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Whatever Happened to the Endgame?

Chad has a problem with the tournament to date:

Some of the near-misses deserved to miss. VCU played a really good game, but their play for the last shot was absolutely horrific. They inbounded the ball to their one star player, who dribbled it down the court into the lane, picked up his dribble, threw five shot fakes, then weakly heaved the ball in the general direction of the hoop as the buzzer sounded.

There was never the slightest chance that that was going to work. They were in a position to take the last shot for the win because they had played as a team. Devolving to this NBA crap that every player on UCLA knew was coming was doomed to fail, and did. I have no idea why Mayben thought that shot fakes were going to do anything-- the guy guarding him was taller than he was, and had no need to jump, and who was he going to pass to, anyway? Pathetic.

This, unfortunately describes a lot of UNC's close finishes in recent years, both successful and not, as well as a lot of tournament games over the last few years. And I don't really understand when coaches abdicated drawing up the endgame play. Having been subjected to endless replays of every buzzer beater in tournament history this weekend (When exactly did the NCAA become so navel-gazing?), the common thread among them is that they're almost never one-man shows. Keith Smart didn't just dribble to the corner and shoot, and Bryce Drew got a tip pass from a teammate. Tyus Edney is the only person I can think of who did it solo, and he both a) wasn't the star of the '95 Bruins and b) didn't pick up his dribble and over-shot fake. He just made a lay-up. Well-drawn plays win games, single heroics rarely do.

Chad also throws this up in comments:

The stuff I hate is the "four guys stand around and watch the fifth try to do something by himself" offense. Or the "pass the ball around the perimeter, then chuck up a shot" offense.

The key is having everybody in motion, which is as important in the drive-and-kick-out offense as anything else. You don't get very far by having your spot-up shooters standing still, but if everybody rotates and cuts while the drive takes place, you can get open looks.

The essential thing to realize about basketball is that if you play the game right, you should never need spectacular feats of athleticism in order to score. If you're disciplined on offense, and keep everybody moving, you can get open for high-percentage shots.

This was Texas in a last few minutes of the Duke game, and it rather showed. It's also something you never see UNC do, largely because of Tyler Hansbrough's constant movement.