I watched UAB play earlier in the year and I didn't think they were a team that had enough to pull off the upset tonight and beat Memphis. I only watched the first 5 minutes of tonights game and the last 2 minutes of the game. After the first 5 minutes I didn't think UAB could pull it off. But when I tuned in with 2 minutes to go, Memphis was down by 7, Memphis rallied to go on a 9-1 run to claim the narrow win on the road.
UAB played well overall, but Memphis just had a very bad offensive game. They missed a lot of shots, Derrick Rose was just 2-for-13 for 6 points and they continue to struggle on the line (12-for-22) and their 3-point shooting is streaky. The big money guy tonight from Memphis was Chris Douglas-Roberts. He made the 2 key offensive plays at the end of the game to pull out the win. Here is the last Memphis offensive play, down by 2 with 15 seconds left, Memphis ran a handoff to PNR drive for CDR,
Memphis calls this their "Pistol" play. They actually ran it twice in a row, the first time it resulted in a 3-pointer by CDR to make it 77-76. According to the AP, the final play call was as follows,
Memphis coach John Calipari said he had initially called for the ball to go to Derrick Rose, who was struggling to a 2-of-13, six-point performance. He said assistant coach John Robic suggested running the "pistol" play to Douglas-Roberts instead.
"We ran it to let Chris turn that corner with the middle pick and roll and he just kept going," Calipari said. "That's his game. He wants that basketball."
So, how does pistol work? Again, for last second plays, keep it simple. Get the ball into the hands of your best player, and let them go out and win the game for you.
The handoff goes from Rose to CDR. This is where CDR popped the 3-pointer the first time they ran the play. Because of the threat of CDR hitting the 3, UAB decides to go over the top and trail the handoff instead of underneath. Also notice how spread they are, this keeps the defense honest and frees the basket area for a drive.
O5 sets a high ball-screen for CDR who turns the corner and heads for the net. Notice that UAB hedges the screen, but because CDR is so quick he is able to go around the hedge, and by the time X2 comes all the way around, CDR is already at the rim. Also notice that there is no help coming from the wing or corner, as UAB did not want to give up an open drive and kick.
For a great video on building winning teams and players, take a look at Coach Morgan Wooten's DVD on coaching to win. Coach Wooten is probably the most successful high school basketball coach ever at DeMatha Catholic before retiring. Head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to discuss all of your hoops.