On Saturday, one way Kansas was able to slow Kentucky down in the second half was the triangle-and-two defense, a hybrid of man-to-man and zone. Bill Self’s squads are famous for using the junk defense, which helped them shut down Harrison Barnes and Reggie Bullock to win the 2012 Midwest Regional. On Saturday, Frank Mason and Davonte Graham played man-to-man against Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray, while Kansas’ other three defenders created a triangle zone in the post. Late in the game, the triangle-and-two forced a tired Tyler Ulis to make some uncharacteristic poor decisions, and on today’s SEC Coaches Teleconference, John Calipari said he expects to see more of it from now on, including tomorrow night in Knoxville.
“I think, and again, watching and knowing it and coaching against Rick in the past, this is a difficult game. He probably looked at the triangle-and-two and said, ‘Hey, let’s throw that at ’em.’ When we faced it versus Kansas, we scored 20 points and missed six free throws in it. But until I put Skal in there, that was confident enough to shoot that elbow jumper, it kind of put us out rhythm for a minute. I would imagine they’ll try a lot of different stuff to keep us from that post position.”
Something tells me the team is receiving a crash course in the triangle-and-two right now at the Joe Craft Center.