Archive for Tuesday, June 20, 1995

KU BASKETBALL TO UNVEIL NEW OFFENSE

June 20, 1995

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Kansas' football team won't be the only KU squad with a new-look offense next season.

Jayhawk basketball coach Roy Williams, who suggested there might be some changes following a 67-58 Sweet 16 loss to Virginia, has decided to replace the double-low-post offense with a "high-low passing game and open-court passing game."

KU's inside players -- Raef LaFrentz, Scot Pollard, B.J. Williams and newcomer T.J. Pugh -- will be allowed to roam and shoot the outside jumper. Theoretically, the defensive players will follow KU's big men, giving point guards Jacque Vaughn and Calvin Rayford space to drive, shoot layups or dish to open teammates.

"In the past we've been so low-post oriented, we may move it out farther," Williams said. "A lot of times last year, I'd get letters and hear the call-in shows. People would say, 'Why not open it up more and create more room?' We could open it up and send Greg Ostertag to the 10-second line but the defense wasn't going to go get him.

"Richard Scott was also a fantastic player for us, but the defense wasn't gonna go with him (outside).

"The last two years, we've gotten very few back-door layups and drives because the defense just wouldn't go out on the floor and play our big people. Now with Scot, Raef, B.J. and T.J. ... they've got the ability to make the 14-, 15-foot shots. The defense has got to go out there with them. If the other teams choose not to guard them, that's a decision they make. You've got to pay the piper somewhere."

Don't get the impression it will be bombs away.

Williams said the Jayhawks may shoot fewer threes. Last year, KU hit 206 of 589 for 35 percent.

"Hopefully you'll see a higher percentage shot, or three-pointers by guys who are gonna shoot a higher percentage of them," Williams said.

The Jayhawk defense will add a new look if the 5-foot-6 Rayford has fully recovered from serious knee surgery.

"I want us to go back to doing some full-court stuff, so Calvin is extremely important for that reason right there," Williams said. "He has that ability to put full-court pressure on the other team's guard and Jacque has that ability. C.B. (McGrath) did a great job in what we asked him to do and for what his experience was. Still, we couldn't extend our defense as much, because if we extended it with Jacque, instead of getting 36 minutes (per game), he could have gone 29."

Williams refuses to sit still, despite the fact last year's team went 25-6.

"The whole idea of changing on the offensive end is gonna be good for the personnel we have," Williams said. "The biggest thing coach (Dean) Smith tried to get us to understand is, don't just have a philosophy and stick with it regardless. You've got to be able to fit what you're doing with the personnel you have.

"This sounds good in June. We'll find out what it looks like in January, February and March."

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