For the second straight game, UVA heavily used their triangle/three man motion offense. Against Wake Forest’s man defense for the majority of the game, the ‘Hoos repeatedly fed the post out of that middle triangle set while also incorporating ball screen sets out of the three man structure.
Jumping into the numbers
55 possessions vs settled man defense
Triangle/three man motion: Used on 78.8% off settled offensive possessions versus man defense. Generated 41 points off 34 possessions used for 1.21 PPP.
Various high ball screen sets: Used on 17.3% of settled offensive possessions versus man defense. Generated 16 points off 9 possessions used for 1.78 PPP.
Note: The ‘Hoos used high ball screen actions to get into their triangle set on a number of possessions. These numbers include the possessions where they actually ‘used’ that motion and ended their possession off of it along with other high ball screen sets.
5-out/read and react: Used on 1.9% of settled offensive possessions versus man defense. Generated 0 points off 1 possession used for 0.00 PPP.
Out-of-bounds set play: Used on 1.9% of settled offensive possessions versus man defense. Generated 0 points off 1 possession used for 0.00 PPP.
3 possessions vs settled zone defense
In possessions in the last five minutes when Wake went to a zone defense, the ‘Hoos more or less settled for poor shots and turned the ball over once. Additionally, the exact numbers are 0 points on 3 possessions for 0.00 PPP. But don’t put much – if any – stock in that.
Post touches out of triangle
The ‘Hoos used a post touch on 16/41 (39%) of their possessions in the triangle set and generated 19 points off those possessions for 1.19 PPP. Here’s the individual breakdown:
Hauser: Generated 8 points off 5 post touches for 1.6 PPP.
Clark: Generated 6 points off 5 post touches for 1.2 PPP.
Huff: Generated 2 points off 3 post touches for 0.67 PPP.
Murphy: Generated 3 points off 1 post touch for 3.00 PPP.
Shedrick: Generated 0 points off 1 post touch for 0.00 PPP.
What do these numbers tell us? First off, the continued high usage of the triangle offense is as I expected. That said, it’s really their only offense that they’ve used all that much in the last two games. They’ve totally abandoned sides. The 5-out set is gone. For a team that experimented so heavily with various sets through the first 6 games, this shift to the triangle is interesting. It seems like the coaching staff has found the offense they want to rely on.
All due respect to Tony Bennett, Johnny Carpenter, and Ronnie Wideman. But, the coaching staff itself was obviously limited against Wake which may have contributed to the reliance one offense. Nonetheless, I still think this was the plan as it’s a similar usage breakdown to the Notre Dame game.
As for the efficiency of the three man motion offense. 1.21 PPP is an improvement from the performance from that contest against the Irish . This suggests that the team is growing more comfortable with this offense.
Notably, the replacement of Casey Morsell by Reece Beekman did change the dynamic of this offense a bit. Wake Forest helped heavily off of Beekman in the first half which limited the three guys in the triangle because they were almost playing 3 versus 4. Because Beekman established himself as more of a threat off the dribble, and Bennett used him in the triangle – kicking Clark out onto the perimeter on a few possessions – the Deacons started respecting him a bit more. Unfortunately, if Beekman continues to pass up fairly open three-pointers, teams are going to continue to help off him which will limit the effectiveness of this set with him on the wing.
Additionally, the high number of post touches is no surprise. It’s great to see Clark and Hauser continue to be efficient out of the post in the three man motion set. It is a bit odd that Huff only got three meaningful post touches and that he only scored two points off those possessions. Ideally, they’ll go to him more there. That said, Wake was helping over heavily and doubling when guys had their back to the basket, so that’s likely why the staff relied on Hauser and Clark who are more effective facing up.
The usage of ball screens as the only alternative to the triangle offense is notable. The staff has given Beekman more opportunities to use high ball screens, both within the three man motion and separate of it. That’s good to see, as using Beekman as another creator gives this team another dimension offensively.
I’ll continue to do an offensive breakdown like this for each game this season so be sure to stay tuned to the VIP blog for those. Also, follow me on twitter @zach_carey_ where I’ve got more video breakdowns of the Virginia offense. I’ll also detail some of the adjustments UVA has made defensively, specifically when guarding ball screens.