Virginia Tech Basketball Preview, Part Two

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Mike Young, Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech’s players won’t learn Mike Young’s offense overnight. (Ivan Morozov)

The over-arching theme of a Mike Young offense is that everyone needs to be able to pass, dribble and shoot, as well as set and read a proper screen. That seems like a pretty elementary view of basketball, but Young doesn’t hide players on the floor who can’t perform those duties. He will recruit players who have a high basketball IQ over freak athletes, as he values his system more than an individual player.

The hallmark of a good offense is one that moves the ball quickly and involves action on both sides of the floor to stretch and stress a defense to the max. Mike Young’s offenses do both of these things at a high level. While a pass is being made on one side of the floor, a screen, a read and a cut are happening concurrently on the other side of the floor. This keeps a defense from providing help with off-ball defenders, as they are more concerned with keeping track of their moving matchup than the side of the floor with the ball on it. That open space created is where Mike Young’s playmakers go to work. If you can shoot, but cannot dribble or pass, it becomes harder to attack gaps with the ball in your hands. Five players need to stress the defense, in different ways, at the same time.

Another hallmark