This is the last post of the depressing kind (as last night’s live blog showed, it is much more fun to make jokes about bad games), but one thing is left to say. While I think Billy Gillispie is a good coach and a very good recruiter, I am still disturbed about the total lack of a cohesive offensive gameplan. Against VMI, the Cats’ defense was pitiful, but it wasnt due to a lack of a gameplan…..an incorrect gameplan maybe, but not the lack of a system. For better or worse, Gillispie has a defensive philosophy and the team adheres to it at all times. Sometimes one might want adjustment, but you do know that you are getting constant pressure from Billy Clyde and in most settings, it seems to have success.
But on offense, there seems to be no rhythm, flow or execution. Against VMI points were scored, but it was simply Meeks one-on-one or garbage points based on layups and dribble-drives against inferior athletes. Once again last night, we saw what we have seen for the last couple of years….there is no motion on the offensive end of the floor and isnt obvious what UK is trying to do when it gets the ball. Is the goal to get the ball to Patterson? Are they looking for a high-low game? Do they want to create looks for Meeks? Move the ball around in a Bob Knight way? Is this a motion offense with a lot of backdoor cuts and drives to the basket? At times, it looks like all of these things and too often, it looks like none of them. There is rarely a play on the offensive end where I feel like the team looks comfortable and is running an offense directed at some goal. Rather it seems to be a hodgepodge of “created on the fly” improvisation ill-suited to the talents of the guys on the team.
This happened last year as well. The offense looked awful for much of the first half of the year. But then Gillispie made a smart decision. He said, I have Joe and Ramel, they go one-on-one and that is our best chance to win. And beginning in SEC play, that is what happened. Most offensive possessions involved Joe and Ramel clear outs, with Ramel shooting mid-range jumpers and Joe throwing himself into the defender on drives to the basket. It gave UK the best chance to win and it worked. But now we dont have Joe and Ramel and there is no equivalent talent to go one-on-one. And at this point, the offense looks stuck in the rut of last year. As we watch over the next two games, my eye will be looking at the offensive sets…..will they be any better? Will we run even one discernable inbounds play? To me that lack of offensive flow could be the most frustrating part of what we have seen so far.
Now it is time to get positive. Longwood will feel our wrath…..