Another fantastic weekend of action on NCAA schedule. Another Big East clash between ranked teams in Villanova and Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. I was surprised that Syracuse went with M2M most of the game since Jim Boeheim is known to be a zone guy, but I haven't watched enough Syracuse games this year to know if they've been M2M all season. In any case, Villanova just did a good job grinding out a tough win on the road.

I watched a couple of great motion teams this weekend including Texas Tech, Washington St. and West Virginia. Villanova's 4-out 1-in motion offense is also great to watch. They are so well spaced. And they know where they are supposed to be when someone drives, where to drag, where to drift... Here are a couple of sequences I caught from the second half,

4-out 1-in Motion Spacing:

Villanova runs as pure a motion offense as you can get. As such, the real key to their execution is in the spacing, and reading what their teammates are doing. If you have great spacing, it will spread the defense out and allow you to attack the gaps either with penetration or with passing,

A coaching friend asked me the other day to take a look at his team as they prepare for the playoffs. They are great in transition and have some of the best athletes in the region but he said he's tried to figure out why they struggle so much in the half court and can't quite put his finger on it.

I watched the game and their whole problem was summed up with one word - spacing. They played a 4-out offense with some flex but at no period when I watched tape were 4 players all outside of the 3-point line, and we're talking regular HS 3-point line. Because 4 of the 5 offensive players msat inside the 3-point line the majority of the time, the defense sagged and every shot inside of 18 feet was contested. The problem was exacerbated by the fact that they lacked outside shooting, hence they tended to crowd inside the 3-point line.


Like I said, I was very impressed with the job Jay Wright did in preparing his Villanova team today to pick up the big win on the road, conference game, against a ranked opponent. To me, that shows that they're ready to play for real in March, probably on the road, against ranked opponents. I think Syracuse is a good team, but they rely a little too much on outside shooting, going 12-for-39 from 3-point land tonight. As we all know, shooting is great, but it can be streaky, and in a one-and-done tournament, that's a lot to ask to win 6 straight games based primarily on outside shooting.

If you like Coach Jay Wright and Villanova, then check out Jay Wright's DVD on Drills for his 4-out 1-in Motion Offense. Be sure to head over to the X's and O's Basketball Forum to discuss this and more of your favorite basketball topics.