Monday, March 31, 2008

UCLA vs. Memphis - Tourney Game Preview

Dribble Drive Motion offense

said, "as far as I know, neither has played a second of zone defense this year. They are both man-to-man teams. Both teams really guard you. The strength of both teams is defense and rebounding."

Floyd said one of the things he'll watch for in the game is defensive matchups.

"It will be fascinating," he said. "Does Darren Collison guard Rose or does Russell Westbrook? Will Josh Shipp or Luc Richard Mbah a Moute guard Douglas-Roberts? Matchups will be intriguing through the course of the game."

Memphis averages 80.3 points a game, and John Calipari's Tigers have gained a reputation as a fastbreaking, high-octane offensive team. "That won't happen against UCLA," Floyd said. "I don't see that happening, Memphis scoring 80 or 90 points."

While UCLA and Memphis play similar defensive styles and put a premium on rebounding, Floyd said offensively the Bruins and Tigers are different.

"Memphis beats teams off the dribble," Floyd said. "They don't set a lot of screens. They really don't even run a lot of screen and roll. They just try to drive at you and create opportunities to get high-percentage shots.

"So far they've been able to run through the tournament against teams that don't have the size, strength or rebounding ability of UCLA."

Keating said what he sees in UCLA this time is a different sort of emotional intensity from two years ago. Then the Bruins overcame a 17-point deficit and scored the final 11 points to beat Gonzaga 73-71.
As was the case two years ago, Keating said, UCLA will try to limit Memphis' transition baskets and not give the Tigers second-chance points. "One thing Memphis has now," Keating said, "is the ability to score at a high rate of speed because they have three ballhandlers on the court and that is difficult to defend."

The ballhandlers are Anderson, Douglas-Roberts and Rose.

"Rose is so dynamic and strong," Keating said. "The other guys have two years under their belts."

In the 50-45 loss the Tigers had only five assists on their 17 baskets. This year Memphis has five players with more than 60 assists.

And Keating noted that two years ago UCLA had two fierce perimeter defenders -- 6-5 Arron Afflalo and 6-6 Cedric Bozeman -- plus an active, athletic 7-foot center in Ryan Hollins. That combination quickly frustrated the young Tigers, who seemed to have no backup plan when their guards couldn't score or create off the dribble.

"It’s a unique way they play; they have that Vance Walberg -– who was the head coach at Pepperdine and a very successful junior college coach up in Fresno -– system and that system works really well when you have really good players, as most systems will. But it’s an unorthodox style of offense and very difficult to defend. There’s not a lot of screens and it’s all about penetration to draw and kick. There’s a lot of hand-offs, lot of pitches from behind and they also do like a moving screen; he’ll pass from guard to guard and then he’ll try to run and just clip the guy as he’s driving. Invariably, when you have a guy almost run to you, you kind of flinch and move, so there is no foul. But that’s what they do when you study them."



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