This isn’t specifically about the 2015 tournament. Though I should note I am off to a great start in the Draft Pool. No, I felt the need to rant against poor coaching. This is similar to my feelings about football coaches lacking strategy.
I really haven’t watched regular season college basketball in many years (college basketball has gotten very boring), so I’m basing my entire opinion on the NCAA tournament. Which is OK because the failure there is most egregious. Unlike the regular season, we are dealing with a one-and-done scenario, so you better get it right.
This happens every year. The scenario is generally something like this:
Team is trailing by 1 and has possession with 30 seconds on the clock. Coach decides to go for the final shot with no time left. This is the mistake. JUST SHOOT BABY! (Voice of Dick Vitale.)
The coach thinks he is going to win the game. He is also concerned about the other team having enough time to re-take the lead. He is wrong. JUST SHOOT BABY!
The problem is they need to start the play with 12 or maybe as much as 15 seconds to go. But they always wait to 6 or 8. They’re not that good. These are not NBA players. They never can make anything happen, or turn the ball over, or get nervous and jack up crappy 3’s. JUST SHOOT BABY!
Here is an early example from this year.
Northeastern has possession, but is down 2 against Notre Dame. And they don’t even get a shot off. That sucks. And it’s worse if you are a huge underdog like Northeastern. At least give your kids a chance. JUST SHOOT BABY!
Now if you start the play earlier there is a better chance you get off a quality shot. And means it’s more likely to go in. So what if you miss? Well, under my scenario there is still time for an offensive rebound or perhaps fouling a defensive rebounder to extend the game. But if you wait until there is no time left to shoot and miss…welp, game over. JUST SHOOT BABY!
And what if you do make it? That’s good, right? We can all agree that making the shot and taking the lead is a good thing. So my coach is worried about the other team having too much time left. But guess what? They’re not that good either. These are not NBA players on the other team. So they can’t make anything happen, or they’ll turn the ball over, or they’ll get nervous and jack up a crappy 3. They won’t make it. So…JUST SHOOT BABY!
Other complaint about coaching: Up 3, other team has possession. Please foul. It’s pretty simple math. If you foul, they can only score 2 points and lose. If you don’t they can shoot a 3 and tie. JUST FOUL(?) BABY!