Gary Williams: Doubling up in the post 'a gamble'
You may have noticed that one of the reasons Maryland has been fairly successful this season when facing talented opposing big men is that the Terrapins effectively have doubled up on said big men whenever they receive the ball in the post.
Solomon Alabi, Tracy Smith, Dwayne Collins, Trevor Booker, Deon Thompson, Ed Davis -- they each may have gotten their fair share of points and rebounds, but they never got into a rhythm against the Terrapins, and therefore, they were less effective in helping their respective teams generate offensive momentum.
"It just bothers you if another guy is there and there’s space a lot of times," Coach Gary Williams said Friday. "You have to make him make a play. In other words, they might have somebody open, because what you’re doing with the other three guys when you double is zone up with the other three. So somebody’s probably a little bit open, but it might have to be a really good pass to find that open man. And a lot of big guys aren’t comfortable trying to make that pass. That’s when it works. But you can get torn up with it. I mean, it’s a gamble."
While Duke does not possess a frontcourt player the caliber of any of the aforementioned forwards -- we're counting Kyle Singler as a guard -- that strategy might still apply well to some of the Blue Devils' big men. Sophomore Miles Plumlee, a starter, does not appear to be a quality passer; he has tallied 29 turnovers to just nine assists. Reserve center Brian Zoubek, a senior, has recorded 28 turnovers and 19 assists. Back-up freshman forward Mason Plumlee has totalled 21 assists and 25 turnovers.
Senior forward Lance Thomas, who is doubtful to play Saturday due to a right knee injury, has tallied 22 assists and 38 turnovers.
Those numbers indicate a weakness that Maryland might try to exploit on Saturday. If they can double up on Duke's big men in the post and force some turnovers, that, obviously, would bode well for the Terrapins.
I keep thinking back to a sequence that occured midway through the first half of the North Carolina game last Sunday. Tar Heels forward Deon Thompson received a pass and immediately was pinned against the baseline by Jordan Williams and Greivis Vasquez. Thompson turned to his right and to his left but had nowhere to go, no clean pass to make, no shot attempt, no nothing.
Jordan Williams eventually poked the ball loose, starting a Maryland fast break that ended with a Cliff Tucker basket to put the Terrapins up 13.
February 12, 2010; 2:27 PM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
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