JJ Redick with a Very Good College Basketball Take
JJ Redick is solid as a media guy. He was a good quote when he played for the Sixers and speaks with a lot of authority on basketball topics, so I would agree with everything he says here:
JJ’s college basketball rant >>> pic.twitter.com/bCU6jsrCI0
— Jason Gallagher (@jga41agher) April 6, 2022
“These guys have not evolved their philosophy since the 1980s or 1990s. It’s ridiculous. Same sets. Same sets I used to run, that I used to watch growing up.”
I used to be one of those “they don’t play defense in the NBA” guys. Absolutely loved the college game because they would play hard and hustle and grind and just bust their ass for the entirety of the 40 minutes. But when you think about what Redick is saying, it’s all 100% true. It’s less about “nobody playing defense” in the NBA and more about how stale and boring college offenses are compared to the insane strides we’ve seen in the pro game. The spacing is so whack. Guys bump into each all the time. Most of the players aren’t skilled enough to drive to the rim consistently. There’s a LOT of passing around the perimeter and janky post ups.
We should also consider that a lot of the top programs are getting one-and-done guys, or players who only stick around for two seasons, right? So in a sense, you’re working vanilla sets into the offense and trying to keep things simple, because there’s so much turnover that you’re essentially teaching a new group every single year. I think that factors in. What is John Calipari really installing when he only has guys like Anthony Davis for one year? You would expect more design and ingenuity from programs that have juniors and seniors.
Maybe I’m biased because I had to watch Bob Huggins for 10 years, but he barely even runs an offense. It was full court press with 12 dudes seeing the floor, so the entire scoring mechanism was turning other teams over or grabbing your own ugly misses. Hammer the offensive glass. It was a bulldog style with hard-working guys but it wasn’t basketball. Calling that basketball isn’t accurate.
JJ is 100% right here.