Inside the Play: Shot Clock Violations

A team has 35 seconds to get a shot off.

Five times, St. John’s used all 35 seconds.

“They played a style that they felt they had to play, which was: Let’s run the shot clock down,” head coach John Calipari said. “That’s why there were the shot clock violations, not that we were so good defensively. They went to run the clock to 10 seconds and tried to make a play. Then they couldn’t get the shot up at that point.”

PLAY 1: Desperation Drive

UK started this play in the fullcourt press. St. John’s advanced past half court after five second, but then sat around for the next 10, alternating swinging the ball around and running a guy off screens into the paint half-heartedly. The real action starts with 10 seconds on the clock, which was pretty customary of the night.

A St. John’s player curls around two players (you can see him running in the screen above, with Marquis Teague just cutting through). Teague arrives in plenty of time to cut off the threat of a 3-pointer. Down to 7 seconds. Might be a good time to start moving.

The player with the ball in the screen above gets another screen from No. 3. Marquis Teague and Anthony Davis switch (UK is a rare team where a 1-5 switch isn’t THAT terrible). Davis uses his reach to poke the ball away, which will leave 4 seconds on the shot clock.





On the inbounds play, the St. John’s player gets a screen at the top of the key. UK again switches, easily. This type of offense might work with under 10 seconds on the clock, but not with four. They’re trying to run a full play without the necessary time.

With one second left, the St. John’s player is still driving. He looks up, sees the shot clock about to expire and lofts a desperate underhanded scoop shot toward the general vicinity of the basket. It caroms harmlessly high off the backboard, and the Red Storm have run out of seconds.

PLAY 2: Nowhere to Go

This was another play where St. John’s simply sat around, swinging the ball around the perimeter with no real intentions of doing anything. At the 5-second mark, St. John’s still hasn’t made a serious attempt at getting a shot or a drive.

This should be fun.

St. John’s is using a screen (another really bad one that doesn’t force UK into any uncomfortable situation — they really weren’t a good screening team), which Marquis Teague and Terrence Jones switch (again, UK has players with so much versatility they can switch pretty much whenever they want).

Terrence Jones shuts down the drive, with three seconds left on the clock. What to do here? Jack up a wild, contested shot?


Nah. Feed it to the big fella down low, who has two seconds to work with and a 6-foot-10 blocking maniac draped all over him.

Good luck with this one.

The player tries to spin to the left. Not only is he out of time, but Davis simply shuffles over to stay in front. As the buzzer goes off, the St. John’s player has his head buried in Davis’ torso. He casually flips the ball to official, knowing that the play was doomed from the start.

Better than getting swatted, I guess.

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