Studies have shown the earlier in the shot clock a team initiates offense, in general the better the results from an efficiency standpoint.
The main reasons are fairly simple — the defense is not fully set during transition, and offense becomes predictable late in the shot clock.
Indiana placed a heavy emphasis on its transition offense during practice this week, and they got clear results vs. Wright State.
Especially in the first 10 minutes of the game, Indiana was in a hurry on Thursday evening. Whether after misses, makes or turnovers, Indiana was intent on playing fast.
By any measure — including points, efficiency, number of possessions — the data supported that IU was faster and more productive early in that contest. At halftime the Hoosiers had 54 points on 37 possessions, or an impressive 1.459 per opportunity.
Indiana has the weapons to play fast. Xavier Johnson is one of the fastest point guards in college basketball, and both he and Trey Galloway are both skilled and have an element of fearlessness that proves beneficial in the transition game. Big men Kel’el Ware and Malik Reneau are both showing they’re willing to run the floor and even lead the break at times, and Mackenzie Mgbako makes for a solid trailing 3-point shooter.
The opponent was Wright State, who came into the game with poor defensive metrics. So we shouldn’t overreact. But these film sessions are more about making note of outliers rather than making bold declarations of new trends.
We’re going to try several different approaches with postgame film review. In this instance, we present a compilation showing every possession where IU initiated a shot within the first ten seconds of the shot clock and either scored a field goal or got to the free throw line.
Here are a few of the more interesting points:
- 19 seconds: Clearing a side for Mgbako to drive with his preferred right hand.
- 23 seconds: IU gets a three in three passes, two dribbles and four seconds.
- 1:21, 1:41, 1:58 – The early seal by Kel’el Ware.
- 1:44 – Johnson blows by and slices through everyone.
We’ll see if Indiana continues to push in New York, and if they’re able to have success against better teams.