Game 3
Virginia .981PPP (Season Average 1.009PPP)
Oregon .924PPP (Season Average .932PPP)

First Half
Oregon is a different opponent to attack because of their matchup zone, it completely changes the offensive strategy. They also play a 1-2-2 trapping press after makes, which Virginia didn’t have trouble beating. They mix it up a lot and also played some man. Virginia did have a lot of trouble creating quality shots in the half-court. Oregon is a very good defensive team with a lot of athleticism and length. Virginia struggled more with the zone than man. One thing I would have liked to see them do is to try to play a little faster and beat the zone down the floor. Playing fast isn’t their style but they were struggling to score and this can be a very good strategy versus zones. They did a good job of not turning the ball over versus the press, but I would have liked them to be more aggressive trying to score against it. If someone traps you that is a good thing for your team, that means the rest of the court is 4 on 3 and you should be aggressive and take advantage of that. At the 4:10 mark, they are very aggressive and end up getting an And 1 layup. Earlier in the game, they would pass out of the trap, but not create any advantage. At the 11:58 mark Jerome takes a step back three early in the clock after airballing the previous possession, he missed the shot but I was impressed with this confidence, and it helps players way more often than it hurts them, the previous play should never affect the next play. Players need to play off instinct instead of thinking about previous shots, if they think they’re cold they shouldn’t be in the game if they take heat check that’s okay because typically players that take heat checks are playing full off instinct, which is when players are at their best. Throughout the whole game, Pritchard is doing a much better job than the Oklahoma guards did at dealing with Clark’s pressure in ball screen plays. One weakness Clark has defending ball screens is he sometimes looks at the screen too much instead of trusting his teammate to call it. Pritchard exposed this by looking at his eyes, seeing when he took his eyes off his waist (where you should be looking when guarding the ball), then Pritchard would reject the screen and get in the lane.

When Clark is switched onto White here Oregon needs to make a greater effort to get him the ball in this matchup, instead of having White just stand on the wing when he is a foot taller than his matchup. Ideally, you have White post up at the elbow because it is very hard to help and double from this spot. It is easier to help and double in the low post.

On this play when Huff is double teamed in the post Key could set a pin in screen for Guy to get a three. I’m not sure why Guy cut to the basket because now 1 guy on Oregon can guard 2, so they are not taking advantage of this power play. I would recommend Key pinning in for Guy here, but at the very least they need to be further away from each other so 1 guy can’t guard 2. If Key pins in for Guy, Guy also wants to be in a spot where he is not directly in the path of the defender getting screened, he needs to find an opening that gives Huff an easy lane to pass too. If he just goes right behind the defender then it is a very dangerous pass for Huff to make.

In the middle of the first Virginia is down 16-10, but they are settling in and this is simply because they are missing wide open threes.

#0 on Oregon (Will Richardson) needs to get to the corner right when the ball screen is set. This makes Guy’s job of tagging the roller much harder with more space on the floor.

Oregon didn’t do a good job of defending Virginia’s blocker-mover at the end of the first half. Towards the end of the half, Jerome gets 5 straight curls to the middle out of the down screen in blocker mover, and if you let a decision-maker like Jerome get to the middle he will pick your defense apart. This resulted in 5 straight scores for Virginia. On the possession, after the 5 straight curls Guy gets a wide open three off the down screen that he misses, but it’s still bad defense. They are not showing at all on the down screen. Because of this run, Virginia is up 30-22 at halftime.

Second Half


The first picture shows bad spacing, and the second picture shows good spacing. In the first picture, Amin needs to be all the way in the corner, since he’s not this gives Pritchard no space to drive and he just ends up passing to Amin who drives and gets called for an Offensive foul. You can see the Difference in how White is all the way in the corner in the second picture, which gives Pritchard more space to drive and puts Hunter in an awfully tough position. Hunter chooses not to help much off White and Pritchard finishes a layup. If White was a few feet higher, then Hunter likely could have helped and prevented the easy drive.

Oregon was down 3 with 3:34 left then forced trying to get a three too much. With 3:34 left you have a lot of time to even the score so there is no need to take bad contested threes. Oregon takes a few of them, and this arguably could have cost them their season, they didn’t need to force trying to tie the score in one possession.

#14 needs to play closer to Hunter here, he should force a Diakite catch at the elbow and force Diakite (an average decision-maker at best) to make the right read in the 2 on 1 situation. Instead, he cheats toward Diakite, which leaves Hunter open for a layup to go up 50-45 with 27 seconds, which ices the game.

Hunter had a very bad game for a top 4 draft pick, but he had a big layup and 2 free throws to help secure the win. Virginia didn’t have their best offensive game, they didn’t create quality shots versus the matchup zone, and missed a lot of open threes, but they found a way to get the win. Even though they didn’t shoot well, by turning the ball over less and grabbing more Offensive rebounds than Oregon they got 11 more shots up, which obviously gives them a huge advantage. Virginia is great at this and it comes down to having good decision-makers and tough players. Oregon shot better from the field, three-point line, and made more free throws but still lost. Virginia was not aggressive enough as you can tell by them only attempting 5 free throws, but in March it is all about surviving and advancing.

Stats

Virginia
Points: 53
FG: 20-56
3FG: 9-33
Ft: 4-5
A-TO Ratio: 14-8
Offensive rebounds: 11

Oregon
Points: 49
FG: 17-45
3FG: 9-25
Ft: 6-8
A-TO Ratio 8-11
Offensive Rebounds: 6