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Texas Hoops vs. Kansas State Mini Preview

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Look, just so everyone's prepared, we are probably going to get beat tonight.

The book on us has become a national best seller and its chapters include Texas A&M CC with their junked up triangle and 2, Arkansas' sagging m2m, Colorado's traditional zone, and Texas A&M's matchup zone. Make no mistake, we'll see some form of halfcourt defense from the Wildcats that's designed to exploit our inability to threaten the arc at the expense of our bigs inside. Unlike the four teams listed above, KSU has the guards to handle our pressure and deny the Horns the ability to manufacture easy points with defense. In other words, K State is going to make our non-shooters shoot, make the paint a no man's land, and take care of the basketball when they get it. They have the guards, the bigs, and the homecourt advantage to pull it off. If Texas is going to win, these are the things Texas must do to have a chance.

Personnel.
We have to put guard and wing groups on the floor that can threaten the arc. Point blank. When Mason and Balbay are playing together, Texas has no shot to generate halfcourt offense. There's no screen and roll game without a shooting threat. There's no way to punish interior help without a shooting threat. And there sure as hell is no drive and dish game without a shooting threat. Hello zone, hello sagging m2m, hello frustrated Dexter Pittman.

Spacing and Ball Movement.
It goes along with personnel, but even with our strong perimeter groups on the floor, the guys have to maintain proper floor spacing and ball movement to really make the defense pay and open up driving lanes and entry passing. If we stand around and allow one player to guard two due to poor spacing, the lane will continue to be clogged and we'll shoot around 40% as a result.

Patience.
Floor spacing and ball movement mean dick if we aren't patient enough to let possessions play out to create defensive rotations. And this sort of thing will feed on itself negatively unless players on the perimeter are patient. If I'm a Texas player, and I know Hamilton or Brown is going to jack a shot off one pass, I'm not really going to bust my ass to move without the ball or when I do get a pass, I'm less likely to give it back. This is the death spiral as far as Dexter Pittman is concerned. This team needs to make it a point to reverse the basketball and find their one true advantage in this game. Dexter Pittman. If we're jacking shots off one pass we're fucked, because KSU is too talented inside. There will be no bail out on the offensive glass for Texas tonight. We must be patient and actively look for good shots.

Pressure.
And speaking of bail outs, if you're counting on turning over the Kansas State guards to make up for a poor shooting night you're going to be disappointed. KSU will not only handle our pressure but they'll punish our pressure with buckets and fouls unless we're committed to a track meet. If we want to turn the game into a war of attrition by going full court for most of the game, so be it. But if we expect to turn them over with simple on ball, wing denial stuff in the half court, they'll get to the paint often enough to get our bigs in foul trouble. If I'm Texas, I soften up the wings like I did vs. Colorado and play a more sound m2m style making KSU beat me by shooting over the top.

In a nut shell, in order for Texas to win, Dexter Pittman must dominate. And the only way he can is if we play with patience, spacing, and ball movement with the proper personnel on offense. Other than that, we have a shooter's chance at winning the game which means shooting over 40% from deep. I'm skeptical.

Thoughts?