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Men's basketball notes: Olson bringing 3-out, 2-in system back to play action

Claire C. Laurence/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Senior guards Hassan Adams, left, and Chris Rodgers have a pregame talk before No. 24 Arizona's 81-51 victory over Virginia on Nov. 27. Adams is expected to play more in the post this season, thanks to the changes Wildcats head coach Lute Olson is making to the team's perimeter-heavy offense.
By Shane Bacon
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, December 7, 2005
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Given the Arizona men's basketball team's clear shooting woes through its first five games, it didn't take a 23-year head coach to decide that the offense needed a change.

Even so, coach Lute Olson said he's decided to do some tweaking after the Wildcats shot only 34.4 percent from the field in their 69-65 loss to Houston on Saturday.

Olson said a complete makeover isn't in order, only that the team will go back to its 3-out, 2-in system that thrived in years past.

"It's still a motion (offense), it's just a matter of three guys outside or four guys outside," he said.

The Wildcats are abandoning the four-man perimeter style they went to before the season in favor of keeping the forward inside to get more offensive rebounds and put-backs.

"With two post (men) already in there, it will be easier to box out to get a body on a guy," said sophomore forward Bret Brielmaier. "(At Monday's practice) alone, rebounding was a lot better than it had been."

Brielmaier said the adjustments will allow junior forward Ivan Radenovic in particular to grab more rebounds because he'll be in better position.

"Ivan doesn't have to come in from 3-point land to get the ball," he said.

Olson said he thought Radenovic was moving too much on the outside, and that he wasn't getting the chance to play in the block.

"We've done some things there to keep him more in the situation where he has the on-ball screen, but also we're going to utilize him down in post-up situations," Olson said.

The concern for a new offense stems from Arizona's early inability to get the ball in the basket.

The Wildcats are shooting just 38.9 percent from the field this season, with a 3-point percentage just above 30.

After posting nearly 80 points per game in 2004, Arizona is averaging around 69.

"The problem has been the shooting," Olson said. "If you look back at the Houston tape, it wasn't not having shots - we missed some wide-open 3's."

With the new offense in effect, senior guard Hassan Adams and freshman forward Marcus Williams will both get more chances to play in the low post, Olson said.

"If we have Marcus in, we can actually go with either one of the two on the inside based on the matchup," he said. "If a big guy is on Marcus, we want him outside, and if a quick guy is on Hassan, we want him inside."

The Wildcats' big men will be posting up when the ball is moved to their side of the court and screening down when the ball is shifted to the other side of the court, Olson said.

Arizona will have a chance to strut its adjusted stuff tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. in McKale Center against NAU.

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