In a post last week I all but predicted that if USI outrebounded Drury like they did everybody else, the Eagles would win, probably with ease. Well, the Eagles did outrebound Drury 42-32 on Saturday but lost anyway. I figured USI’s height and length would cause the Panthers fits on the perimeter and destroy them inside, but that obviously wasn’t the case.
I also think another factor I didn’t think about at the time came into play: Drury’s motion offense. USI has had lots of trouble stopping that offense under coach Rodney Watson. Only two teams in the GLVC employ it: Drury and Bellarmine, which almost always beats the Eagles, often quite easily. The multiple passes out of the motion and, of course, all the movement seem to screw up the Eagles’ defensive schemes big time. USI’s players, no matter how quick, can’t seem to switch who they’re guarding fast enough to seal off open spots on the floor. Thus, the offense creates driving lanes, open shots under the basket, open shots in the lane, open shots beyond the 3-point arc — open shots everywhere. The only time USI seemed to control Drury even a little bit on Saturday was when the Eagles went to a zone. Maybe that’s the answer.