It’s been a while since coach Bob Boldon played a consistent zone defense. To be exact, almost three years.
He showcased the zone defense on Jan. 14. It wasn’t a true 2-3 zone, but it used some zone philosophies — trapping. Boldon plans to bring that back against Ball State on Saturday afternoon on the road.
“It’s not a typical zone because usually there’s a post in the middle, but in this zone there will be a guard, guarding that middle area,” Amani Burke said. “It’s just about rotation, traps and being aggressive. We think we can make plays and get layups in transition.”
With Ball State having two players listed at 6-foot-5 and two more players at 6-foot-1, Jasmine Weatherspoon and Hannah Boesinger are going to be busy rotating in the post, trying to slow down the two Cardinal post players.
It also doesn't help that Ball State is one of the best rebounding teams in the conference, which comes as no surprise with the height advantage.
Weatherspoon is coming off a knee injury, and Boldon said she should be close to 100 percent by tip-off Saturday.
Having a week off allowed for Weatherspoon to continue to recover and shake any rust she had against Toledo. It also gave the Bobcats a chance to work on the offensive inconsistencies it experienced on Feb. 4.
Boldon hadn’t looked at the conference defensive stats all year. He assumed his team was at the bottom when it hit a defensive rut and didn’t bother to investigate. When he checked, he was wrong. His team was leading the conference in defensive points per game and defensive field goal percentage.
That’s a step in the right direction for his team, but the heavy focus on defense might have taken away from developing a more consistent offense.
“That (defensive) preparation is important to us,” Boldon said. “But sometimes the length of that preparation cuts into our ability to develop some offensive flow to our practices, and this week has been nice, having some time to work on that.”
Boldon didn’t talk much about how he attacked the offensive problem this week in practice, but having the week off should eliminate fatigue as a factor of a lethargic offense against Ball State.