Because Georgia State coach Ron Hunter said that Jeremy Hollowell’s defense was sub-optimal following Saturday’s 90-69 loss to Texas-Arlington, I thought I’d take a closer look at the Mavs’ first few possessions.
The Panthers start with a lite press on the first possession:
Kevin Ware and Isaiah Dennis are on top of the zone.
Jeff Thomas, T.J. Shipes and Jeremy Hollowell are behind them so it looks like this:
The Mavericks pass the ball around, eventually getting it on the block on Thomas’ side, forcing Shipes to slide over to front the Mavs’ player. Texas-Arlington’s Jorge Bilbao slides into the space vacated by Shipes. Hollowell floats between Bilbao and a player on the wing.
The pass is made to Bilbao, two feet from the basket. Hollowell slides over and gets in front of Bilbao but it’s too late. Bilbao scores. I believe Hollowell was supposed to slide over a step sooner.
Georgia State is in the same zone with the same players in the same places.
Bilbao again gets the ball in almost the same spot. He misses his first shot. Hollowell is behind Bilbao instead of in front alongside Shipes and doesn’t move toward the basket until he sees that the shot is missed. Bilbao beats him to the spot and taps it in.
Georgia State remains in the same zone with the same players.
Texas-Arlington hits a 3-pointer from the other side of the zone. Hollowell has no responsibility for those points.
Playing the same zone, Shipes is pulled toward the free-throw line. A Texas-Arlington player slides into the space behind him and receives the ball. Hollowell is slow to slide over and is called for a shooting foul. Two more points to Texas-Arlington.
Markus Crider replaces Shipes, but everyone is in the same spots in the same zone.
Bilbao gets the ball at the free-throw line and drives to the right (toward Hollowell’s side) against Crider. Hollowell is again floating between the free-throw lane and the 3-point line, where there is a Texas-Arlington shooter. Bilbao goes underneath Hollowell and banks in a shot over Crider. I believe Hollowell needed to get to the spot on the block of the free-throw lane before Bilbao could get there and shoot.
Bilbao again drives from left to right. Hollowell is floating between the free-throw lane and a shooter stationed in the corner. Bilbao misses, but the Mavs get an offensive rebound on the other side of the basket and the player is fouled. He hits both free throws.
Hollowell has been subbed, possibly because of something that happened on Georgia State’s previous offensive possession (see below).
The good news for Hollowell and Georgia State is the issue seems to be a lack of decisiveness. If Hollowell will commit and go, at least one defensive issue will be solved. As football coaches say, even if you aren’t sure what you are doing, just do it quickly. In other words, play fast.
Here’s the other striking thing about the first few possessions:
When Texas State has the ball, there were a minimum of four passes on each of its first two possessions.
On Georgia State’s first possession, there were several passes with the ball finding Thomas, who hit a 3-pointer.
On Georgia State’s second, Dennis brought the ball down, drove and hit a tough shot.
On Georgia State’s third, there are two passes when the ball reaches Ware, who hits a jumper. Two possessions, two passes.
On Georgia State’s fourth, Dennis travels with the shot clock winding down.
On Georgia State’s fifth, the ball moves around the perimeter and Ware hits another tough jumper.
On Georgia State’s sixth, Crider hits a slashing Hollowell, who is fouled at the basket. Other than Dennis’ basket, it’s the first time Georgia State attacks the basket. Hollowell hits both free throws to tie the game at 11.
On Georgia State’s seventh, after one pass, Hollowell takes a leaning jumper from the base line and misses. It doesn’t look like a bad shot. He is subbed following a quick foul on Texas-Arlington’s next possession.