No tricks coming from ODU defense

March, 19, 2010

NEW ORLEANS -- Sam Houston State coach Bob Marlin has received plenty of praise since nearly pulling off a major upset in the first round thanks to employing a triangle-and-two defense to minimize Baylor's guards.

It worked so well that it got Old Dominion coach Blaine Taylor to thinking in preparation for the 11th-seeded Monarchs second-round game Saturday against the No. 3 Bears.

"Well, we've been working on the box-in-five. We think if we can get away with it, we think it will be very strategic," Turner said, while giving a good laugh. "That was for Bob. That was a good ploy, a good plan. If they made a few more shots, they might have pulled it off. But the surprise factor is probably gone. It's not a tactic that we've used at all, and I don't consider us to be a weak defensive team.

"A lot of times you gimmick when you are masking the inability to match up at certain spots. And I think it was a really good tactic on his part. But, that hasn't been our modus operandi. Ours has been to come pretty straight at you with maybe different looks, but not with the gimmick stuff."

Old Dominion plays mostly man-to-man defense while mixing in some zone. Their statistics are stingy, not unlike the Bears, allowing opponents to shoot just 39.9 percent from the floor and 29.7 percent from behind the 3-point arc. They allow 56.9 points a game.

The difference in the two squads is scoring. While Baylor has three scorers who average in double figures, the Monarchs have one. And that will be a key matchup featuring ODU's 6-foot-10 senior forward Gerald Lee, who averages about 14 points a game, and Baylor's 6-10 junior forward Ekpe Udoh, who averaged right at 14 in the regular season, but has averaged 21.0 points in two Big 12 tournament games and Thursday's first-round game.



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