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Utah women's basketball: Utes keep up with offensive trends

Published March 8, 2014 4:05 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Seattle • Utah's women's basketball team spent much of its effort preparing for Oregon State by focusing on defending the pick-and-roll.

From the sounds of it, the Utes are going to be spending a lot more time on the subject.

Just as it grew in the NBA and in college men's basketball, the pick-and-roll is taking over in the women's game, Utah coach Anthony Levrets said.

"Every team seems like it's going to it," he said. "It's hard to guard and there are so many players now who are really good with the ball in their hands, you are going to see it more."

Leverts believes the reason for the rise in popularity is twofold. Women are improving their ball-handling skills and the pick-and-roll is popular at the club level.

"You are seeing more third-graders playing it because it is easy two teach," Levrets said. "It's really a two-man game, you just need someone with good ball-handling skills."

Levrets and other coaches are adjusting through recruiting, seeking out longer, more athletic players.

"You have to have that kind of player," he said. "They still have to play good basketball, but if you have your choice, you are going to take the longer, more athletic player."

Nap time

Concerned his team might not get enough rest before playing Oregon State, Levrets let his team sleep in until 11 a.m. on Friday since many didn't retire to their rooms until 1 a.m., following their late win over Washington on Thursday.

After a walk-through and some meetings, Levrets sent his players to their rooms for nap time.

This and that

The Pac-12 Networks has produced a documentary on Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, titled "Life in a Season." The show will debut March 17 at 8 p.m. … Oregon State entered Friday's game on a nine-game winning streak. The last time it enjoyed such a streak was the 1995-96 season.