Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Odom: Point guards are crucial

Dave Odom, a former college basketball coach at East Carolina, Wake Forest and South Carolina, talks about point guards and tonight's Duke-Wake Forest matchup:

Trends in college basketball change yearly. One constant needed to compete at the highest level and for championships is a quality point guard.

Point guards get you in the game to start and generally take over and decide the game late. As you survey the BCS conferences, teams playing the best now, almost without exception, are those that have a quality point guard.

Notable examples would be Darren Collison at UCLA, Terrence Williams at Louisville, Nick Calathes at Florida and Evan Downey at South Carolina.

In the ACC, there are outstanding point guards such as Jeff Teague (Wake Forest), Jack McClinton (Miami), Ty Lawson (North Carolina), Malcolm Delaney (Virginia Tech) and Tyrese Rice (Boston College). The current Duke approach is point guard by committee (Nolan Smith and Greg Paulus).

- Tonight's Wake Forest-Duke matchup is interesting - most notably the contrast of styles.

Duke has changed from a fastbreak, quick-shot team to one that is more disciplined in shot selection.

Brian Zoubek is a developing post man for them. But he will be challenged with his biggest assignment of the season by Wake's length and size. He will need a lot of help. It will be interesting to see if Duke can pull the taller Wake players away from the basket and make them guard on the perimeter. I think that's where the game will be decided.

If Wake takes away the 3-point shooting of Duke and Duke's ability to drive the ball effectively from its four perimeter spots, it's in the Deacons' favor.

Duke's big challenge is getting Wake's bigger guys out of the lane and make Wake play on their turf. Wake will be very hard to handle on the boards if they are allowed to stay inside. Also, if Wake beats Duke tonight, three No. 1 teams in one year will have fallen on the Joel Coliseum Court. Wake beat then-No. 1 UNC and Virginia Tech beat then-No. 1 Wake.


Anonymous said...

PLEASE- like Dave knows about running an offense.I watched the last 5 years of his mind numbing weave at USC. He had 2 great point guards at USC during his time and couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag! Thank goodness we have a real coach now in Darrin Horn