After a quick Thanksgiving break, the Kentucky Wildcats welcome the North Florida Ospreys to Rupp Arena. The Ospreys have played a tough high-major schedule so far that resulted in five consecutive losses to begin the season. However, they picked up a blowout victory over NAIA Webber International to enter tonight’s game at 1-5.
This North Florida team is more dangerous than their record suggests. They have solid talent and have played some relatively competitive games against good programs. Additionally, with the way they shoot the ball from beyond the arc, they are capable of a hot night where they compete with anyone in the country.
In order to give some context to fans who don’t deep dive into the Ospreys, this team is better than Mount St. Mary’s and Albany. They also will be more talented than Kentucky’s next two opponents. This shouldn’t be a close game like I warned about prior to playing Ohio, but don’t let the 1-5 record deceive you. The North Florida Ospreys aren’t a bad basketball team.
North Florida Ospreys Personnel
#15 Jose Placer: 6’1″ 174 lbs, Redshirt Sophomore Guard
10.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.2 apg
Point Guard. Right hand driver. No right hand drives!!! Willing shooter. 6/27 from beyond the arc this season. Just get a hand up to contest when he shoots. We are more worried about him driving it right. Closeout with high hands to take away the obvious catch-and-shoot and the bounce back to guard the right hand drive. Start by going under the ballscreens and handoffs. You can still mix in your opportunities to pressure him and try to make him turn it over. Do it after taking away his ability to attack the closeout. Help off of him when he doesn’t have it. Looking to score when he drives it right, driving to pass when he goes left. No layups for him! No right hand drives.
#0 Emmanuel Adedoyin: 6’2″ 161 lbs, Sophomore Guard
8.0 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 1.8 apg
SHOOTER!!! NO 3’s!!! 23 of 30 shots have been 3’s. Shooting 14/23 from three-point range. Have to be tight to him at all times to take away the attempts. Pressure him. Chase him off of downscreens and flares. Get over the ballscreens and handoffs. All-around jump shooter. Need to be tight to contest everything. No clean looks. No help off of him when he doesn’t have it unless you are going to steal the basketball. Tighten up as the ball is driven towards you. No 3’s!
#5 Dorian James: 6’7″ 202 lbs, Redshirt Sophomore Guard/Forward
5.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.0 apg
More of a driver than a shooter. Only 6 of his 26 attempts have been 3’s, but he has made half of them. Need to closeout with high hands to deter the initial catch-and-shoot. Bounce back to guard the right hand drive. No right hand drives! Do not allow him to attack your closeout. Right hand, left shoulder when he is in the post. Be physical on his left shoulder. Good offensive rebounder. Box out!
#3 Carter Hendricksen: 6’7″ 217 lbs, Junior Forward
13.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.7 apg
SHOOTER!!! NO 3’s!!! 40 of 59 shots have been 3’s. Have to be tight to him at all times to take away his attempts. Much better shooter from 3 than from 2. Will shoot them from deep. You have to get all the way out there to take away his attempts. He is always in range so be out into his body. Switch if he ballscreens to take away the 3’s. Tighten up as the ball is driven towards you. Do not every leave him for any reason. No 3’s. Contest everything. Hold him to four or fewer attempts. Guard him closely when he crosses half court. More shots than points.
#21 Jonathan Aybar: 6’9″ 183 lbs, Freshman Forward
4.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.7 apg
Post player. Tall and thin. Be physical with him. He doesn’t want the game to be physical. Get him off of the block. His percentages go down the further away from the rim you make him catch it. Right hand, left shoulder in the post. Be physical on his left shoulder. Make him score over you. Runs to the rim hard in transition. Get back. Good offensive rebounder. Box out!
#24 Jadyn Parker: 6’10” 180 lbs, Freshman Forward
7.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.7 apg
Backup 5-man. Will likely play more minutes than the starter. Long, athletic post. High percentage finisher. Need to get him off of the block. His percentages will go down the further out you make him catch it. Right hand, left shoulder in the post. Be physical with him inside. Excellent offensive rebounder. BOX OUT!!!
#2 Chaz Lanier: 6’4″ 175 lbs, Freshman Guard
5.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.7 apg
Shooter! No 3’s! 13 of 24 shots have been 3’s. Shooting 46.2% from deep. Have to be tight to him at all times to take away his attempts. Tighten up as the ball is driven towards you. Chase him off of downscreens and flares. Get over the ballscreens and handoffs. Pressure him. No help off of him when he doesn’t have it unless you are going to steal the basketball. No 3’s!
#10 Jarius Hicklen: 6’3″ 175 lbs, Sophomore Guard
5.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.3 apg
Backup point guard. Shooter! No 3’s! 16 of 29 shots have been 3’s. Shooting a much better percentage from 3 than he is from 2. Get over the ballscreens and handoffs. Chase him off of downscreens and flares. Be tight to him at all times. Will look to drive it right when you takeaway the initial catch-and-shoot. Pressure him. No help off of him when he doesn’t have it unless you are going to steal the basketball. No 3’s!
#23 Josh Berenbaum: 6’8″ 215 lbs, Freshman Guard/Forward
2.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.2 apg
Play him straight up. Capable shooter. Get your hands up to contest his early attempts. Closeout with high hands and choppy feet. Once you deter/contest the initial catch-and-shoot 3 you can pick your spots on getting up to pressure him. Make him turn it over. No catch-and-shoot 3’s. No right hand drives.
#1 Jacob Crews: 6’7″ 200 lbs, Freshman Guard
2.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 0.5 apg
Backup guard. Tall and long for the position. Handles the ball a lot when he is in there. SHOOTER! NO 3’s! 20 of 26 shots have been 3’s. Right now, not shooting a good percentage. Still want to closeout and be tight to take away the attempts. Chase him off of downscreens and flares. Get over the ballscreens and handoffs. Pressure him. No help off of him when he doesn’t have it unless you are going to steal the basketball. No 3’s!
North Florida Ospreys Offense
The North Florida Ospreys offensive identity is shooting three-pointers. That is what they do best and what has the ability to keep them in the game with anyone. Through six games, the Ospreys are attempting 27 three-pointers per game and making a more than respectable 35.3% of their attempts. Over 41% of their points come from beyond the arc, the 24th highest mark in the country per KenPom.
How does North Florida get all of their looks from beyond the arc? It starts with good spacing and a lot of roll and replace ballscreens. They also have a handful of set plays the will run, but it all starts with their ballscreening in the half court. However, most importantly, they generally have four guys on the floor at all times who are willing and able to fill it up from deep.
Middle Ballscreen Roll & Replace
Anytime the Ospreys set a ballscreen you can expect somebody to replace up to the perimeter while the ballscreener rolls. When it is someone like #24 Parker in this clip, or if it is #21 Aybar, you don’t need to go out there to guard them. Here, #24 gets a catch and looks at the high low to #3 Hendricksen. When he doesn’t have it, he dribbles at the wing where they are into a back cut and dribble handoff action. We can’t leave #2 Lanier on the perimeter like this. Tighten up to your man as the ball is driven towards you.
Offense From the Trail Spot
A lot of North Florida’s offense imitates from the trail spot out of a secondary alignment. They will use this little pitch back to try and get going downhill and create some early ball movement. UCLA does a good job of blowing up that first handoff, but now the side is cleared out and the Ospreys can feed the post. None of their post players are much of a threat to score the basketball with their back to the basket. We just need to stay between them and the basket and make them score over us. Do not give up a quick spin like this, especially to the baseline. Also, there is no need to help even if they do make a nice move. Just stay in the play and contest.
Hendricksen From the Trail Spot
#3 Hendricksen is a lot like Vander Plas from Ohio. He isn’t a random guy lighting up Rupp Arena. Hendricksen is a two-time All-ASUN performer that is shooting 47.5% from three. Shots like this are well within his arsenal. So, do not be surprised when he makes them. It is coming. You have to be very aware of him when he crosses half court and stay tight to him at all times to take away his three-point attempts. He is very dangerous from the trail spot. You have to stay high as he is coming down the floor to be ready to take this shot away. Do not allow him to make one of these tonight!!!
Curl to Pop Hendricksen 3
This is a look at a set play they will run to try and get #3 Hendricksen loose for a three. He is a good enough shooter that anytime he can get off a clean attempt you did a bad job defensively. You have to be so tight to him at all times that he can’t cleanly get shots like this off. When he sets a downscreen you can’t be off of him giving help towards the basket like you normally would. That is just going to have to come from somewhere else. Here, the Ospreys curl the downscreen even though UCLA went up through to set up the pop back for #3 Hendricksen. The defender was too far off of him to begin with so he just can’t close out in time. This is a really high-level shot, but one that he will make consistently when open. No 3’s!!!
Horns-Backscreen to Rescreen Action
This is a really hard action to guard. North Florida went to this out of a timeout and came away with a three-pointer for their point guard #15 Placer. From a Horns alignment, they will run two guards on Iverson cuts to the left wing to empty out the right side. The point guard enters the ball to the left elbow and receives a backscreen. He was wide open off of the backscreen in this clip but didn’t get the pass. They will then immediately downscreen for the point guard and dribble into a handoff. UCLA tried to switch the handoff but messed it up and allowed a clean look for #15 Placer. We have to have strong defensive communication tonight to take these guys away from three.
North Florida Ospreys Defense
The North Florida Ospreys are a man-to-man defensive team that lacks positional size and strength. Their big men are very skinny and do not like the game to be physical. This shows up in the stat sheet where the Ospreys are one of the worst rebounding teams in the country. Opponents are offensive rebounding at a 45.4% clip so Oscar Tshiebwe and company should have a field day.
They have been successful at taking teams away from three-point range this season, but it has just resulted in getting dominated in the paint. As a whole, the Ospreys are 302nd nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency per KenPom.
Keys to the Game
- Take them away from 3. They average 27 attempts per game, we need to hold them to 21 attempts or fewer. #3 Hendrickson attempts nearly 7 per game, hold him to 4 or fewer attempts.
- Dominate the glass. They are not a good rebounding team. We should rebound at will on both ends of the court. Need 12 or more offensive rebounds.
- Take what they give you. They’ve taken teams away from 3 this year. If they do that, then dominate inside. Should shoot 50% or better from the field tonight.
- Tighten up as the ball comes towards you. Again, we have to do a great job of taking them away from 3. It is the only way they can stay in the game. Be tight to your man and focus on taking them away from 3.