This team struggles mightily at getting the ball in. And it is embarrassing. But to say that Beilein should scrap his out of bounds plays doesn't strike me as the right answer. We just need a better passer over 6 ft tall and for the guys to execute. Am I wrong in remembering us scoring out of timeouts often the last two years? I remember announcers talking about it being a strength of Beilein's. And there was the great end of game winner by Robinson last year at Purdue. I question some of coach's thoughts on fouling, etc. but I have confidence in his play calling coming off timeouts.
Either way, its on JB. If you can’t find a better passer over 6ft tall, then either you need to improve recruiting or develop guys to the extent they have the ability to complete an inbound pass. Obviously a coach can only do so much development when the roster is so young, but I don’t think its too much to ask a coach to develop a team to properly inbound the ball without issue regardless of youth/inexperience this late in the season. We always talk about JB being a great fundamental teacher, and rightfully so, but it seems we have struggled mightily in several fundamental skills this year…inbounds passing, screens, boxing out.
I’m impressed that you were able to slip a “recruit better” jab into a discussion on inbounding. While we could use better recruiting for most other aspects of the game, our current players should be more than adequate to get the damn ball inbounds.
Inbounding from your opponent’s baseline, especially when you can run the baseline, should not be this difficult. And I mainly fault JB for our struggles here, although the players bear some blame.
First, he needs to trust someone other than Spike to inbound the ball. Spike is too short, so his passing lanes are very limited. Also, Spike is our best and probably our most clutch FT shooter. I want him receiving the ball in that situation.
Also, it seems like we typically just bunch 4 players near the free throw line and send the same 2 guards towards the ball (or the corner, unfortunately). It’s predictable, allows for too many defenders in the area, and limits the space the defenders have to cover. We had success last night when we started our two guards by themselves at the 3-point line. The area was less clogged and the defenders had more area to defend. I think we only utilized that set once.
We could also run the 4-across play that is run successfully at all levels of basketball. You can send one guy deep, one or two toward the baseline, etc. spacing is improved and the defenders don’t know if their man is going to release deep or toward the inbounder.
I don’t ever recall seeing a team struggle so much to inbound the ball. It very nearly cost us in the tournament against Tennessee last year, and has hurt us several times this year.