Peiser: Match-up zone worked well

Vanderbilt defeated the IUPUI Jaguars on Thursday night, 53-45. VandyMania's Howell Peiser comments on the good, the bad and the ugly of the game.

+/- Points Vanderbilt vs. IUPUI
Player                           MP      +/-       Ratio
Derrick Byars               27        +14       .52
Dan Cage                     25        + 9        .36
DeMarre Carroll          28          0          .00
Shan Foster                 29        - 1         .03
Alex Gordon                17        - 6        -.35
Mario Moore               25        +11       .44
Davis Nwankwo          12        - 2       -.17
Ted Skuchas               10        + 7        .70
Julian Terrell                27        + 8        .30
MP = Minutes Played  +/- = point differential in the game when that player was in the game  Ratio = +/- divided by MP to give +/- points per minute played
Other: When Skuchas and Terrell were in simultaneously, the +/- was +6 each in 7 minutes of action for a ratio of .86
When Byars and Carroll were in simultaneously, the +/- was +10 each in 12 minutes of action for a ratio of .83
This game was a tale of two cities.  Vanderbilt's defense looked quite good in stretches, and their offense looked quite nasty in stretches.
Defensively, the minute Coach Stallings called for the match-up zone, IUPUI's chances of winning were gone.  Tonight's match-up zone looked almost exactly like the UNLV/Pittsburgh  Amoeba defense for long stretches.  The Jags were clueless about how to attack it for most of the night.  It led to easier defensive rebounding opportunities and shut off their top player, Hill. 
If only the ‘Dores knew how to run the fast break.  It appears that this area needs lots of extra work.  With just an average fast break tonight, Vandy would have scored 15-20 more points and made it the slaughter it should have been.
Offensively, Vanderbilt showed they have a weakness against zone defenses.  Only one time all night did the ball get passed into the high post, even though the high post was open for feeds at least 10 other times.  Our passing fundamentals are severely lacking in this respect.  It was another night of live by the three, die by the three.  The team hit 13 of 27 shots inside the arc and should have had more chances to shoot from inside.  The best way to beat the Jaguars' type of zone is to pass from the key to the wing and quickly fill the ball-side high post for a return pass before the zone slides can react.  Once the ball is at the high-post, that zone can be easily defeated. 
We flattened out their zone time and time again, but the 3-pointer from the corner is the lowest percentage shot from 19-09.  When a shot is missed from here, it presents the opponents with their best fast breaking advantage.  It didn't matter tonight, as IUPUI wanted to limit the total number of possessions in this game.  It will matter against most of the remaining 18 regular season opponents.
Davis Nwankwo showed off his agile moves, but he still needs to work on controlling the ball.  He looked uncomfortable when he caught the ball.  He actually made several excellent ball reversal passes.  He showed us a coming attraction for the future.  Before he leaves here, I expect him to have a monumental game on the boards, something like 15-18 rebounds.
Mario Moore played an excellent game and may have regained his spot.  Alex Gordon had a rough night trying to pierce the front line of the Jags' zone.  Defensively, he got caught off guard a couple of times.
Julian Terrell needs to recite the following mantra for the rest of the season: "I can rebound like that (the last two games) every game."  He looked like Perry Wallace on the boards the last two games.  Getting 12 boards when there are only 69 to get is as good as getting 17 when there are 100 total rebounds (about what the Clyde Lee-era Commodores saw in an average game.)  He benefited from having another banger in the game at the same time; in tonight's game that was Carroll for the most part.
DeMarre Carroll reminds me of a lot of C. M. Newton's Alabama smaller, quicker forwards of the 1970's (Charles Cleveland/Charles Russell).  Vandy needs this type of player in the SEC wars. Top Stories