When you look at the team that coach Jeff Capel will put out on the floor this year, it will be a new look team without an identity. Senior Cade Davis has proven himself and we know what he can do, but no one else really knows how the other new and unproven players are going to gel and play together and to what extent they will build a winning chemistry under Jeff Capel, let alone how long it will take. In situations like this, a coach has to come-up with a different strategy and find a style-of-play that his team will embrace. In order for this year’s Sooner team to be competitive, they are going to have to set and control the pace of play in each game.
So how does a team go about setting the pace in a game you might ask? A team can set the pace and control a basketball game by using the full-court or half-court press, by playing an up-tempo style of basketball harboring on defense and forcing turnovers, by running a slight delay game or ball-control offense, by shooting a higher percentage on layups and free throws than their opponent, or just by simply making the other teams play” their” style of basketball at “their” own designated pace.
The North Carolina Tar Heels were legendary for their invention and implementation of the famous Four Corners offense which basically slowed the game down and allowed their team to stall the ball and run precious time off the clock in order to gain, regain, or keep important momentum in the game. UCLA’s legendary coach John Wooden invoked the “Pyramid of Success” as a foundation for the winning philosophy that each of his players had to adhere to and we all saw how many wins this produced over several decades.
The fact of the matter is, when players listen to their coach and believe in their coach’s philosophies and coaching techniques, they don’t need a superstar or an all-star team in order to win and be competitive. Take last year’s Butler team and their leader Gordon Hayward as an example of what Cade Davis and the Sooners can do this year.
Listen to coach Jeff Capel as he prepares his team to go out and compete in a game last year. Jeff Capel came-up through a program where winning was synonymous by playing within a system under Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s legendary coaching philosophy. When players come together and put the team before their own personal glory, a “winning” culture is the result.
It will be imperative for this year’s Sooner team to embrace Coach Jeff Capel’s strategy for winning, and dare themselves to over-produce at what he asks of them on the floor. If they do this, they’ll have a chance to win and be competitive and even do better than last year’s team.
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