Coach Orr did his weekly presser last week, which had a couple interesting nuggets I thought I would pass along.
He talked a lot about zone and man defenses. Jack Carle had asked him to comment on the idea that "some people" find the zone a "crutch." This is one of the key questions for us this year. BG started the year wanting to play both kinds of defense, played a lot of man early on, had some rough nights, and now (by my perception) have slowly moved into playing more and more zone.
Coach said that you play defense based on what will work for you, and not just because you are a "man to man" team. He gave a long analogy of thinking you were tough and deciding to fight Mike Tyson---a losing proposition. My note: this was similar to the philosophy of Dakich, who rarely rarely rarely played zone.
Anyway, he went on to say that if you plan good man defense it means you are playing good help defense, and if you are playing good help defense, than you are using zone principles. He says that with rotations, weakside help, etc, there are very few PURE man to man defenses, and that they are all essentially hybrids. So, perhaps there is not as big a difference.
Ultimately, he says he uses the defense that gives us the best shot at winning.
A couple of individual players came up. Jordan Crawford was mentioned. The question was whether he was better in the man or guarding a spot in the zone with his quickness. Coach said that there were benefits either way, a man defense allowed Jordan to use his quickness to guard sooner and a zone allowed him to help near the basket. Either way, given his size, he needs to use his quickness.
Also, Craig Sealey came up. I've been wondering about his minutes, which have been going down, and apparently someone else was too. Coach said that his minutes are going down, because it is tough to get him on the floor. He doesn't like Calhoun in the in the middle of the zone, which means he has to play a wing, and it means that Sealey essentially can only come in for Calhoun. (Presumably, Thomas is a fixture at the other wing). As Calhoun has been more effective (and Coach thought he had one of his best games against OU), it has impacted Sealey's minutes. They have talked about it, Craig practices well, and he wants to try and find ways for him to play.
My idea only, I don't know why you couldn't play Calhoun, Black/Oglesby and Sealey on the front line to give Thomas rest. You can maintain an outside threat with Brown at 2. And Sealey has a nice mid-range jumper.
Anyway, some interesting talk about defense. If you want my guess, you will see most zones from here on in, as that really seems to be where we are most comfortable.