I’m not a Rivals subscriber, so I don’t generally look at the content posted there, even when it’s free. MootheKow posted a link to a piece on Sunday’s game written by Jim Comparoni, though, that’s a must-read. Great analysis of Louisville backing off its full-court pressure:
After the first couple of minutes, Louisville didn’t come forward with its customary array of trapping presses. They went with an occasional run-and-jump trap, like once or twice in the entire game. But we didn’t see Louisville commit to their full-bore 1-2-1-1 full-court trap.
They were wise to fear Michigan State’s press break. MSU has history of sprinting through full-court presses, often against bewildered, surprised opponents, like Georgetown in 1986 (think Skiles), Arkansas’ 40 Minutes of Hell in 1991 (think Eric Snow and Shawn Respert in Maui), and Donovan in the national title game in 2000 and again in ’03, just to name a few.
Pitino may have known the history, and therefore resisted the temptation to trap. MSU was cocked, primed and ready to fire its press break fireworks if Louisville had challenged them with full-bore pressure.
It was surprising to me that Pitino didn’t bring out the full aggressive, trapping press at some point late in the game to try to catch MSU off guard and take a shot at mounting a comeback. By that point, I guess Pitino sensed that this team was too beaten down to have any shot at pulling the game out.
Comparoni knows his stuff. Click through and read the rest of the piece.