Preparatory Reading For Tonight

My friend JT shared an article from basketball prospectus on the UNC team that’s worth reading.  It argues that playing a fast paced game is almost completely unimportant to UNC’s offensive success.  That’s surprising, since UNC is one of the fastest teams in college basketball, and this style of play is characteristic of Roy Williams’ teams.  However, so far as I understand statistical analysis of basketball (ED: And that’s not far at all…) the argument seems legitimate.

A second article focuses on Tyler Hansbrough’s game.  Nice paragraph:

The broadcast did do a great job of highlighting a three-possession sequence early in the second half where Hansbrough showed off the breadth of his offensive skills. On the first play, he caught the ball at the three-point line, put it on the floor and used a spin move to free himself for a banker off glass from about 10 feet. Next, Hansbrough established deep post position early in the offense and scored on a soft hook shot. Lastly, Hansbrough caught the ball just outside the paint, saw a double-team coming and dished to teammate Ed Davis for a dunk. Few big men in the country could have made any two of those plays, let alone all three.

The biggest thing keeping Hansbrough from being a major factor in the high post is the fact that he is so good at playing nearer the basket. I anticipate this element of his game being developed at the pro level…

The comforting upshot of the piece is that Hansbrough could be a strong role player in the NBA, despite the fact that many elements of his game are unlikely to be effective in professional play–he’s neither tall enough nor athletic enough to play the same role he has in college.

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