…Whatcha gonna do?
I go A.W.O.L.!!!
I think they should play that classic Beastie Boys riff in the Assembly Hall every time Mike Davis goes for a double-double. Sure, Mike was in diapers the year Paul’s Boutique came out (if he’d been born at all) and may have never heard the tune, but everyone in Champaign would get used to it next year.
So a a 70-68 victory over the Buckeyes, headlined by Mike Davis, Demetri McCamey, and Trent Meacham (but mostly Mike D). The motion that looked so feckless against recent man-to-man defenses seemed positively clinical against the OSU zone (thanks to Mike D). A quick look at the box score tells us the Illini were 58% from the floor and 53% from 3. You shoot like that you should beat about anyone*. Mike Davis was 11-14 from the floor and seemed unstoppable; in fact the only thing that stopped him was not getting a few more shots. They were short flare jumpers in the seam of the zone, often with guys running at him (he also shot no free throws – indicative of the holes in his game). Still, Coach Weber’s offensive strategy from now on should involve getting Davis 10-12 shots per game (or more).
The question is how to get those shots against the man-to-man. Two key point here: actually throw him the ball and the pick-and-roll, and have Tisdale and Davis screen for each other in the motion instead of constantly having them screening for the guards on the perimeter. Those two adjustments alone might do it. But other teams will be looking to take Davis away from his comfort zone, and he will certainly draw the opponent’s best frontline defender the rest of the year. Coach will need a little creativity here, and DMac will need to continue to look for Davis like he did on Sunday.
In the off-season, Mike D needs to hit the weights like one of the football players. He is about 10-15 pounds of strength away from being an All-American. He will never be a classic power forward, but give him a better lower body base and the strength to deal with contact down low and he’s a potential 20 point/12 rebound guy. He might turn into a decent defender as well. He probably even have a post move or two, though you’ wouldn’t know it watching our motion in action. For now, though, we’ll just settle for getting him the ball a few more times per game. And, of course, that B-boys theme music…
*Despite the hot shooting, the game was too close a the end and OSU nearly came back from an 8 point deficit, illustrating once again how bad your offense becomes when it’s more concerned with milking the clock than generating actual points.