BLOG POST: Ole Miss can’t defend stretch forwards

Posted on Dec 9 2013 - 2:59pm by Tyler Bischoff

Ole Miss was on the short end of an offensive slugfest Sunday, as they lost to No. 13 Oregon 115-105 in overtime. The Rebels got burned by Oregon’s Mike Moser, a 40 percent three-point shooter, who stands at 6-foot-8. He was a mismatch that Ole Miss did not have an answer for defensively.

When he was paired with lightning quick point guard Jonathan Loyd, the two were nearly unstoppable, especially when Oregon can dot the three-point line with sharp shooters.

Moser ended up with 24 points, while draining three threes; Loyd added 23 points and an absurd 15 assists.

Here’s a look at the pick-and-pop Oregon used to get Moser open for threes.

Oregon has Loyd and Moser isolated on the left side of the court. Moser comes to set a ball screen, while on the other side, three Ole Miss defenders are concerned with a double screen for Jason Calliste – a 55 percent shooter from three.


As the pick-and-pop develops, Demarco Cox, who is guarding Moser, has to provide significant help on Loyd. Loyd was able to beat Ole Miss off of the dribble all night, so neglecting to hedge that screen would have resulted in an open lane for Loyd to drive.


But Cox’s aggressive hedge leaves Moser wide open as he pops to the three-point line.


All three of Moser’s threes came via this pick-and-pop in the second half and were all assisted by Loyd. Even more concerning is that Marshall Henderson did not get through the double screens and Calliste is also wide open for three.

Later, it was Sebastian Saiz guarding Moser. He too had no chance to recover on Moser at the three-point line. (But look at that wing span!)


Realizing Ole Miss could not defend Moser on the perimeter, the Ducks got him the ball in a isolation with Aaron Jones.


Help side defense was too slow to stop Moser by the time he shot, and only Demarco Cox would have been able to help, as Oregon spaced three-point shooters across the floor.


Moser is a matchup problem for Ole Miss. Big men that could step outside and shoot threes gave Ole Miss problems last season. Kyle Wiltjer (26 points, 5 three pointers), Erik Murphy (19 points, 5 three pointers) and Colin Borchert (21 points, 3 three pointers) all torched Ole Miss and were key factors in the Rebels dropping those three games.

Last season’s SEC Championship run came on the back of strong defense that eliminated stretch forwards three-point shooting. Ole Miss switched every ball screen, which prevented those pick-and-pop opportunities.

It did leave Ole Miss with some major disadvantages, as Marshall Henderson and Derrick Millinghaus ended up guarding post players on the block. But no team made Ole Miss pay enough, which allowed Andy Kennedy to stay with the switching.

Last night in overtime, Oregon ran the pick-and-pop for Moser just once, and Ole Miss switched the screen. This forced Jarvis Summers into guarding Moser, and Moser promptly got the ball to the block, made a spin move and scored easily.

Kennedy also threw Anthony Perez onto Moser, as Perez – with his length – has the potential to guard stretch forwards.

But when asked if Perez is the solution to this problem, Kennedy said, “No.”

It is a problem Ole Miss will face again – Borchert is still at Mississippi State and Rod Odom of Vanderbilt is hitting 2.8 threes per game. But Oregon is one of the top offenses in the country. The combination of a speedy point guard, versatile big man and a plethora of three point shooters won’t be found on many teams, but the stretch forward helped defeat Ole Miss once again.

 For continuing coverage of Ole Miss men’s basketball, follow @Tyler_RSR and @thedm_sports on Twitter.


— Tyler Bischoff