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Rob Dauster breaks down how Derek Willis transforms Kentucky’s offense

© Mark Zerof

© Mark Zerof

© Mark Zerof

Before the season, if I had told you Kentucky’s postseason chances would hinge on Derek Willis’ ankle, would you have believed me? That’s just one crazy turn in a twisted season for the Cats, and while any layman would agree that Willis is one of the reasons the Cats have turned it around, NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster broke down the film to prove it. Dauster shows that, with Willis in, Kentucky is able to open up the floor on offense instead of relying on Ulis or Murray and hoping/praying/wishing someone shows up in the post.

It’s different with Willis on the floor. Whether or not he’s actually making threes, it’s the threat of the shot that makes the difference. “You have to really decide how you want to guard those ball-screens,” one SEC coach told “His shooting makes them much harder to guard.”

Rob uses three examples to prove his point. Here’s the first:

1. Willis sets a ball-screen for Ulis, and with South Carolina icing the screen (meaning forcing the ball-handler away from the screen and towards the baseline), the big has to make sure Ulis doesn’t get a head of steam going to the rim. Willis can then pop into space for a clean look at a three:

Willis pick n pop


For more, head on over to NBC Sports. Really interesting stuff, and further proof we need a healthy Derek to make a run in March.

[FILM SESSION: The latest Calipari ‘tweak’, and why Derek Willis changed the course of Kentucky’s season]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

5 Comments for Rob Dauster breaks down how Derek Willis transforms Kentucky’s offense

  1. Biglaw Dawgin'
    4:12 pm February 25, 2016 Permalink

    Chef Murray!

  2. Kevin C
    5:25 pm February 25, 2016 Permalink

    I’m gonna take a wild guess and say we won’t see him on the floor again this season, unless it’s maybe in the Elite 8. That ankle looked REALLY bad….and we will need Derek even more NEXT season.

    • UK Big Board Update
      9:04 pm February 25, 2016 Permalink

      Thanks, internet doctor!

    • Kevin C
      11:59 pm February 25, 2016 Permalink

      You’re welcome, internet stalker troll!

  3. chimichanga
    6:30 pm February 25, 2016 Permalink

    Please get well soon, Derek.

    Unfortunately that type of sprain has nearly 100% chance of re-injury if rushed back into activity. :/