Netwhsipers on Hoops



Part II- A Season in Review           




Last year after Gary Waters was hired as the Rutgers Men's Coach, I wrote an article comparing Waters and Peter Gillen.  I compared and contrasted the two coaches and their systems.  I ended the article as follows:


" Both Gary Waters and Pete Gillen teach up-tempo pressure basketball techniques.  Both Gary Waters and Pete Gillen try to create an extended family, team concept.  Both teach that the team is more important than any individual

player.  The question remains whether or not the players buy-into and execute

the defensive style that Waters teaches. If they do, the RAC may just heat up

this winter."



As the year progressed, the defensive style and tone of the team was one of hard-nosed pressure.  The RUTGERS RUN became an anticipated part of every home game by the faithful that attended, listened on radio or watched on television. The scoring runs were started by a trapping zone press defense that the Knights used in an attempt to turn over the opposition and to control game tempo. The first impressive evidence of the effectiveness of this defensive style was the second half of the Princeton home game. Rutgers just totally shut down the Tigers with a chaotic frenzy on defense that seemed to totally confuse the Tigers and annihilate their spirit.


The press seemed to become more effective as the year progressed as the players understood more about the intricacies and rotations necessary during each defensive stance.  However, too many crucial breakdowns continued to occur in the pressure defense even into the final games of the season.  This as well as Rutgers failure to implement this type of disruptive defense on the road leaves a large window of opportunity for this staff to continue to instruct the Rutgers team about the finer points of pressure defense. This defense is far from being totally installed and implemented at this point in time.


Next year expect to see a more aggressive and a more accomplished defensive team on the floor.  Expect to see a team that doesn't turn pressure on and off but uses it to its advantage for forty minutes every night. Expect a more muscular Rutgers team on the floor that will allow them to physically wear down the opponents. Expect Rutgers to takes it show on the road as they turn up the defensive heat in arenas around the Big East. Remember the one constant any basketball team can bring to the table every night is defense and that defense is the best offense.


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