News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Indiana State University

November 28, 2013

Tulsa's switching defenses confounded Sycamores

Golden Hurricane 2-3 zone caused trouble

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — Tulsa paid Indiana State the respect they feel the Sycamores earned with a 3-1 start and a win at Notre Dame on Nov. 17.

So the Golden Hurricane threw multiple defenses at the Sycamores.

The one that had the most bite was a 2-3 zone that got ISU out of its rhythm in the second half and made the Sycamores fatally stagnant too often in a 63-62 loss in the first round of the Great Alaska Shootout on Wednesday.

"Indiana State is a great team, a great offensive team especially, because they have so many weapons," Tulsa coach Danny Manning said. "Jake is an elite point guard and he runs the show. We just tried to disrupt his rhythm a bit by throwing different defenses at him."

The 2-3 was a look Tulsa used at least twice in the second half to break ISU's momentum.

"We stood around a lot against their zone. The ball has to move and we have to get it in the paint. When we did, we looked pretty good with it, but we had guys holding the ball too much. We didn't make the zone shift," ISU coach Greg Lansing said.

That was easier said than done. Tulsa's 2-3 had teeth because the Golden Hurricane could use their long-armed team to extend it with relative ease without giving in passing lanes into the post. The Golden Hurricane played in front of Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell and could easily deny post feeds over the top.

"They used that length. They had long arms and they could cut off the driving lanes and we couldn't throw over the top to Gant because they were tall on the front side. We got stagnant and didn't look too good on the offensive end," Odum said.

The Sycamores were stagnant, but their shooting touch deserted them too. ISU had been shooting over 50 percent from 3-point range entering the game, but shot just 35 percent against Tulsa.

Odum was not able to penetrate the zone as much as would've been preferred. That was Tulsa's plan all along.

"Once he gets into that comfort zone, penetrates and gets to the bucket he gets his teammates involved and they're a really tough team. We just tried to do different things to slow him down because you can't stop a great point guard," Manning said.

Tulsa also switched up its press -- going from a passive three-quarter court press to an active full-court press late.

"They did a good job switching defenses. They switched their press, they switched defenses in the half-court to stall us out," Odum said.

ISU praised Tulsa, but offered no excuses for its own inability to attack the defenses. After the game Wednesday, ISU had another walk-through at its hotel to reinforce what it wants to do offensively.

"We were stagnant. I don't think it was what they did. We didn't move the ball the way coach wanted us to move it and it looked like we didn't know what we were doing out there because of that," said ISU guard Devonte Brown, who scored 18 points.

"That comes from more prep. We have to go harder in practice. When we get back to the hotel, we're going to go through another walkthrough and go through our offensive plays so we know what we need to do," Brown added.

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