Breath it in

Butler Wins, Butler Wins!

Posted by mvetack on March 25, 2010

Butler came into the game riding by far the nations longest win streak at 22 games.  Despite this, they came in as under dogs to the high powered attack of Syracuse.  Butler got off to a hot start defensively while getting easy shots on the offensive end.  Just under four minutes in and Butler lead by 12.  Butler’s defense saved them in this game on their way to a four point victory.  Besides Butler’s defense, I though they played poorly (maybe thats an exaggeration).  They did do some things poorly.

At the onset of the game Butler showed us how they were going to attack the “best” zone in America.  Their strategy was working beautifully.  Two guards up top with the third guard/forward running the free throw line.  Howard posted just below the elbow, and Heyward ran th baseline and spotted up in the corners.  This allowed for two or three chances to pass into the interior of the zone.  As the game went on, Butler changed to having three guards up top just standing and swinging the ball, Howard posting in the paint, and Heyward running the base line.  The result was al lot of deep threes that did not fall.

Butler shot just under 40 percent for the game and this is a big reason why.  Rarely did they penetrate from the wing.  Which they had many times.  Every time a wing guard caught the ball on Rautin’s side there was a lane that Butler could at least penetrate to draw two defenders and, sorry do not remember his name, the short lefty would be open in the corner every time, or Howard would be able to get better position.  At the least this would allow for kick outs to threes from the arc not three feet behind.

There is no point really in breaking down how I, not a qualified coach by any means, would attack the Syracuse zone the way they played it tonight.  The Cuse are heading home and Butler played their style ball and are on to the elite 8.

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