Please keep in mind in no way am I questioning anyone’s strategy or philosophy on the following study. There are way better coaches than me out there who do what they feel is best for their team. This is just a research study to see what coaches prefer to do in this late game situation.
Last night in high school, college and the NBA we had eight Foul or Defend situations. (If I missed one, please let me know)
Let’s start in the Big Ten with the Michigan State Spartans. This is the third time this season MSU has found themselves with a Foul or Defend.
Tom Izzo, one of the best we have seen the past 20 years decided to defend and it worked…once again. MSU has always been a tough defensive club. Izzo’s decision to “check” worked.
In the “League” the Dallas Mavericks were up three on the Sacramento Kings. Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle decided to defend. Well Isaiah Thomas made them pay with a three pointer off the glass with :09 to play. Some may think that is too much time to foul but…The game went to overtime and Carlisle found himself in the same position, again with :09 to play. What’s he do? Well he relies on his defense. “Flipper” was a very good defender at Virginia. This time Thomas came up short with his three-point attempt.
There were two other men’s college games in which Montana State elected to defend against Northern Colorado and they got the stop. Also Seattle was up three on New Mexico State, decided to defend and BOOM! New Mexico State makes a three to force the extra session.
Here’s something interesting; New Mexico State, who made a three to force a second OT is on defense, up three with :03 decides to defend. Seattle misses a three.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the ladies. (I wish more women’s coaches would contact me with their Foul Or Defend situations). Last night Kentucky had a situation where they defended against Texas A&M. The Wildcats got the stop and in girls high school basketball, St. Clair FOULED! Yes, they tried out the situation that has worked 27 out of 28 times this season against Port Huron and what do you know; it worked!
263 total “Foul Or Defend” situations
Teams that have fouled have won 27 of the 28 games.
235 times a team has defended and 44 have given up a three-point shot. (18% success rate)