Who is the defensive liability on this team?

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X-Expert
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Who is the defensive liability on this team?

Postby X-Expert » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:50 pm

Only six games in and I keep reading posts where Welage may not have played much against Illinois because he is a defensive liability. Other posts allude to the same thing about his issues with defense. I have not seen that. Frankly, Welage is 6th on the team in terms of minutes played. I hardly believe the crap defense has primarily only occurred while he is in the game. Ironically, defense has improved the last few games but just as big an issue is the offense. Not necessarily the offensive looks but the decision making. When your three worse 3 point shooters (Goodin, Marshall, Scruggs) are taking the most 3s thats a problem. Whether you like Welage/Hardin/Kennedy in the game at least one and preferably two need to be in the game to spread the defense. Our "stars" are slashers who can on few occasions, hit a 3 so shooters on the perimeter will open up the middle (see last year). It will also make it a little easier for the offensively challenged bigs to make a move toward the basket easier because outside of 3 feet, they shoot it like the aforementioned three people hit 3s. Maybe after about ten games, it will show that Welage is a defensive liability but X has to decide if you would rather have a defensive or offensive liability on the court. I would argue that X has both on the court right now and some are touching the ball well more than others.
Lead Guitar
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Re: Who is the defensive liability on this team?

Postby Lead Guitar » Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:02 am

After six games it is pretty difficult to call out individual defensive liabilities. If Tyrique gets 2 fouls in the first five minutes, but has two demonstrative blocks, is he a good defender or a liability? Dante Jackson, Justin Cage, Stanley Burrell, Kaiser Gates were considered great one on one defenders, but today it is really team defense that dictates successful defenses.

Mack recruited shooters in Trevon and JP. When they were freshmen, many said they couldn't play defense. For the next four years they carried that stigma. Because we needed their offense and their fire, we began playing more zone-- the 1-3-1-- with JP at the top. All of a sudden he is a leader in steals. He and Trevon had great IQ and truly contributed to the defense. Is it steals, blocks, or shutdowns of an individual that make you a defender?

If Welage or Harden or Kennedy can contribute significantly on offense, you design the team defense to accommodate the players that can produce success. If they have the basketball IQ, they will produce.
kyzrex
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Re: Who is the defensive liability on this team?

Postby kyzrex » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:44 am

There is no doubt in my mind that most of the Xavier players could improve their one on one defense. But there is also no doubt in my mind that isn’t near as important as the need for the team to develop TEAM defense. It seems to me that the breakdowns are more in line with the failure to play HELP defense correctly. Example...player A on the opposition blows by player A on X, player B on X either reacts to slowly or not at all and doesn’t move over to help. When he does come off of his man and help, player C on X doesn’t pick up the player that B was guarding and opposing player B scores easily.

Fortunately, these are things that probably CAN be taught and CAN be corrected,over time. Xavier players DO have the physical talent...quickness and foot speed....to play this style of defense. Do they have the mental capacity and/or the desire to do so? Only time will tell, but I’m betting that the do, and will.

In the meantime though, it’s going to be painful at times to watch and against an experienced and unselfish opposing team it will probably be ugly at times.
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madness31
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Re: Who is the defensive liability on this team?

Postby madness31 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:13 pm

I agree that the team is not playing great help defense and hasn't for years. They do in stretches but the big problem in my eyes is defensive laziness. This has been an issue for many years but was less obvious because X had a potent offense that could produce wins while only playing quality defense for a portion of the game. This team doesn't have that luxury.

X has played stretches of good defense this year but they don't maintain it for entire halves let alone entire games. Either the coach needs to increase the frequency of substitutions or the team needs to maintain their energy some other way. X built many huge leads or started games in big holes last year but usually they pulled out the win whether starting slow or coming from behind. The players may not yet realize they can't do that this year.

This team can be good but it has to be with intense defense for 35+ minutes a game. Shot selection also needs to improve. Good to see Hardin shooting well the last couple games.
skyhops
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Re: Who is the defensive liability on this team?

Postby skyhops » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:33 pm

Agree 100%, defense is a fulltime job and I don't think a few of them have the bball IQ and effort to play the whole game (Jones, Q etc.). I think that Steele figured that this was a good team and they play hard in practice that makes them a good defensive team. Opponents will continue to hi screen and roll until we figured it out.
kyzrex
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Re: Who is the defensive liability on this team?

Postby kyzrex » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:37 am

All you have to do is look at how Nova has handled X and you can see what a TEAM playing together on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball can accomplish over a bunch of individuals.

I think that Steele understands it. The question is....can he get the Xavier players to understand and embrace it? They have to not just “want” to play better defense, they have to “need” it. If it’s not keeping them up a night, if they aren’t thinking about it almost 24/7, if it’s not what they are most worried about, and if they don’t have a burning desire to get it right, then it probably isn’t going to get any better.

Offense is play. Defense is work. Do they come to play, or do they come to work? Do they take any personal pride in their ability to stop other players/teams from scoring? Or do they just care about how many points they themselves score?

I think the answers are pretty obvious. Will they change? Only time will tell.
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skyhops
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Re: Who is the defensive liability on this team?

Postby skyhops » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:39 am

Agreed Kyzrex, I think Steele believes it and being the toughest team in big east but players have to do it especially Q, Naji, and Jones since they seem to take plays off. I think that Kennedy plays pretty solid defense and will always get better. Once they buy into it then you can hide some of the lesser defenders.
finalfourorbust
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Re: Who is the defensive liability on this team?

Postby finalfourorbust » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:28 pm

madness31 wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:13 pm
I agree that the team is not playing great help defense and hasn't for years. They do in stretches but the big problem in my eyes is defensive laziness. This has been an issue for many years but was less obvious because X had a potent offense that could produce wins while only playing quality defense for a portion of the game. This team doesn't have that luxury.

X has played stretches of good defense this year but they don't maintain it for entire halves let alone entire games. Either the coach needs to increase the frequency of substitutions or the team needs to maintain their energy some other way. X built many huge leads or started games in big holes last year but usually they pulled out the win whether starting slow or coming from behind. The players may not yet realize they can't do that this year.

This team can be good but it has to be with intense defense for 35+ minutes a game. Shot selection also needs to improve. Good to see Hardin shooting well the last couple games.

The key to good defense is to not allow a wide open shot at the end of the shot clock every time. Also to guard for 25 sec and then give up an offensive rebound is demoralizing.

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