It started out as a really close game but in the end, Kansas was just too athletic, too skilled against a smaller UNLV team who played as good as they could've possibly played in their second round matchup. One of the things that makes Kansas so good is their ability to anticipate and steal passes in the half-court.

Statistically, Kansas ranks among the top 20 teams in steals at around 9 per game. Considering that Kansas almost never presses full-court like a Tennessee, Memphis or Lousiville (who rank higher because they press), that is quite a remarkable feat. Here are 2 quick sequences from the first half,

To be honest, I like steals in the half-court a lot better than full-court or even 3-quarter court because once you steal the ball, it almost always result in an uncontested layup the other end. Here are 2 screenshots from the clips above,

If you want your players to make those kinds of steals in the half-court, it won't happen by just you as a coach telling them to do it. As with everything else, uou need to drill it and practice it. I wrote about some deflection drills that you can try that might help your team develop that kind of mentality.

If you're looking for some more defensive drill stuff, take a look at Jamie Dixon's new DVD on his 10-point shell drill for better M2M defense. As always, be sure to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to discuss this and more of your favorite basketball topics.