a tough pass. The first half we had great ball pressure. The second half we didn’t and we let them lob it in all they wanted.”
What’s the best way to get rid of tight ball pressure on the perimeter? Drive. That promotes the defender to take a step back and not get burned on the drive. Feel free to correct me in the comments, but I do seem to remember Miller, Liggins and Meeks all driving to the basket a bit more in the 2nd half of the Championship game than they have in the previous games this season.
Now, if we can only get DeAndre to go for the layup instead of making some sort of crazy pass like The Professor. Or dribble at the half-court line like The Professor: