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Friday, January 6, 2012
Playmakers: This week's best plays

By staff

In this new weekly installment, I’ll attempt to dissect some of college basketball’s top plays from the past week.

Jamee Crockett keeps his eye on the ball against Syracuse

There weren’t many highlights for DePaul in its 87-68 loss to No. 1 Syracuse Sunday. But Jamee Crockett did a great job of getting behind the Syracuse zone with 17:35 remaining in the second half.

Jeremiah Kelly finds Brandon Young on the wing. Young shoots the 3.

A couple of things happen after the ball leaves Young’s hands.

Crockett follows the shot as James Southerland keeps his eyes on Young. Krys Faber boxes out and anticipates the rebound.

As Faber fends off two Syracuse defenders, Crockett gets to the rim, grabs the ball and dunks the rebound.

You hear coaches talk about finding the gaps in the zone. It was a small opening, but Young found it and got behind Syracuse’s defenders and took advantage of a brief defensive lapse.

Great example of a player staying focused in a lopsided loss and making a play. I appreciated Crockett’s hustle more than the dunk.

Trey Burke cuts to the bucket against Minnesota

Michigan is not the biggest team in the country. But the Wolverines foil a lot of defensive setups with craftiness, as evidenced by this nifty sequence in a 61-56 victory over Minnesota Sunday.

With 14:44 to go in the first half, Jordan Morgan gets the ball from Tim Hardaway Jr. near the top of the key. Hardaway comes behind Morgan as if he’s about to get the ball back.

Ralph Sampson III steps toward Hardaway even as teammate Julian Welch slides with his man. Sampson quickly comes back to Morgan, but there’s space between the two.

Meanwhile, Maverick Ahanmisi is staying close to Trey Burke. But with the gap created between Sampson and Morgan, the Minnesota point guard turns toward Morgan as he takes a dribble.

Burke recognizes that Ahanmisi is in a bad defensive position so he cuts to the rim, where Morgan finds him on a nice back-door pass. Burke gets the bucket and draws the foul.

Michigan’s limited size could become a burden as Big Ten play continues. But the Wolverines are quick on the perimeter. They’re a tough team to guard.

Hollis Thompson nails the game-winning 3-pointer over Marquette

After his late 3 proved to be the game-winner in his squad’s 73-70 victory over Marquette Wednesday, Hollis Thompson said he wasn’t exactly sure how it had all unfolded. Let’s go to the video.

Greg Whittington is a 24 percent 3-point shooter. But as he moves toward the wing, Jae Crowder tracks him and gives Henry Sims some room. Sims, whom Crowder defended on the final possession, burst down the left side of the lane. Due to the spacing, Crowder can’t stay in front of Sims.

Darius Johnson-Odom steps in front of Sims and tries to draw the charge. Junior Cadougan sags to help, too. At this point in the possession, Sims has three Marquette defenders on him and it becomes a numbers game for John Thompson III’s squad.

Within the chaos, Thompson is wide open in the corner. Cadougan jumps toward him, but Thompson sinks the game-winner with 23 seconds to play.

I liked the no-call on Sims at the end of the game. Georgetown really capitalized on its final possession.