This past Monday, Oklahoma State lost against #2 Kansas at legendary Phog Allen Fieldhouse, 94-67.
OSU, who beat Kansas by 19 points in Stillwater, Oklahoma just a month ago lead the Jayhawks early in the first half, 25-17, but Kansas made a 30-9 run to end the first half to give them a 47-34 halftime lead.
The final points of the half came at the hands of Kansas’ sharpshooter Brannen Green, who hit a buzzer-beating 3pt shot to give the Jayhawks a 47-34 advantage.
See video of Green’s buzzer-beater.
This shot was a huge momentum swing in favor of Kansas as OSU just made the back end of pair of free throws, but allowed Kansas to hit the three down with 5.0 seconds remaining.
With the score 44-34, and OK State’s Joe Burton at the line, both Kansas and OK State made substitutions, including Brannen Green, to set their ensuing offense and defense, respectively.
Although OK State did not have any fouls to give (Kansas was in the double bonus), Kansas went small placing four outside shooters onto the floor to stretch the OK State defense.
The Cowboys’ End of Half (EOH) defense failed on several fronts:
- They were rushed because they did not substitute Burton after the made free throw: OK State should have substituted Burton out of the game to set their defense, get the matchups they wanted.
- They allowed an easy inbound and north catch: If OK State had substituted them could have pushed up on Kansas and defended the inbound pass. By doing so they could have also made the receiver step towards their defensive baseline to make a tougher catch and therefore wasting precious time in order to get the ball inbounded.
- They did not make the ballhandler go east-west: Even without executing #2, OK State could have still forced Kansas’ Frank Mason Jr. to take an east-west (side to side) dribble instead of allowing him to merely take two uncontested dribbles and pass to a wide open Green. Again, this stems from #1 because there was no organization in this defensive possession.
- They did not push up on the shooters to make them dribblers: Lastly, OK State completed this poor defensive possession by not pushing up on Green. They got caught in the middle of the floor (due to #1 and #2) and did not look organized. In addition, although it is understandable that they do not want to foul a shooter in that situation, if the defense is there prior to the shooter elevating, they will either have to either (a) initiate contact, (b) take an awkward shot or (c) dribble around the defender.
Not executing these factors cost OK State three critical points, which could have kept the game at 10 points going into the half and also keep Kansas’ momentum down. Instead Kansas had confidence and the raucous Jayhawk crowd fully behind them.