The great thing about college basketball is you don’t have to dwell on a loss for very long. The Kentucky Wildcats (3-2) suffered a pair of tough losses last week including Sunday’s 88-72 defeat in Spokane. However, the #15 ranked ‘Cats are right back in action on Wednesday night playing host to the North Florida Ospreys (1-3).
If the name of this Kentucky opponent rings a bell, that’s because it should. Head coach Matthew Driscoll brought the Ospreys to Lexington just last season, suffering an 86-52 loss. This marks Coach Driscoll’s 14th season in Jacksonville, but things have not gone great recently as North Florida could be staring their third straight losing season in the face. Mt. Sterling, KY native Carter Hendricksen is back for his fifth season and the two-time All-ASUN performer is once again UNF’s best player.
North Florida is better than they were last season, but there still isn’t a ton to work with in terms of talent.
Kentucky will look to bounce back from Sunday’s loss before getting a couple of days off for the Thanksgiving holiday. It would be nice to go into the short break with a positive performance. The Wildcats will need to tighten up their defensive execution, get back to seeing the ball go in from three-point range, and simply play harder than they did against the ‘Zags. Let’s dive on into the scouting report and get to know the North Florida Ospreys.
North Florida Ospreys Personnel
#10 Jarius Hicklen: 6’3″ 170 lbs, Junior Guard
15.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.5 apg
Aggressive scoring guard. Really hunting jump shots. SHOOTER!!! NO 3s!!! 31 of 43 shots have been 3s. You need to be tight to him at all times to take away his attempts. Love to shoot deep 3s off of the dribble. Need to get all the way out into his body and break his rhythm. Get over the ballscreens and handoffs. Chase off downscreens and get over the flares. Switch if there is space to stay tight to him. Have to be ready to contest all jump shots. Make him drive it. Don’t over-help when he does drive it. He is a better passer than finisher. Find him in transition. No 3s!!!
#15 Jose Placer: 6’1″ 184 lbs, Redshirt Junior Guard
12.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.5 apg
Shooter! No 3s! Over half of his shots have been 3s. Need to be tight enough to give a hard contest. You can help a little off of him, but then have to tighten up as the ball is driven toward you. No catch-and-shoot 3s! Aggressive driver. No right-hand drives!!! Need to get over and cut off the right-hand drives. Get over the ballscreens and handoffs. Really looking to turn the corner going right. Need to get him stopped. Just switch if you need to and stay in front. Chase off of downscreens and get over the flares. Really hunting jump shots. Give everything a hard contest. No catch-and-shoot 3s! No layups from right-hand drives.
#2 Chaz Lanier: 6’4″ 195 lbs, Sophomore Guard
4.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.8 apg
Athletic wing. Capable shooter but more dangerous as a right-hand driver. No right-hand drives! He is looking to attack closeouts driving to his right. You can closeout short to him but get your hands up to at least deter the initial catch-and-shoot. Help off of him and then closeout short. Not super aggressive offensively so just giving a solid short closeout should take him away. Looking to drive it right on the throw-ahead in transition. Get back and cut off the right hand. Always coming back right to finish. Stay between him and the basket and make him score over you. No layups!
#3 Carter Hendricksen: 6’7″ 215 lbs, Senior Forward
14.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.5 apg
Skilled 4-man. Best player. Very willing shooter. Hasn’t shot a great percentage last season or this year, but historically very good. Need to be there to take away his catch-and-shoot 3s. No catch-and-shoot 3s! Need to switch when he ballscreens to take away the pick-and-pop and be ready to guard him on the right-hand drive. No right-hand drives! They will ballscreen for him as well. Switch when they ballscreen for him to stay in front. Be ready for him to turn his drives into post moves. Contest the turnaround jumper. Stunt and fake at him when he is driving it or operating in the post. Should force some turnovers. Give everything a hard contest. More shots than points for him.
#24 Jadyn Parker: 6’10” 188 lbs, Sophomore Forward
8.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.3 apg
Long, thin forward. Looking to ballscreen and roll to the basket. They will throw it to him on the roll. Give ground on the ballscreen and stay lower than him on the roll. Only really looking to score right at the rim. Stay between him and the basket. Right hand, left shoulder in the post. Does not want the game to be physical. Push him off of the block and he won’t really look to score. Excellent offensive rebounder! Nearly 3 offensive rebounds per game. Have to box him out! No dunks or layups for him.
#21 Jonathan Aybar: 6’9″ 205 lbs, Sophomore Forward
7.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.0 apg
Long, athletic backup forward. Looking to score it around the basket. Will post up on the block. Right hand, left shoulder in the post. Need to be physical with him and get him off of the block. His percentages will go down the further out you make him catch it. Will ballscreen and roll to the basket. Give ground and stay lower than him on the roll. Very good offensive rebounder. Be physical and box him out!
#5 Dorian James: 6’7″ 215 lbs, Redshirt Junior Forward
5.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.3 apg
Physical backup wing. Non-shooter. Looking to attack closeouts when he is out on the perimeter. Closeout short to stay between him and the basket. No right-hand drives!!! You should be closing out to stay between him and the basket. Will cut down to the post and look for it some inside. Right hand, left shoulder around the basket. Have to be physical with him. Don’t get buried under the basket. Be physical at the end of his drives as well. Just make him score over you. Very good offensive rebounder. Box out!
#33 Oscar Berry: 6’4″ 188 lbs, Sophomore Guard
3.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.5 apg
SHOOTER!!! NO 3s! 18 of 19 shots have been 3s. He is only in the game to catch-and-shoot. Be tight to him at all times. Chase him off of downscreens and get over the flares. Switch if there is space to take him away from 3. Tighten up to him as the ball is driven toward you. Get up and pressure him. If he isn’t dribbling you aren’t close enough. Take away his 3-point attempts!
North Florida Ospreys Offense
The North Florida Ospreys are going to be aggressive on the offensive end of the floor. They are hunting 3s, will play fast, and have gotten to the foul line consistently through four games this season. In the half court, you can expect to see a lot of ballscreen, roll, and replace action. Their two primary guards can both really shoot and are very aggressive hunting 3s. At the 4-spot, #3 Hendricksen will also let it fly pretty freely. We must be sound in our ballscreen coverage and do a good job of limiting the clean looks from deep that #10 Hicklen, #15 Placer, and #3 Hendricksen get.
Almost every possession the North Florida Ospreys have offensively will have a middle ballscreen with a roll-and-replace action. Switching the ballscreen, as Duquesne did in this clip, is absolutely fine. We want to keep a guy on a shooter at all times to help take their guards away from 3. However, you still can’t allow a straight-line drive like this. Our big men should be more athletic and able to slide over and cut them off without fouling.
You don’t need to have two feet beyond the 3-point line when guarding #2 Lanier. Give him a solid, but short, closeout with your hands up to deter the initial catch-and-shoot. If you do get further out you should bounce back once he brings the ball down. Do not let him drive the ball on you like this!
Here is another Ospreys possession started with a high ballscreen. When #3 Hendricksen is replacing you have to stay tight with him to take away the catch-and-shoot. We would like for him to catch it out well beyond the arc as he does in this clip. Good defense by Duquesne staying with him on the drive and bringing some help at the end. The breakdown comes at the end. There is ZERO reason to help on a #33 Berry drive. 18 of his 19 shots are 3s. You want him to drive. The over help leads to an open 3 for #3 Hendricksen.
North Florida Ospreys Defense
You can expect to see some different looks from the North Florida Ospreys defensively. Along with a traditional man-to-man defense, Coach Driscoll has been mixing in a 1-3-1 zone. North Florida played the majority of Monday night’s game against Duquesne in a 1-3-1. They won’t come up too high with their “point” defender, instead, they stay more at the top of the key and almost flatten into a 2-3 as the ball moves into the scoring area. The Ospreys have done a good job of getting down to cover the corners as well. However, there will be opportunities to attack the middle of the floor on ball reversals and when we get short corner touches.
Keys to the Game
- Dominate the glass. Through five games we have not been good enough in the rebounding department. We have to get to 77% defensive rebounding.
- Win the turnover battle. Force 15+ turnovers while committing 12 or fewer.
- Win the free throw line. North Florida gets to the free-throw line a lot. We are just 67.9% from the line this season. Make more than they attempt.
- Regain shooting confidence. Fredrick and Reeves were 3-13 against Gonzaga. See the ball go in. Need 6 or more 3s from them combined.