The Daily Mississippian men’s basketball beat writer Tyler Bischoff will break down Ole Miss basketball each Tuesday and Thursday leading up to 2013-14 season. In part six of the seven-part series, Bischoff looks at the Rebels lack of a pick-and-roll game.
The pick-and-roll is the most basic play in basketball and can be the foundation of an entire offensive set or a player’s ability to score efficiently. With a commanding point guard and a big guy with good feet, the pick-and-roll can be unstoppable, and open up wide-open three pointers for spotted up shooters.
The problem for Ole Miss is that point guard Jarvis Summers was not very efficient on the pick-and-roll last season, and Ole Miss in turn did not run the classic pick-and-roll that often.
On 165 possessions as the ball handler on the pick-and-roll, Summers posted a points per possession of .715, per Synergy Sports. That includes all passes out of the pick-and-roll, whether it be to the roll man or someone else. Summers ranked 32nd out of 36 SEC players who had at least 50 possessions on the pick-and-roll. On pick-and-rolls that Summers took the shot himself, his points per possession dramatically fell to .533. He shot just 26.8 percent from the field on the pick-and-roll, far below his overall field goal percentage of 40.4 percent.
Here, Ole Miss ran a classic pick-and-roll.
Reggie Buckner is about to set a screen for Summers, while Marshall Henderson is spotted up in the corner. This is designed to get Summers a lane to the basket and make Henderson’s man decide if he is going to stay on Henderson and give up the lane, or cut Summers off and leave Henderson for an open three.
The problem for Ole Miss is that Summers doesn’t show any explosion when coming off of the screen. Summers doesn’t often use the screen as a way to get himself shots, and this prevents defenses from getting out of position by sending help to stop the drive. Ole Miss didn’t have a great roll man for the classic pick-and-roll either. So when Summers actually ran one, the defenses weren’t forced to stop anything special.
For example, Summers was forced out wide by a double team. Buckner did not roll to the basket, but remained near the three-point line where he is not a threat. Henderson has made the situation worse by moving away from the corner. (Although, he may be looking for a dribble handoff to lead to a three, but he would be going right into the teeth of that trap).
One big negative to the Ole Miss pick-and-roll was Henderson never got the ball. When Henderson was struggling to get open for quality looks from deep, it would have been helpful for a Summers pick-and-roll to help free him up.
So Ole Miss rarely ran a classic pick-and-roll, but Summers accounted for 165 pick and rolls throughout the season, so what was Ole Miss doing on the pick-and-roll?
Most started like this.
Both forwards started beyond the elbows, usually with Holloway on the right. Summers would ultimately use Holloway as a screen. Then Holloway would flare to an opening near the top of the key, and Summers would feed him the ball. This allowed for Holloway to catch the ball uncontested and pick up some steam while driving left. (Obviously)
Here Henderson stands in the corner, hoping his man helps on to Holloway in order to get an open look. Also, Buckner is in great position to catch a pass from Holloway and get an easy dunk, if his man has to commit to Holloway. This was a very effective play that Ole Miss used frequently to get Holloway driving with his left hand. (Although against Florida, Erik Murphy did a tremendous job cutting Holloway off.)
This play was specifically designed for Holloway to get the ball in his left hand and allow him to attack the basket. Will Ole Miss continue to run this type of play with Holloway gone? It depends on if any players can prove to be dangerous off the bounce like Holloway. Junior Aaron Jones and incoming freshman Sebastian Saiz appear to have the athletic ability to possibly pull this off. Making defenses choose between leaving an open lane to the basket or leaving an open Henderson is a big advantage that Ole Miss should attempt to exploit even without Holloway.
Summers did a good job of not turning the ball over on the pick-and-roll. He only committed a turnover on 10.9 percent of these possessions, the 10th lowest mark among SEC players with at least 50 pick-and-rolls. Summers also didn’t get his shot blocked very much when he did drive to the hoop off of a pick, except when facing Kentucky when Nerlens Noel blocked one of Summers’ shot attempts, visibly altered four more and blocked two of Holloway’s shots, all off of the-pick and-roll.
It would be a major bonus for this team if Summers could become a threat on the pick-and-roll, especially if they are struggling for offense when Henderson is out due to a suspension or is being shutdown by an opposing defense.
Photos and Stats courtesy of Synergy Sports
For continuing coverage of Ole Miss men’s basketball, follow @Tyler_RSR and @thedm_sports on Twitter.