Taking Full Advantage of the Final Four Tournaments
End of Game Situation – To Foul or Not To Foul?
Out of Bounds Plays – Automatics
NCAA Final Four Tournaments: Learn Rather Than Watch
While enjoying the final four basketball tournament become more than just an interested spectator. Since teams are fairly evenly matched, the NCAA tournaments offer a great opportunity to observe and learn about end of game strategies. What works and what doesn’t. To do this you cannot watch the ball. Instead, focus on what is taking place away from the ball both offensively and defensively. Take notes on actions and plays from which you can benefit, do not rely on memory. Be sure to analyze and evaluate carefully since what is successful on the NCAA level may not be appropriate for you level or player personnel.
Coaching Scenario: +3 points with less than 5 seconds remaining and opponent has ball possession.
In this situation, should you foul and send your opponent to the free throw line risking a successful putback off an intentionally missed free throw or should you risk the opponent making a three point field goal?
The percentages are heavy in favor of fouling. However, do not foul a shooter. The vast majority of teams do not practice missing free throws and putbacks off the miss. If fact, not all players know the rules that the ball must hit the rim or that the shooter cannot cross the free throw line until the ball strikes the rim even on the college or professional levels. However, be aware that this fouling strategy can backfire if you allow an offensive rebound and putback shot off the ensuing intentional missed free throw.
All defenders must be determined to box out and if they cannot secure possession, they must tip the ball away from the opponents keeping it in play. Fortunately, since teams do not practiced missing a free throw, most shooters will short arm the shot and try to bang it hard of the front edge of the rim. However, this usually results in the ball bouncing straight down or on a low trajectory in favor of the defensive rebounders. To be successful, an intentional miss should be missed to the right or left side of the rim.
Offensive Situations: Automatic Reads Are The First Option On All Out of Bound Plays.
Some coaches just like to get ball inbounds and then set up a play, while other coaches find it a great opportunity to attack; and, since most teams are poorly prepared to defend out of bounds situations, they deploy several inbounds plays during a game. However, no matter what philosophy is utilized, automatic reads are the first option on any out of bound play.
1. Players should cut to basket for lay-up any time their defender plays with their back towards them watching the basketball.
2. When the inbounder is left unguarded, they should execute a quick “give & go” with the inbounder making a quick inbounds pass and cutting to the basket for a return pass.
3. If a defender faces up and plays with their back to the inbounds passer, players should have the “Green” light to execute a lob pass over the defender for shot.
4. If the inbounds passer’s defender plays with their back to the ball, the inbound passer can simply pass the ball off the defender’s back, step in bounds, pick it up and score.
Note: On automatics, players should communicate using eye contact and body language.