February 25, 2013
A back door cut blew the roof off Rupp Arena and put Kentucky one step closer to being invited through the NCAA Tournament's front door.
In this week's Inside the Play, I'm highlighting a stealthy move by Archie Goodwin and a great read by Ryan Harrow in the closing minute of UK's overtime win over Missouri.
In this play, Kentucky gets into its half court offense. We'll skip by the opening action -- UK attempts a few pick-and-rolls with Ryan Harrow and Willie Cauley-Stein, but none of them develop -- and pick up with Julius Mays dribbling from the top of the screen to the bottom along the perimeter.
Mays will get bumped at the perimeter -- he wanted a foul but didn't get it -- and hands the ball off to Harrow, who dribbles back toward the center of the court. He gets a screen as he's moving left from Cauley-Stein, then reverses direction and gets another screen as he's moving right.
As Harrow drives, Jabari Brown (defender at the bottom of the screen) creeps up toward the perimeter, anticipating help defense on the drive. Here's where the play is made: Archie Goodwin sees the defender cheating and makes a beautiful cut toward the basket. Harrow probably couldn't have gotten to the rim on his own -- but the defensive lapse enables Goodwin to slip behind his man on the baseline, receive a nice pass from Harrow, and convert the reverse layup for a two-point lead. Here's the GIF in full:
UK would force Pressey into a turnover on the next possession and seal the win from there, giving Kentucky its best win of the season -- and, perhaps, moving them onto the right side of the bubble.