As I watch a variety of women’s and men’s college basketball games at all levels, I have found some interesting game situations arise that I would like to have an open discussion about.
SCENARIO #1: Team A is leading Team B by one point. Team B has no timeouts, Team A has a timeout remaining. Both teams are in the double bonus.
Team A has ball on their offensive end baseline-out-of-bounds with :04 seconds left on the shot clock and 14.6 seconds left in the game. Team A misses a jump shot and Team B rebounds the shot, pushes ball up the court and misses an uncontested 3pt shot. This leaves 2.5 seconds remaining in the game as the ball goes out-of-bounds off of Team B. Team A now has possession.
Team A inbounds the ball from their defensive baseline, to an open player near the baseline in the defensive short corner, who is immediately fouled by Team B. This leaves 1.9 seconds left on the clock.
Team A unintentionally misses the first free throw. Then makes the second free throw, giving Team A two-point lead.
With no timeouts, Team B inbounds the ball and is allowed to catch the ball moving towards their offensive basket. A player heaves a half court 3pt field goal attempt that misses its mark.
Team A wins by two points.
As I watched this scenario unfold, I would have done a few things different as a head coach for Team A.
First, if I was Team A, I would not have inbounded the ball near my defensive basket with 2.5 seconds left especially when Team B had zero timeouts remaining. Instead I would have thrown the ball about 80 feet down the court, to ensure it was touched by someone and force Team B to heave a desperation shot 60+ feet to win the game.
In addition, the player from Team A who was fouled after catching the inbound pass, was only a 65.6% (61-93) free throw shooter on the season. He then proceeded to make one of two from the charity stripe.
Secondly, once Team A missed the first free throw, I would have purposely missed the second free throw to force (once again) Team B to heave a desperation shot 60+ feet to win the game. Instead Team A made the second free throw, which only put them up by two points and more importantly gave Team B a chance to potentially set up a late game play to win the game or force it to overtime.
Again, I would never had made it to the second situation as I would not have put Team A in the position to be fouled. However, if I did, that is how I would have coached it.
Please comment below and give your take on this late game scenario and how you would have coached it. I appreciate all of your responses and feedback.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo