The thread is based on the current season of the UMASS, Lowell team in the smith, here is the link to the teampage:
I know everyone loves big data sets that contain only the pertinent information (as do I), but instead of just throwing out all the numbers I could get my grubby little hands on I want to highlight the ones that I think are most insightful. So, before I even get started, I acknowledge that these numbers prove absolutely nothing and could be the result of other factors not accounted for...a criticism I fully share with you.
The coach has used a fullcourt press (-5) defense religiously all year, except for those times the computer has switch to (-3) as a halftime adjustment. These numbers are based on the ten games played this season against top 50 rpi opponents. Of those games: the opponents total FG percentage was 45.0% (249/553), with a 3pt percentage of 37.8% (61-161), leaving all field goal attempts from inside the 3pt line with a completion percentage of 47.8% (188-392).
What really caught my attention was that in 5 out of those 10 games the opponent shot below their team season 3pt% average. How can a team that virtually plays no perimeter defense hold opponents of that caliber to below their seasonal average half of the time...let alone a quarter of the time. Not to mention they held one of those teams to 1 for 10 from behind the arc, which also happened to be running a slowdown offense.
From my point of view, it could suggest that there isn't much risk to not guarding the perimeter if it is equally as likely your opponent will perform worse in that area of the game as opposed to performing better.
I know that those opponents team percentages may be inflated because they include data from games against bad sims and poor defensive teams, meaning that the performance against a good defensive teams may appear skewed but in actually their performance is representative of their abilities. But, we must ask ourselves this question in response...and I want to state that this is not a knock on the UMASS, Lowell team in any way, I'm actually quite impressed with their performance: Should it be the case that a team which could be described at best as a above average defensive team which does the absolute minimum perimeter defense still defend the 3pt line just as well (if not better) than a below average team that plays a neutral defensive positioning?
I say "if not better" because in all of Lowell's other games this season their opponents are only shooting 32.7% (95-290) from the three point range. Again, what is the risk in not defending the perimeter???, especially if you're decreasing both of your opponents abilities to get offensive rebounds and score inside...and when compounded by pressing teams increased chances of causing turnovers then it just seems like a little much.
Once again, I know this is all an opinion and I'm aware that my assumption could be entirely wrong.