clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Film Study: Breaking down Stephanie Reid's, Blake Hamilton's Championship winners

If you're like me, you've watched both of these shots, each on their own the biggest in UB history - Rasaun Young from half court? Lamonte Bearden on Senior Day 2015? - hundreds of times since yesterday.

Let's break them down further.

Stephanie Reid: 73-71, Bulls win

WBB Reid gamewinner gif

1. We don't have a wide shot of this play, but UB left half the court open. Only Joanna Smith started over there, and she came running to the near corner pretty early. Remember that for a second.

2. Katherine Ups - an unsung hero of overtime - gets Presley Hudson to bite. Two fakes get CMU's freshman star moving, even though Smith was not yet close to open to Smith's left. Hudson of course is faceguarding Ups and doesn't know that, but look where her feet are when Katherine releases the ball. If Reid has to come three strides deeper into the backcourt, this is all the more likely to go to overtime.

3. Everyone noticed Oursler's screen pretty quickly. If I remember yesterday, I don't think there was a specific play called here, just a reliance on Reid to make something happen. There definitely wasn't a call for Cassie to set a screen, but as Reid said it; "We just played basketball."

It's a perfect screen at a perfect time: Oursler is guarded by a CMU forward, the type that Reid slashes through for acrobatic lay-ins on a regular basis, and cuts off CMU's Cassie Breen, who has the footspeed to perhaps drive Reid away from the bucket.

4. UB has tons of space to work with over here. Remember from above, now there's plenty of room for Reid to improvise and move without having to navigate between bodies. Part of the reason the best players have a knack for being in the right place at the right time is because so often the right place is 'in space,' and here Reid had plenty of space to use. UB's set up and Oursler's screen tilted the court so much that Steph was able to shoot from the lane.

5. That's not Reid's usual shot. I don't think anyone has said this yet, but we all know it: Reid's usual M.O. is to twist below the forward's arms and scoop it up. For all the things that went right to get her as close to the basket as possible, a scoop shot from here would need a ton of english off the glass. The teardrop was more straightaway.

Blake Hamilton: 64-61, Bulls win

MBB Hamilton gamewinner gif

0. Before we actually look at the play, watch this a few times just for Julius Hodge. Hodge is on the way to his fifth NCAA tournament after going all four years of his playing career with NC State, and I can't believe he's ever celebrated a berth like this.

To his credit, after this gif ends he immediately rounds the team in the huddle and gets them focused on playing two seconds of defense.

1. Blake Hamilton's screen on Antino Jackson. Lamonte Bearden was never getting past both Kwan Cheatham and Isaiah Johnson on a simple dribble-drive, but Antino Jackson is also the only Zips defender on the floor who can move with him. Hamilton's early screen in this play takes Jackson out of the play, and Cheatham knows it.

2. Cheatham switches with Jackson to follow Bearden, but Jackson follows, too. Isaiah Johnson leaving the low post doesn't at first have much of an impact on this play, but it only underlines how much respect Akron had for Bearden as Johnson, Cheatham, and Jackson all follow Bearden across the top of the key and make a mess of any defensive spacing.

3. I wonder if the play was supposed to end in a Nick Perkins shot. Perkins leaked out from the low post early int the play and looked to have a few ticks to get himself lined up. Hamilton's earlier run to the low post brought the whole Akron defense down and gave Bearden room to flip it to Perkins with time to shoot.

4. But UB had everyone moving one direction, and Perkins recognized the better shot available. Here's where Johnson coming out to Bearden screws Akron. As Hamilton works back to the perimeter, Noah Robotham nearly follows him, but has to stay on CJ Massinburg to guard the backdoor cut, a pass you know Hamilton can make. Johnson is at the foul line when CJ began that run, and with Cheatham drawn so far inside, Robotham was the only Zip with a prayer of disrupting Hamilton's shot.