Illini Basketball


It’s been an ongoing quest this season: How to get the ball to Kofi Cockburn in the low post.

You’ve seen a lot of bounce-passes from the top of the key. Unfortunately, so have the advance scouts and assistant coaches from opposing teams. Consequently, you’ve recently seen a lot of interceptions.

Wednesday at Wisconsin, the Hi-Lo was a mixed bag of effective oops, overhead passes and pick-offs.

In the first half, the Wisconsin bench called out Illini plays to their defenders. It was mostly effective with the significant exception of the lob dunk which Brad Underwood drew up during a timeout. I’d like to go back and compare the set up for that play to other lob dunks successfully executed by the Illini, because the Badgers bench didn’t recognize it. Underwood is as devious as John Groce was guileless. Presumably he knows that lining up his five in a particular pattern will tell opponents which actions are likely to ensue.

In the second half, Micah Potter tried to explain how to recognize a forthcoming alley-oop. But his teammates didn’t seem to understand. Or maybe they thought it was obvious and unnecessary. If they’re both at the elbow, it’s a lob.

This morning at the SFC, Kofi said the coaches haven’t done anything to hone the hi-lo. Underwood said his team isn’t running it as much, preferring other actions rather than a two-day game between the bigs.

Certainly none of that is entirely true, and there’s probably an amount of truth in both statements.

Watching hi-lo actions has always been painful, because there’s a necessary amount of cliffhanger drama. Will he get the ball is the obvious question. Will he keep it high, or bring it down to chest level is another.

Run properly, it’s hard to defend. But there’s just so much room for error, and recently, up until the second half at Kohl, error has prevailed.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply