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On Tuesday, I took a look at how Michigan can better attack Michigan State’s 1 through 5 switching defense. Today, we will focus on potential adjustments on the other side of the ball.
In the first matchup, Michigan’s defensive struggles centered around defending Cassius Winston in the high pick-and-roll. What caused these struggles? How can Michigan improve in the rematch on Saturday?
Michigan State also ran a number of 1-4 pick-and-pops but wasn’t able to capitalize on open opportunities. Can we expect more of this action from Michigan State the second time around? Will Michigan adapt its plan after viewing the film of those plays?
Michigan’s high ball screen defense
Michigan’s preference is to defend ball screens with the big defending the screener flat or hard hedging. Instead of partially conceding a downhill path towards the rim for the ball handler as is common in other ball screen coverages, the goal of flat or hard hedging is to prevent the ball handler from penetrating the defense.