A blueprint for each Final Four coach

Defensively, the Huskies are almost always in man-to-man, and almost always force teams into difficult shots. Opponents make just 42.1 percent of their 2s against Connecticut, and have nearly 15.1 percent of their shots blocked. That back line -- where center Amida Brimah is among the nation's most underrated players -- allows Napier and Boatright to gamble for steals on the perimeter. The combination is deadly.


Billy Donovan, Florida Gators

lastname
Donovan

Background: Covered at length here. The short version: Donovan is in his 18th year of a run that has turned Florida basketball from less than a laughingstock into a perennial powerhouse. He won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007. This is his fourth Final Four.

System: Donovan, by contrast, had nearly two decades to define his system, and his success in his time at Florida means there is, to paraphrase Daniel Plainview in "There Will Be Blood," a whole ocean of Donovan-sponsored DVDs and Internet breakdowns available to aspiring coaches. (This will become a theme.)

Donovan's stock-in-trade is the spread pick-and-roll offense. The spread pick-and-roll is, to put it somewhat simply, a hybrid of classic Bob Knight-style motion offense and modern NBA ball-screen sets. (Note: Before the Gators get into their half-court stuff, they run a structured transition attack that attempts to get an early post-up -- but these down-tempo Gators don't do that quite as much as past teams.) Like more pro-style sets, it frequently begins with a high point guard-power forward ball screen. But it keeps moving from there: The ball swings from side to side; wings receive side screens that create angles for rolls; post players post, screen away, and re-post again.

At its peak, it takes a balanced offensive team with a handful of weapons and makes defenses play every player on every possession. The 2013-14 edition -- which combines the perimeter play of Scottie Wilbekin and Michael Frazier with the interior work of Patric Young and Casey Prather and gluey, gap-filling contributions from Will Yeguete and Dorian Finney-Smith -- is the best demonstration since the Joakim Noah-led title teams of spread pick-and-roll in its unpredictable symphonic glory.

And that's not even where the Gators are at their best. No, that's the defensive end, where Florida ranks No. 1 in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency. Donovan isn't afraid to mix in some zone (20 percent of the time, to be exact), but most of the time his team plays a brand of lights-out man-to-man defense with no discernible weak points. The Gators rank in the top 25 nationally in three of the four defensive factors (effective field-goal percentage, turnover rate and foul rate) and 42nd in rebounding percentage. They have the second-longest (20.2 seconds) defensive possessions in the country. Oh, and Wilbekin may be the best perimeter defender in the sport.

Fun fact: Against Dayton, Florida led by 14 at halftime, scored five field goals the rest of the game, and still won by 10. They are locked. In.

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