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 Lawrence, Iowa State was leading by three points late in the game against Kansas. A pair of free throws by Korie Lucious put the Cyclones up three with 8.9 seconds to play.
The Jayhawks pushed the ball up the floor, ran a dribble hand-off into a screen. On the weak side Ben McLemore came off a flair screen. And well, the freshman banged a three to send the game into overtime. (As we know, Kansas won the game but like my guy Ray Lokar says, “it’ doesn’t matter, the decision was made in regulation.)
I have been studying this late game situation where a team is up three points, on defense and less than :07 to play.
Since the beginning of basketball season I have found 232 situations at the high school, college and NBA levels. (I’m sure I have missed a few so if you are reading this and your team encountered this situation, please contact me ASAP).
When a team decided to foul they have won 25 of the 26 games. In the one loss thus far, Kent State fouled a Valpo player who made the first free throw, missed the second and got the offensive rebound for the put back. Upon further review, a Valpo player ran in the lane too early but was not called for a lane violation. Valpo wound up winning the game in overtime. Now you can say well they didn’t box out very well and should grab that rebound, I understand all that. Bottom line is Valpo got the offensive rebound.
The 206 situations where the team decided to rely on their defense, well 40 of the teams on offense banged a three-point shot sending the game into overtime (that’s 19%, not very high).
Each day I will update the numbers and include the previous night’s situations.
Please feel free to contact me with any situations you know of this seasons or have been involved with.
I’m going to conduct the study until the last game of the NBA finals is complete in June.