I just needed to talk more about this.
Murray State women’s basketball showed up at Assembly Hall on Friday with one of the most interesting game plans I have ever seen.
Everyone who watched this team at all knew they were gonna run The Press. They were down to Arkansas in the half earlier this year before pressing and shooting all the way to a 3-point deficit when the clock hit zero.
And yeah, press they did. But it got deeper than that, literally. Murray State ran out a weirdly long rotation. Only two (2) Racers played 25 minutes or more of the game. It felt like they were sending in subs every chance they could possibly get, always two or three at a time.
The thought process was obvious here. Indiana was extremely not a team they could play straight up. So they just spread out the minutes to reduce the fatigue, shot all the threes they could and Got Weird on defense.
They threw looks on the court that Teri Moren, in her tenth year as the highly successful coach at Indiana, had never seen before. Sometimes Mackenzie Holmes was doubled. Other times she just wasn’t.
Sometimes the Racers would absolutely swarm on the ball and other times they just wouldn’t. It was a sight to behold.
But, beyond that, it just... wasn’t working? For the most part? Indiana probably had two turnovers off of inbound passes and one just soared over someone’s head.
Breaking the press was probably a priority for the program after what happened in the Big Ten Tournament last year so all in all it’s good they got this kind of experience. But still, Thursday’s game was one of the weirder ones I’ve seen.