Using TV Breaks to the Terrapins' Advantage
It's no secret that Gary Williams likes to utilize high-pressure defense. Full-court. Half-court. Three-quarter court. Whatever works best at the time.
Because of that, Williams said earlier today he would prefer to run a nine-man rotation. Down the stretch, though, the Terrapins essentially have used an eight-man rotation -- "a good eight," Williams noted -- and have maintained their pressing ways.
That style of play can lead to tired legs, which is one more reason why Williams enjoys playing in nationally broadcast games, such as those in the NCAA tournament.
The game has changed as TV timeouts have become more prevalent, Williams said, and if used correctly, they can be a significant aid to a coach with a shorter rotation that he typically would prefer. They also, however, can help out a team facing incessant pressure defense.
"In the NCAA tournament, I think the TV timeouts are pretty close to three minutes if you ever put a clock on it," Williams said. "And most players today could play 40 minutes given the four [TV] timeouts each half plus your own timeouts that you can call. I used to think you could wear teams down with pressure defense just because they would get tired, but now with the TV timeouts, I don't think that's as true."
Williams then was asked if he looks for some players to play nearly the full 40 minutes during a game, given such circumstances.
"You go into the season thinking that guy, [Greivis] Vasquez, is at the point, conditioning-wise, where he could play 40," Williams said. "I don't think it affects his play if he plays 40. And it depends on the game, too, you know, and how fast the other team's playing.
"It looks like Cal goes up and down pretty good, so maybe that's not the game to play 40. But you can do things with TV timeouts. In other words, if I get Greivis out of the game 30 seconds before the TV timeout and keep him out for the first possession [after the timeout], it's almost a five-minute break there. So you can wind up playing 37 minutes and still having a lot of rest in a game."
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