October 11th, 2005

Subtle Indictment

This story on the Golden State Warriors' injured first-round draft pick Ike Diogu functions as a sly critique of Arizona State's men's basketball program:
Diogu looked shaky at the start of camp, showing few signs of his inside grit as he struggled to remember plays and positioning. He admitted feeling lost on the court Monday, saying he was "messing up on the plays" and letting it affect the rest of his game.

At Arizona State, Diogu was able to charge from one end of the court to the other, establish his position in the post, and back down his defenders. There was little motion, little precision and few consequences for blowing a screen.
Maybe you're thinking, "The article is just talking about the difference between the college game and the professional game." But the truth is that, "little motion, little precision and few consequences," describes the offensive gameplan of many NBA teams -- typically the ones that lose a lot, unless Kobe Bryant is in the picture -- and runs counter to the philosophy of many top college programs. The Warriors coach Mike Montgomery used to coach Stanford in the Pac-10. Last year was his first in the pros. And one thing you can say about his college teams is that their offense was configured for much motion, much precision and major consequences for blowing assignments. Anyone who has watched ASU over the past decade can readily attest to the team's lack of a coherent offense, one even more glaring at times than Cal's. I'm sure Montgomery chuckled when he read this. Lute Olson too.