[IUFR] Why Indiana's 3-Point Defense Has Gotten So Much Better
Coach Adragna dives into Indiana's 3-point defense and the improvements the team has made.
Let’s not beat around the bush.
Indiana’s perimeter defense left much to be desired to start the year.
Inferior opponents like Florida Gulf Coast, Army, and Wright State were essentially getting whatever they wanted from the outside, and there was nothing Indiana could do about it.
It was the most concerning aspect of this year’s team. Offenses in today’s game are hunting 3-point shots, and Indiana’s defense was susceptible to giving them up.
However, Indiana’s defense guarding the perimeter has improved drastically over the past couple weeks.
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Before diving into the film, let’s look at a stat that tells the story of the Hoosiers’ improvement guarding the 3-point line.
Unguarded jump shots given up by game:
FGCU - 21
Army - 12
Wright State - 24
UConn - 12
Louisville - 3
Harvard - 9
Maryland - 3
Michigan - 6
The FGCU and Wright State games are particularly staggering, as is Army. UConn is a little more understandable given the strength of the opponent.
However, since that UConn game, Indiana’s perimeter defense has hunkered down and the unguarded jump shots are dwindling.
Let’s take a look at the film.
Unguarded Jump Shots
As noted above, Indiana’s first few games were not pretty guarding the 3-point line. What, specifically, was plaguing them?
Indiana was particularly struggling when teams set ball screens toward the middle of the floor.
Mike Woodson has employed a “nail, slot, rim” strategy for Indiana’s ball screen defense. Looking at the video below, you can see that Indiana’s help side defenders were sagging deep into the lane and to the nail.
Oftentimes, the defender that was just one pass away was over-helping and the offensive player ended up open for an unguarded jump shot.
This was much like the ball screen over-helping, except it was the man guarding the ball getting beaten off of the dribble, then a defender that was guarding a guy one pass away over-helping.
This resulted in numerous wide-open threes for opponents, much to Hoosier Nation’s chagrin.
In Indiana’s first few games, the Hoosiers were double-teaming the post from the ball side, leaving shooters wide open.
The strategy seemed suspect, as when it wasn’t executed properly, guys were wide open. However, in a bit, we’ll showcase what they were trying to do.
Now that you’ve had your memory properly refreshed about how bad Indiana’s defense was early on, and why, let’s look at how much better the Hoosiers have gotten over the last few games.