Have you ever had coached one of those games where just about everything that could go right, went right? Well, that must've been what Clemson Head Coach Oliver Purnell must've felt at the end of the game after the Tigers put up 59 points to Maryland's 36 points on the way to the rout.

Coaching is all about adjustments. One of the great halftime adjustments that I thought Clemson did was to take advantage of the Terrapins aggressive full-fronting defense by going hi-low, backdoor and curl cuts. Here are two sequences from the 2nd half including a ESPN breakdown of the hi-low,

Hi-Low Against Fronting Post:

If you have a dominant post type player, one thing all coaches have to deal with at some point is against fronting defenses. Now, alot of times I watch games and teams will try a straight lob from the wing. But most defenses now have help from the backside to take that away. With the Hi-Low, you bring the other forward to the high-post or top of the key, thus freeing up the middle for the lob or bounce pass in this case.

The setup is the fronting defense. As you can see, if they just tried a straight lob, the help side would intercept and it would result in a turnover,

Booker from Clemson seals his defender outside, and the other forward comes up to the high post. By doing so, he positions himself for a much better passing angle than from the wing,

The bounce pass is not used often enough, a great choice here to thread the ball in and also because it's quicker than the lob. One could argue that it's a greater chance of a deflection, but still, it did work magically,


Clemson just absolutely blew the doors off this game in the second half. Part of it was Maryland's bad defense for sure, but Clemson simply didn't miss for 20 minutes. They were hitting 3-pointers, fast-break, backdoor, etc... Maryland just looked shell-shocked, after the first 10 minutes they went from down by 5 to down by 20. Don't look know, but Clemson just surpassed Duke in the ACC standings, I think they could be a sleeper team for the tournament.

If you like Coach Purnell or Clemson, then check out Oliver Purnell's DVD on Forcing the Action. The DVD shows Purnell's full court press defense which Clemson uses the entire game. 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.