Friday, January 27, 2012
Playmakers: Cincy attacks the Cuse zone
By Myron Medcalf
In this new weekly installment, I’ll attempt to dissect some of college basketball’s top plays from the past week.
Cincy attacks the Syracuse zone
The December brawl between Cincy and Xavier was a turning point for both teams. The Musketeers haven’t been the same since that day. But Cincy pushed the reset button on its season after that unfortunate event.
Syracuse traps as Jackson moves over to the right block. It’s the kind of inside-outside effort that can disrupt a 2-3 zone. Dixon gets the ball back to Jackson inside and C.J. Fair and Rakeem Christmas come over to help, leaving Yancy Gates alone in the paint.
Great court awareness for Jackson who sees the open Gates and gets him the ball for the dunk. When Cincy played that kind of basketball, it was the better team that night. It abandoned that balance, however, down the stretch.
Michigan moves the ball, beats Purdue late
In the Big Ten, every game is meaningful. Road games are priceless. A multitude of Big Ten contenders have suffered unexpected road losses to squads in the bottom half of the conference.
It starts with Trey Burke driving toward the lane with his team down by a point. He sucks in Purdue’s defense because he’s such a dangerous penetrator.
Lewis Jackson turns toward Burke, expecting the freshman to complete the play. But Burke kicks it outside to Zack Novak. Jackson comes back to the perimeter to stop Novak, but the Michigan guard pump-fakes and drives left on the off-balanced defender.
He attracts multiple Purdue defenders, including Robbie Hummel who briefly turns away from Jordan Morgan. Novak finds a patient Morgan on the left block for the go-ahead dunk. It was a significant play for the Wolverines.