Breaking Down the UC Pick and Roll (and Defensive Lapses)

I’m channeling my inner Luke Winn on this post. I noticed that the Bearcats ran a lot of the same play in the second half of the Notre Dame game, so I’m going to attempt to break it down. 

Actually, the first thing I want to do is point out the play I broke down in detail in the recap, the ND breakaway lay up. 

First up, we have the Larry Davis 3 pointer, he came around a double back screen by Gates and Jackson, that’s beautifully pointed out with the red arrow. 
Next is the rebound, I circled Jackson, as UC had 2 players under the basket. Great box out by the Irish. 
Here we don’t see Hansbrough, Davis, and Parker, who are already at halfcourt. This is after Jackson tried to poke the ball out, and Abromaitis recovered. I circled Gates, who didn’t move at all. 
Here we see Gates (circled) have an ‘oh shit’ moment, as he realizes that his man, Nash (circled in blue) is across halfcourt. Every UC player but Gates and Jackson are looking up the court, totally missing Nash. Atkins has the ball and is looking up the floor immediately. 
Here you can see that Parker is watching Atkins, Kilpatrick watching Abromaitis, and Davis and Jackson their men on that side of the floor. Nash realizes he’s got a lay up, and is off screen pretty much. I circled Ibrahima Thomas, who sees Nash is open. Know who else saw it? Atkins. That’s why he has the arrow.
Here we see the result. I circled Mick Cronin, who is already calling timeout. 

I promise to use less pictures for what I want to show you. I verbally deconstructed it, and now I did it with photos. I might do this for the game recaps now. Anyway, let’s get on the to play I want to highlight already. It should be a 3 picture thing at best for each one. Hopefully. After the jump we go.

The play was simple, a pick and roll. 

The first time UC ran it was at 12:08. The play is pretty simple. Thomas sets a pick for Cash, and Larry Davis rotates over to where Cash was. 
Larry Davis gets the ball up top, and has nowhere to go.
He passes to Bishop.
Rashad goes baseline, drawing every ND defender, and kicks out to Cash (circled) for 3 to make it 44-31.

UC didn’t run the same play on the next series, and didn’t score. However, they run it at 11:11. 

This time, Cash drives to the left elbow, and kicks out to Kilpatrick, who rotated over, as did Larry Davis up top. Kilpatrick’s man (circled) crashes to Thomas, leaving Kilpatrick open. 
Kilpatrick has him beat immediately, and hits a jumper where Martin is standing in the picture above. Note how Thomas went all the way to the block, taking his man out of the way.

That made it 44-33. UC doesn’t really run it the next series, and that’s when Thomas got his dunk blocked. UC ran the play again at 9:26. 
This time, no one moves. Davis, Kilpatrick and Bishop all are in identical spots, and walking (especially Bishop). Cash ends up deep with no help.
That results in this shot.

8:54. Subs are Dixon for Davis, and Gates for Thomas.

Right away you can see that Abromaitis is hanging way off Kilpatrick.
Cash takes advantage quickly, as does Kilpatrick, who is already curling in as the ball comes. Abromaitis has no chance.
This layup makes it 50-35.  

Next series here it comes again. As you can see again, Abromaitis is playing Gates, and way off Kilpatrick. Sean has already made his move.
ND has no shot to recover. Another layup for Kilpatrick that looks just like the picture above. 50-37.

We hit the under 8 timeout, and with 7:29 left, what does UC run?
Now we have Wilks in for Bishop.

Hansbrough switches to Kilpatrick, while Abromaitis is in the corner. He initially sticks with Sean.
But, as Gates rolls on the pick, Hansbrough creeps down, and then up. Wilks sees Sean immediately open.
Again, an ND defender can’t recover. 50-40. 9 straight by Kilpatrick on Martin, Abromaitis and now, Hansbrough. 

UC would pick and roll on the next drive late in the shot clock on the next possession, this time with Dixon with the ball. 
Notice how far off Atkins is on Cash. Dixon will stand in the way on the hand off, making Atkins run around.
Finally, we see Cash get a great look in the lane. He would miss, but the ball went out on ND and UC got a 3. The play worked, 54-43. 

UC also ran it twice with Gates picking and then posting up, and with Thomas in the game and picking, while Gates would post up. The man with the ball came off the screen and passed inside to Yancy. Those plays got 1 point. UC did run two more pick and rolls that got shots. 

First, we have a Gates screen for Dixon. Notice the space Atkins gives Dion.
That results in this. Also, didn’t hit exit to make the green bar go away. 
Lastly on the pick and rolls, Cash made this great pass to Wilks for 3. 

The pick and roll got Cincinnati back in the game from down 17. They scored 18 points directly off pick and rolls. They had a 3 as a result of running it, and a free throw. That accounts for roughly 22 of the final 28 points UC scored. It’ll be very interesting to see if Mick breaks it out tomorrow against St John’s. 

Bonus pictures. I kinda loved doing this post, so let’s break down the killer inbound play ND got to go up 13 with 2:50 left.

First, Cash is not playing the inbound. He’s clearly waiting for Hansbrough to run off the screen. Dixon is matched up man to man with him. Gates is on Nash.
Hansbrough comes around Nash. Dixon follows him, while Cash meets him on the other side. It looks like Gates is fighting through Nash to get to Hansbrough.
Nash slips Gates, who went after Hansbrough when Dixon and Cash already were. Atkins throws the pass and can stand hands on hips, knowing that was a job well done. 

I really hope you liked this post. I had fun doing it at the expense of sleep. Please tell everyone you know to look at it. Yeah, I just begged. Thanks for reading, and look for more later today.  


About Scott

I write Bearcats Blog and also on the Student Section.