in Daily Bullets

Playbook: Nash frees up Forte

As the debate rages on in the comments section about the merits of my basketball acumen (admittedly, it’s debatable) I want to show you the play I was talking about in my 10 thoughts yesterday.

While we’re here, let me clear a few things up. I don’t think this is a Final Four team — in fact, I’ve never thought that. I believe in this squad though, I think it can get to the Sweet 16.

I think Markel has developed into an All-Big 12 player and I think Smart is one of the best 10 guys in the country. That doesn’t mean I think Ford is the second coming, but man, I feel like y’all will find anything and everything to get pissed about when we don’t roll over teams by 40 points.

Iowa State is a good team.

Kansas State, Baylor, and OU are all good teams. All four will probably make the tournament. There’s no shame in winning a tight one at home or losing on the road to those squads.

This isn’t Lexington, it never was, never will be. We’re trying to build something here. I’ve been plenty critical of Ford in the past but as OKC Dave noted in the comments this morning, this team goes hard for him — it’s tough for me to be overly critical when they go as hard as they did last night.

Back on track here. I want to look at the Forte four-point play with some screenshots.

Let’s set the stage. You have Forte in the corner with Gardner handling the ball up top and Nash walking over to screen Gardner.

Screen shot 2013-01-31 at 3.19.18 PM

After Nash sets the screen the guy I’ve circled has a choice, he can either pick up Gardner (who is now beating his guy) or stay on Nash. As you’ll see in the next shot, he heads towards Gardner.

Screen shot 2013-01-31 at 3.19.32 PM

Look at the space between Nash and his guy (the arrows) — he plays way off of him and even cheats over a little bit to pick up Gardner who is now driving down the middle of the lane.

Screen shot 2013-01-31 at 3.20.07 PM

Now Gardner is essentially being double teamed from in front and behind. Nash heads to the corner to screen for Forte.

Screen shot 2013-01-31 at 3.20.18 PM


Here’s the beauty of this play. Forte’s guy (circled below) has to choose between going over the top of Nash to guard Forte on the three or staying with Nash so Gardner doesn’t hit him back door for the easy lay up. Good on Nash for heading to the hoop.

Screen shot 2013-01-31 at 3.31.35 PM

He chooses to stay home and Forte gets an open look. Gardner actually released the pass probably a little too soon (watch the video below) but it worked out. I can’t wait until people start overplaying Forte’ on the three point line so Nash can slip in the back door for an easy bucket.

Screen shot 2013-01-31 at 3.20.30 PM

Here’s the full play.

  • Nate with a blue checkmark

    Well done

  • Jesus, I’m glad we get four years of Forte.

    Jesus, I’m glad we get four years of Forte. Dude will go down as one of the best ever at OSU I have a feeling.

  • Will

    I hate to argue with this meticulous breakdown, but this was more bad defense from ISU than it was a well-designed play. Forte’s man is slow to respond to Forte’s cut. Nash is still out at the 3 pt line when Forte breaks. If his man is playing him tight, he denies the pass or keeps Forte from getting an open shot. Nash takes 4 slow steps (in true Nash fashion) down toward the block which gives his man plenty of time to recover after helping on Gardner.

    But the worst thing about this play, and one of the Ford’s basic flaws as a coach, is watching Nash make no effort to get into rebounding position. Not even a thought in his mind. This play is a microcosm of the entire Ford era – when the 3s are falling, it doesn’t matter that these guys don’t know how to play fundamentally sound basketball.

    • dooley

      Exactly, well said.

    • Nate

      Bingo, Will! You can see it!

      That was horrid defense by the ISU defender and it’s very obvious (kyle has his agenda to push and can’t look at it any other way).

      When you’re guarding a guy like Forte, you NEVER want to go under a screen. Good shooters will get open like that all day. The defender needs to be on his hip when he’s coming off the screen to make him curl or put it on the deck. Instead he’s lazy and plays underneath and get’s easily screened for a wide open 3.

      • Schultzy

        (Nate has his agenda to push and can’t look at it any other way)

        • Nate

          Are you and Kyle secret lovers? So you just blindly come to his defense 24/7?

          • Schultzy

            You caught me. But really, I find your arguments hilarious. So absolute, and if anyone disagrees, it’s straight to the personal attacks. It shows that you can’t adequately defend what you say, and so you go straight to this very juvenile response.

  • Jheri Curl

    There ain’t no way……this team even gets close to smelling Sweet 16. One and done if they get to the dance. Not wishing it but not seeing where the optimism is coming from.

    • David


  • Tyler

    It’s a decent play. Caught them sleeping on D, but still better than 98% of the sets they usually run. If the guy sticks to Forte’s hip it’s all but over. Maybe an entry to LB for a fadeaway J to clank off the rim would be then end result if the defender doesn’t fall asleep.

  • oklahoman

    I’m an OU alum, but love this blog because of the writing and enthusiasm the contributers have for their teams. It’s refreshing to me that OSU basketball fans are as crazy as OU football fans about their team. I realize this OSU basketball team isn’t an E. Sutton-ish team, but they’re pretty good. You guys commenting rip an OSU basketball win like my OU friends rip an OU football win. The score wasn’t lop-sided enough, the play calling was horrendous, the defense gave up too many points…. Great stuff guys (bloggers and commenters). Keep it up! Go give Kansas hell Saturday.