Tyrell Green was crushing Southern Illinois all night. He had 20 points on 8 of 12 shooting with 1:09 to play, but somehow Green got open to bury a three to break a 61-61 deadlock.
So how did Marvin Menzies get his hottest shooter an open look in the closing minutes of a tie game? He set it up five minutes earlier with Jovan Mooring and Cheickna Dembele.
Southern Illinois was double-teaming UNLV’s guards off ball screens all night. It was a priority to keep UNLV’s guards from getting into the lane when coming off screens. But the tradeoff was an opening for Dembele.
The rotation behind the ball screen is incredibly slow for Southern Illinois and it allows Dembele tons of space to catch and finish under the basket.
This isn’t the simplest conversion for UNLV. Mooring, at 6-foot-2, has to find a way to get the ball past the double team to Dembele, so he went over it.
“He had a great pass where he had to jump a little bit coming off a middle pick and roll,” Menzies said. “He knows I hate jump passes, but he said, ‘Coach, I knew I could get it to him. He was wide open.’”
The very next possession UNLV ran the same play, and Southern Illinois defended it in an even worse manner.
And the game-winning three from Tyrell Green came off the same exact set.
“Tyrell was the second option,” Menzies said of Green’s game winner. “We had hit Chieckna a couple of times on that and they adjusted. They started putting a guard and sitting him down in the middle.
“So we talked about it. If (the pass to Chieckna) isn’t there, the guy that’s sitting on Cheickna is Tyrell’s man, so he should be wide open.”
The ingredients to a game-winning shot: Jovan Mooring—not a point guard by nature—making the correct read on the ball screen three times down the stretch, Cheickna Dembele finishing at the rim and Tyrell Green burying a three ball.
Green finished with 23 points and made 4 of his 5 three-pointers. Dembele only had four points, but all four helped create the shot for Green. And Mooring, who didn’t score until the final minute, had six assists, three of which came off the same play.