Sunday, January 18, 2015

Seton Hall 88, Marquette 58: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

South Orange, NJ – More lessons reinforced from conference play. It is not how big you are, but rather how big you play. This has been repeated in coaching manuals and at clinics on countless occasions. There was a veritable display of that on Friday night:

Seton Hall 88, Marquette 58.

The Big East game at Walsh Gym saw the host Pirates utilize their speed and quickness to literally run away from their visitors from Milwaukee. Marquette had decent size, but were no match for the transition-oriented Hall.

Playing with speed requires care, not reckless abandon. The Pirates, led by Daisha Simmons’ 24 points, committed only nine turnovers for their 79 possessions. As coach Tony Bozzella emphasized, playing fast is one thing, but caring for the ball with it in the right people’s hands is paramount. Young and aspiring coaches, take notice.

The other part of the equation is defense. The smaller guards can disrupt an opponent’s offense, utilizing their quickness. Forcing turnovers is one thing. The stat column, though, does not measure opposing offensive sets that did not execute fully due to that defensive presence. Deflection, the Rick Pitino favorite, also enters. Deflections can turn into turnovers that ignite transition opportunities on the other end.

Yes, on Friday night, Seton Hall gave what could be considered a clinic in defensive pressure. Size is a nice commodity for a coach. Playing ‘big’ is better.

Seton Hall coach Tony Bozzella studies the action:
Jordan Mosley of Seton Hall applies defensive pressure:
Kathleen Egan waits to enter the game for Seton Hall:
Daisha Simmons on offense:
Tabatha Richardson-Smith applies more defensive pressure out on the wing:
The postgame handshake line:

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