Motion offense hopes to trigger success

Motion offense hopes to trigger success

By Ted Ward, @TedWard_DE

SIU women’s basketball (2-3) is the fourth most efficient scoring team in the Missouri Valley Conference because of the motion offense it runs.

The Salukis average 66.8 points a game running an offense used in all levels of the sport.

The offense was popularized by former Oklahoma State coach Henry Iba in the 1930s. It has since been used by former Indiana University and Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight and many others.

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It’s designed to benefit the team more than an individual player, as it allows all five players to be actively involved.

SIU coach Cindy Stein said the offense works well because it fits her team’s strengths.

“Players enjoy it because it gives them the freedom to create their own shot. And, we have a mature team that can run it,” she said. “It’s also very difficult to scout because of its unpredictability, and players don’t make the same cut twice.”

Stein has used this offense since she began coaching in 1995 at Emporia State University, where she guided the 1998 team to the NCAA Division II championship game. She has won more than 300 games in 18 seasons.

Stein said playmakers, such as junior point guard Rishonda Napier, run the offense productively. 

Napier said the offense is great because it allows her to be creative and distribute the ball to her teammates.

“It’s very free flowing and smooth,” she said. “It gives my teammates a chance to get open and disrupt the defense.”

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Bad shots, lack of hustle and turnovers have plagued the Salukis through the last five games.

The offense is designed to allow players to get open and have the best look possible, which minimizes forced or contested shots.

The Salukis are shooting 41 percent — the same percentage they finished with last year. This is behind only Drake in the MVC.

However, they are shooting three-pointers at 21 percent, which ranks them seventh in the MVC. Last year they shot at 34 percent.

Previously suspended senior center Dyana Pierre and injured senior forward Azia Washington left the Salukis without a presence in the post, forcing them to rely on more midrange and outside shots.

Stein said the team has relied more on jump shots than giving the ball to post players and haven’t been patient enough running the offense.

Sophomore forward/guard Kylie Giebelhausen said she has been trying to find consistency in her game.

She is at 35.4 percent from the floor while her three-point percentage has dipped to 28.1 percent after finishing her freshman campaign shooting 35 percent from the floor and 33.6 percent from three-point range.

Giebelhausen said she has to regain confidence and let the game come to her.

“It’s something I have to keep working on,” she said. “I just need to relax, not force shots and trust in my abilities to get open and knock shots down when I have the opportunity.”

The Salukis have turned the ball over 86 times with Napier, Giebelhausen and senior guard Cartesha Macklin combining for 45 of them.

“We just need to make better decisions with the ball and read the defense,” Napier said. “And be more in sync with teammates and communicate what we’re trying to do.”

The Salukis next game is against Murray State at 6 p.m on Dec. 2 in Murray, Ky. 

Ted Ward can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 536-3304

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