A former player in the JT Jr. era reached out to me this morning reacting to yesterday's casual hoya post. He doesn't want to use his name, so we'll call him "bashfulhoya". If grumpyhoya is out there, want to hear from you too.
Sleepy—read your piece this morning it is excellent. I would describe it slightly differently but well within your analysis
1. JTII was a defensive oriented coach while the son is offensive oriented. It doesn’t mean either ignores offense or defense, it is where they start the game attack.
2. JTII—you’re right, he always looked to have teams that were taller, faster and better conditioned than any team we played. We practiced from 4:30-7:30pm every day (most teams practice 2 hours) and 70% of the practice were drills and running. No one ever out hustled Georgetown. His real breakthrough was his defensive scheme. He could change the defense every time down the court by yelling (or having the point guard yell a single number). That is also why the team always huddled at every foul shot. Numbers in the 50s were man to man, the 30s were zone. So 55 was full court pressure on the inbound, 54 was full court, 53 was three quarters court, 52, half and 51 fall back to pick up man. 35-31 with the zones. If you look at films from the seventies almost no one pressured so long so often. Now it is routine. Also, back then opposing coaches were used to dealing with defensive changes once every 8 minutes or so. When confronted with a team that changed every time down the court and could go from zone to man to man in the process, it blew up almost every offensive scheme.
JT II’s offense was a simple motion offense and the real offensive explosions came from defensive sparked runs and fast breaks. The offense benefitted from the general chaos that defense created. Because of that scheme it was always difficult for shooters to generate offensive rhythm and that’s why you saw few big scorers—the exceptions being Derrick Jackson, Sleepy, Charles Smith and Iverson.
Now when you think about a team that was going to be taller, quicker and never got tired that led to a lot of physical intimidation of the opponents. I’d also say there was some “chip on the shoulder” aspect to all those teams, but that would lead to a much longer discussion. I do remember one of the great things JT II said to me once during a scrimmage “basketball fights last 2 punches, make sure you throw both of them”.
3. JT III attacks the game from the offensive end and it comes from Carill. He values ball handling, spacing and movement of both players and ball. He will use long possessions to wear down opponents. Playing D for 35 seconds takes a lot more out of you than playing offense. But, as you say, his kids are very athletic. While JT II teams usually had a rotation of 9-11 players and JT III has until now had to suffice with 7-8. This is the first year that he has the possibility of 10-11 players who deserve time. I’d love to see him start to integrate a full court press and apply some of his dad’s stuff which up to now he hasn’t had the luxury of doing. In any event, it will be a fun season. We are guard dominated and there will be some games where we live by and die by jump shots. Keep up the blog, you’ll have an avid reader here.