Baylor won the Hall of Fame Classic on a day where they struggled to score. The Bears beat Creighton by averaging just .97 points per possession. Over the course of a full season, that total would rank 266th in the country. That average was a giant drop from Baylor’s 25th ranked offense, which averages 1.13 points per possession.
The Bluejays were very successful defensively early in the game by hard hedging screens. Khyri Thomas, Creighton’s point guard, is one of the best defensive guards I’ve seen. He ran over the top of screens well, and even when Creighton’s big men struggled to get back in time, he was so quick and effective, that he made it tough for Manu Lecomte to pass.
On a day where the offense struggled, the Bears dialed up a different look to break a 52-52 tie with 2:13 remaining. Here’s the play in full:
There’s a lot going on here. So, let’s start at the beginning:
The Bears have Jo Lual-Acuil and Terry Maston set a double high ball screen out of their horns set. Nuni Omot and King McClure are stationed in the two corners. Both are good 3-point shooters, so Creighton’s going to be reluctant to help off either man in the corner because they don’t want to surrender an open look.
Lecomte runs over the top, and Creighton elects to hard hedge the screen. Lual-Acuil begins to dive for the paint, and No. 4 for Creighton, Ronnie Harrell, is left to fall back to the hoop with Lual-Acuil, otherwise Lecomte comes off the screen and has an angle to fire it to Lual-Acuil in the paint.
The problem for Creighton is that Terry Maston has added a 3-point shot. And Maston elects to pop out to the 3-point line. That leaves No. 15, Martin Krampelji, as the man who has to recover and get to Maston.
Unfortunately for Creighton, Krampelji expects that he will recover to Maston at either the elbow or near the hoop. As a result, his first step in his recovery is away from Maston. By the time Maston enters his shooting motion, the Bluejays don’t have a man anywhere close:
Maston made the shot, and the Bears would never look back.
The Bears run a lot of plays out of the horns set, but the double high screen is a new feature. With Maston’s improved range, and Lual-Acuil’s ability to dive to the hoop, the Bears should have plenty of new features out of that reliable set.