Snapshot: Using the drive and stretch-five

A lot of college basketball teams play a stretch-four, a Christian Watford-type if you will, to go with a more traditional post player at center. Without Hanner Mosquera-Perea, this year’s Indiana team has opted to go with Collin Hartman and even Max Hoetzel as what Yogi Ferrell described as a stretch-five. The combination of that shooting threat and the Hoosiers’ ability to get into the paint on the drive proved to be a lethal combination against Maryland. As good as Indiana is on the perimeter, the offense is twice is good when the Hoosiers attack the paint, forcing the defense to move and make decisions about what to give up and what to take away.

(1) Let’s start in the first half, this play coming after Hartman had already connected on three 3-pointers. This time when the ball goes to Hartman in the corner, Jake Layman is quick to close out, leaving an open lane on the baseline.

As Hartman goes to the basket, three Maryland defenders turn their focus on him, leaving Troy Williams free to cut baseline from the opposite corner.

That leaves a simple drop-off pass from Hartman to Williams for an equally simple dunk.

(2) This time it’s James Blackmon Jr. attacking off the dribble from the top of the key, again drawing three Terrapin defenders, while Max Hoetzel is left unattended as the de facto center.

Blackmon kicks the ball to Hoetzel, who has plenty of room and doesn’t hesitate in burying the 3.

(3) Once more, Indiana attacks off the dribble with Troy Williams driving baseline this time, and the Maryland defense loses its focus on the weak side.

Williams kicks the ball out to Hartman, and again the Maryland defenders rush to close out the 3-point shot but leave the lane wide open.

Hartman goes right to the rim, and Maryland’s Jon Graham is way too late rotating to help, only managing to pick up the foul as Hartman gets the three-point play.

(4) One last time, this one with Yogi Ferrell doing one of his patented baseline drives and once more drawing the focus of nearly the entire Maryland defense.

Ferrell has his pick of Troy Williams at the top, Hartman on the wing and Blackmon in the corner.

The defense is alert to Hartman’s presence, leaving Blackmon the recipient of a wide-open shot.