Indiana exploited the free-throw line on offense to knock off Purdue twice last season. While the faces change (mainly for Indiana), I wouldn’t be surprised if the game plan remains the same for the Hoosiers.
I want to show y’all a few things they did last year to give Purdue issues. Mike Woodson comes from a professional background, and when you find something that works in the NBA, you run it until it stops working.
Purdue didn’t stop Indiana from wearing out the free-throw line in either game last season. Matt Painter and the Boilermakers haven’t stopped it, so I expect Mike Woodson to run it tomorrow.
Side Pick and Roll / Dribble Handoff 3-Pointer
Attack the Foul Line and Push Edey Back
On this possession, Indiana doesn’t bother with the high pick and roll. They give the ball to TJD and let him handle it up top. He’s not looking to drive to score; all he wants to do is push Edey under the basket with the threat of a drive and get him out of the way of the free-throw line action.
I’ve highlighted the three spots on the court Indiana attacks on this play.
Eventually, the side pick and roll starts in the green box.
Flatten Out Purdue
Indiana has managed to flatten out the Purdue back line. Jackson-Davis’s drive pushes Edey back into the lane. Unlike Hood-Schifino, Jackson-Davis isn’t a threat to pull up and shoot. Gillis recognizes this and doesn’t step up and pressure. This gives TJD an easy pass to the wing to get into IU’s side pick and roll look.
Keep in mind, Mike Woodson tortured Purdue by running his offense from the free-throw line last season. He’s got every Purdue defender other than Ethan Morton pinned deep. Meanwhile, if you count, Indiana only has four guys on the screen. The fifth, JHS, is lurking just off-screen. See Matt Painter in the upper right-hand corner? JHS is just a step out of the screen in front of Coach Painter.
The only player Purdue has capable of getting outside to him is Ethan Morton. Morton is hanging in the center of the court, looking to help on the upcoming side pick and roll.
Galloway Side Pick and Roll
Galloway leaves his spot on the wing and runs dribble hand-off with TJD. Galloway uses the TJD handoff to turn the corner on the trailing Braden Smith, but he’s not looking to attack the basket. Purdue has a 7’4”, 300 pound monster waiting for him at the basket. Instead, his job is to take advantage of Edey parking on the hoop and not being more aggressive on the side pick and roll.
Galloway is skilled enough to pull up and hit a wide open foul line jumper the vast majority of the time. If Edey isn’t going to step up and cut him off, that leaves the job to Morton. Galloway’s job is to get the ball into the blue square and draw Morton.
Take the Bait
Galloway is the bait on this play. He’s the facilitator, not the scorer. The scorer, JHS, has been lurking just out of frame (note, I put the pink square a little too low on the first few slides, but didn’t want to spend the time to fix it. It doesn’t change anything, but I assume someone will notice). As soon as Morton commits to cutting off the Galloway drive, JHS steps up into the pink square.
This doesn’t happen if Edey steps up and cuts off Galloway before he gets the ball to the center of the court, but he’s too far back to impact the play. Since Edey didn’t step up early, Galloway is coming to the hand-off action clean. If Zach steps up late, it’s going to be a TJD dunk on the roll. I’ll show you that in a second. Remember, if it works once, Mike Woodson is going to go back to it until it doesn’t work.
This is a wide-open shot on any level. A player as skilled as JHS is going to hit this shot at a high clip.
Way Too Easy
JHS steps into the open 3, unfazed by the late Morton closeout and jars the 3 (you’re going to have to trust me, this goes in).
Side Pick and Roll / Dribble Handoff Dunk
Get Zach Involved
TJD has the ball up top again. Indiana doesn’t have the entire Purdue team pinned to the baseline this time, but they’re going to exploit the same hole in Purdue’s defense. This time it ends in a dunk instead of a 3.
Once Zach picks up TJD, he knows he can get to his spot for the side pick and roll / dribble hand-off action. TJD isn’t a great ball handler, but it doesn’t matter. Zach isn’t going to come up and put him under any pressure. He can walk to his spot and initiate the offense without worrying about getting the ball poked away.
Once again, the goal is to get the ball to the free-throw line and stop. This play is designed for the guy coming off the screen with the ball (Galloway again) to facilitate the offense from the free-throw line. Last time Galloway got the top side defender to bite and found an open 3 from JHS. This time he’s running the more classic pick and roll with TJD.
This is the same look you saw above, except this time Newman has JHS locked up. He has no idea where the ball is, and I don’t blame him. JHS is already almost 20 points deep, and I don’t mind Purdue seeing if anyone else on Indiana is capable of scoring.
That means Woodson has Zach isolated in the pick and roll. That’s what he wants.
Can’t Defend Half-Way
Galloway gets to his spot and honestly, should probably gather and shoot at this point. I’m sure it’s hard to pull the trigger with Zach looming, but honestly, he’s not getting to this little pull-up if Galloway wants it.
Instead, he comes to a stop at the free-throw line and assesses the situation. If Zach steps up he’s got TJD on the roll. If Zach stays, he has an open free-throw line jumper. Based on Smith desperately trying to recover back to TJD; I assume this was supposed to be a switch. I don’t mind Purdue switching this if Zach puts pressure on the ball. Instead, he plays halfway and lets Galloway come off clean. If you give a player as skilled as Galloway this much time to make a decision, it’s usually going to end up in points.
The fact that Galloway doesn’t even look to score from this spot on the court makes me think he’s the designated facilitator on this play. Purdue wants him to drive and bring Edey into play, but because he stops at the foul line, Zach is in no-man’s land.
This is a great pass from Galloway but it’s too easy. There is no pressure on the ball. Any decent college guard is going to score or create a basket from this spot on the court.
The tough thing about playing offense when Zach Edey is on the other team is his ability to recover in one step. His arms and legs are so long that he gets away with being lazy with his feet on occasion because one step and he’s back in position because of his long arms.
Against most teams, TJD dunks this. Against Purdue, he has to use the rim to hold off the big man. This is tougher than the uncontested 3 JHS hit in the first clip, but not by much. Ware will finish most of these looks for I.U. this season. He’s not as skilled as TJD, but he’s bigger. Indiana wants to get Zach in foul trouble, and this is a great way to pick up fouls on the opposing center.
2 More For The Bad Guys
Mike Woodson and the Hoosiers punished Purdue with their side pick and roll offense last season. I expect them to try the same thing tomorrow. The Indiana players have changed, but I don’t expect Woodson to go away from attacking Edey and Purdue with this look. It’s up to Zach to get more active and not let the Hoosiers run their offense from the free-throw line tomorrow.
This should be a great test for the big man. If he wants to prove he can defend the pick and roll in the NBA, he has a great opportunity to do so against a coach that’s going to attack him like an NBA coach.
It’s time for the best player in the nation to show Mike Woodson his improvement on defense.