12.28.10

The Value Of Tournament Depth

There is a fever sweeping throughout the nation called March Insanity that’s inflicting thousands and thousands. The remedy: Just wait it out a couple of weeks and it’ll pass. In the meantime, there will probably be a frenzy of activity and interest more than the subsequent couple of weeks during convention tournament play, adopted by the Large Dance and also the NIT.

One factor that’s distinctive in school basketball is depth. Professional and school football groups play as soon as per week and sometimes as soon as each two weeks during a bye week. School basketball is different. Groups can play having a week or 10 days of relaxation, or during tournament play, they are able to play 3 or 4 video games in 3 of 4 days! We see tournament play early in the season when groups need to play three video games in three days, for instance. But then that kind of demanding routine takes a hiatus – till now.

One handicapping factor to bring again into your examination of every sport is depth. Most groups have one or two gifted players, surrounded by a number of function players. Nevertheless, some groups have an outstanding surplus of depth. Wise coaches who’ve this additional depth will use that to their advantage. One method to acknowledge this really is by the type of play. Coaches with three or four high quality starters and reliable scoring options or ball-handlers off the bench will often get advantage of this by playing an uptempo fashion. This not just maximizes their use of depth, but additionally can tire out the opponent: a double-edged sword.

North Carolina is really a fantastic instance of a group stocked with depth, and coach Roy Williams is not any dummy: It is no accident the Tar Heels average 87 points per sport. North Carolina has four starters who average more than 20 minutes per sport in Tyler Hansbrough (29.5 minutes pg), freshman Brandan Wright (26.9 minutes), freshman Wayne Ellington (23.7 minutes), freshman Ty Lawson (24.4 minutes) and senior Reyshawn Terry (21.3 minutes). They run correct at opponents with these gifted young legs.

But although the opponent struggles to maintain pace with these greyhounds, Williams can call on five much more guys who average double-digits in minutes in Danny Green, Deon Thompson, Marcus Ginyard, Bobby Frasor and Wes Miller. By distinction, even a group like Duke has 4 starters who average more than 30 minutes a sport, and only 3 who average more than 10 minutes off the pine.

Notice what occurred once they met final week: North Carolina took a fast 12-2 lead running correct in the Blue Devils. The Tar Heels exploded later using the game-clinching 18-4 run around the method to an 86-72 win. They swept the regular-season sequence using the Blue Devils for that initial time in 11 many years!

Now that was just one meeting and each groups had relaxation prior to the sport and following. Think about how that may play out during tournament play, with groups playing Thursday, Friday, Saturday and perhaps even Sunday. Groups with depth are far better suited to outlive a grueling run like that than ones that depend on one or two guys to carry the group.

I’ve a “totals system” in each the NBA and school that’s according to numerous factors, one of that is relaxation or no relaxation. Depth plays a crucial function in that, also, with respect towards the percentage of points scored by starters versus bench players in the teams’ previous sport(s). Make certain you examine rosters when analyzing tournament play and the way a coach uses his depth – if the group has any! And examine regardless of whether they played final evening, or if this really is their 3rd sport in three nights. You will find that depth is really a fantastic asset this time with the yr, along with a lack of it could be a killer, each straight up and against the quantity!

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