Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lavin's Strategy Change - Beats Notre Dame

Steve Lavin, coach of St. John's University mens basketball announced in his pre-game radio show that he would change his strategy to overcome Notre Dame's offense strength - perimeter shooting.

Lavin sat Chris Obekpa the 6-9 shot blocking machine and instead started 3 guards yesterday.  This change in starting line up was designed to offset Notre Dame's 3 point shooting strength of 4 players in the ND starting line up.

Notre Dame ranks eleventh in the NCAA with a 41% 3 point shooting percentage.  Two players, Scott Martin, .492 and Eric Atkins, .468 make close to 1 out of 2 from three point range.

The strategy paid off in several ways.

First the smaller St. John's line up was able to play better perimeter defense limiting the Notre Dame shooters.

 Second St. John's benefited by shooting better with higher percentage shooter in the line up.  The new St. John's starting lineup seemed more confident in their shots as the game progressed.

An additional benefit from the SJU defense was the transition offense leading to easier fast break points that put pressure on Notre Dame.

Lavin discussed in detail on his pre-game show how SJU's defense needed to ignite the offense and create offense opportunities.  Lavin was spot on and deserves credit for a winning strategy.

Beating Notre Dame ranked number 20 in the college polls is a major win for SJU.  Notre Dame was coming off a loss and also needed a win.

After St. John's lackluster loss to Georgetown hope is still alive for the Johnnies.

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