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Kansas State Basketball: Well, This Was Different.

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Bruce broke out some new stuff against Texas...and it worked.

Kansas State v Texas Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images

Back again for some more fun stuff from the Texas game. I watched this thing in a haze with one eye open, and remember vaguely thinking that something looked different. After rewatching the game hopped up on the upper cold meds today (it’s the first time I’ve switched from the bluish (go to sleep) pills to the red (wake up and grind your teeth) pills this week), I’ve got some stuff to say.

I know Bruceketball is occasionally...dull...tedious...uhh...not horribly interesting for anyone not directly associated with Kansas State University...and even then a bit of a chore. But this was something different. Bruce liked Mark Smith one-on-one against the Longhorns, and instead of going through overwrought sequences of passes and screens, he cleared everything out and let Mark terrorize the Longhorns.

His faith was rewarded to the tune of 22 Mark Smith points and huge road win in Austin. Chris Beard was not prepared for what Bruce pulled out of the bag, and the Longhorns were left telling each other how much money they have while K-State celebrated on Texas’ home court.

Check it out.

Let’s Play 5 Way Out

Key

Purple Circle: Mark Smith

Red Circle: Carlton Linguard

Green Circle: Ish Massoud

Aqua: Markquis Nowell

Black: Selton Miguel

Chris Beard loves to draw charges. This, in my opinion, is a cowardly way of playing basketball, but Chris doesn’t ask for my opinion. He gives your guy a lane to the basket, with the understanding that there will always be a secondary defender ready to step in front of (or into) the driving player. College basketball refs have a sick obsession with making the “charge” call. Most of the time you don’t have to be set or in a legal guarding position. You just have to throw your body in front of driving player and give the ref an opportunity to put his hand behind his head and dance. Bruce takes this away by taking away the secondary defender by going to a “5 Out” set, and this is about as 5 Out as it gets.

Smith (purple circle) is strong driving left, has the ball on his left hand, and is on the left side of the court. All good things.

Carlton Linguard (red circle) is setting a token screen, but Smith is always going to turn it down. The screen isn’t important, it’s just an opportunity to get Linguard in rebounding position on the roll.

Ish Massoud (green circle) is hanging out up top. The defense has to respect his ability to shoot.

Markquis Nowell (aqua circle) is chilling in the corner, and because he’s another shooter, the defense (in theory) has to respect his shooting.

Selton Miguel (black circle) is relaxing on the Longhorn logo, which I find hilarious. He’s not even pretending to be involved in the play.

Normally, there would be an eager Longhorn waiting to undercut Smith and take the charge in the yellow rectangle, but because Bruce is running this 5 Out set, there is no secondary defender.

Texas is playing man and has no idea what to do in this situation.

Smith (purple circle) drives his man, and per usual, his man invites him to the basket, but there isn’t a secondary defender ready to run under him and fall down.

Linguard (red circle) is trailing the play on the roll, looking for a rebounding opportunity, but keeps his man out of the play.

Nowell (aqua circle) is still chilling in the corner, but his defender sees what K-State is doing. He tries to get over to fall down in front of Mark, but is too late. He leaves Nowell wide open in the process.

Now Smith (still purple circle) has a choice. He can flex on the Longhorns and score himself, or toss it out to a wide open Nowell in the corner. The secondary defenders are all in the restricted area and can’t draw a charge. Selton Miguel is already back on defense at this point.

Mark pulls up for one of the most old man layups you’ll see in college basketball, but Texas has no idea how to handle this K-State set. They can’t run in front of him and fall down, and without that option on the table, they simply let Smith shoot the ball.

Mark happily takes his to two points. Bruce smiles.

Overall

Bruce is a bit of an old dog, but this is a new trick. He talked about putting some new stuff in for Texas, and this is a stroke of genius. It’s clear Texas has no idea how to handle this unexpected set and basically gives Smith two points.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like this against Kansas. Bruce likes Mark Smith off the bounce and is confident in his ability to score at the basket or kick out to open shooters. This team is loaded with shooters, but has struggled to score in the post. You don’t need to worry about scoring in the post, if no one is in the post.