Reply To: Pitt begins ACC play at NC State

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Rarely do I disagree with the Dog, but you can damn well teach man-to-man defense. There are basic fundamentals at work that are missing among many D-1 players these days. The quality of instruction at the youth level and in a lot of the AAU circuits is just piss poor. Everything from guarding stance, footwork, not running and jumping at jump shooters, going under screens, stopping the ball, help-side defense, rotation, defending screens…these things can damn well be taught. Cut the video off. Drill, drill, drill. And it isn’t a Herculean task to expect better man-to-man than what we’ve seen given the quality of athlete on the floor. The run we went on during the second half of the ACC and tournaments in Gottfried’s first year was largely due to major improvement on the defensive end. Call it balls, call it desire, call it what you want, but that bunch improved and got after it. They weren’t great but they played decent man-to-man coming down the stretch. Nobody’s asking for a defensive juggernaut, just some solid play, something that resembles consistent effort on that end. Teams tend to take on the personalities of their coaches. Lot of finesse, not a lot of grit.

This bunch shows flashes of really good man-to-man but no consistency at all. And transition defense is as bad as the Lowe years. Maybe worse if that’s possible. This is what, I think, Choppack and a few others, including myself, point to as Gott’s track record. Either it isn’t being taught, demanded, there’s not the proper motivation or incentive to bust your ass, or he recruits players that don’t know how, and as CD says, can’t be taught. Either way, he gets the blame. The defense is atrocious.

What ticks me off the most is that he doesn’t use substitutions to make points, or teachable moments, at all. Very long leash he has imo..