This team has its strengths, and it has its weaknesses. And as everyone knows, one of the biggest weaknesses is the ability to score, which is pretty paramount when it comes to winning. This issue is exacterbated even further now that Kaleb has been suspended, and when he returns, it’s still an issue when he’s on the bench. So where do we get offense?
Setting up guys with open looks. On this team, we currently have three guys that have proven they can knock down 3’s. They might be a bit streaky, but Jackson, Washington, and Ahrens have all shown the ability to be a viable threat from behind the arc. Problem is, very rarely do we ever run plays designed to get them open looks from deep. Often, we just pass it around the arc. Half the times we get it to the post. All the 3’s are either on kick outs (which are good shots, but shouldn’t account for such a large percentage of the attempts) or last second contested heaves with the shot clock expiring.
Throw it back about 8 years ago, when Deibler was still putting up shots in a Buckeye uniform. Multiple times each game, plays were specifically ran for him to get open looks for 3. Not just playing inside through Sullinger and then getting a kick out pass (which happened quite often too), but plays using screens and ball movement all with the goal of getting him open and a good shot. We had a weapon, and we utilized him.
Even last year with Kam, we made sure he got shots, especially towards the end of the season. Whether it was a 3 or a 2, plays were ran to make sure he got opportunities and for most part, it paid off. We don’t beat SDSU in the tournament last year, or make the Gonzaga game close without Kam getting and capitalizing on those opportunities.
Now granted, out of Jackson, Washington, and Ahrens, none of them are currently even remotely close to Jon Deibler. They’re not Kam Williams either. But on a team that is greatly struggling for offense, it is puzzling why we don’t run plays to get out shooters more open looks.